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Author Topic: There is a new iPhone with two cameras (and massive processing power)  (Read 2974 times)


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I am sort of surprised that this forum on "iPhone ..." has no posts on the new iPhone 7 and 7s.  So to start the ball rolling, I mention that the new iPhone 7s (the larger, more expensive option) has two cameras with lenses of different focal lengths: the usual moderately wide, plus one of about twice the telephoto reach.  By the way, it also probably has far more image processing power than almost any non-phone camera – about a trillion ops per second – allowing it to do some interesting in-camera processing tricks.

The dual camera system interests me because I have think that for mainstream "snap-shot" photographers, the main reason for wanting to buy a dedicated compact camera rather than just using a phone is greater ability to zoom in.  Since zoom lenses are difficult to fit into the thin body of a pocketable photographic device, having two or more "prime lens" cameras side-by-side might be the way that mainstream snapshot photography evolves.  Do you remember the old movie and television sports video cameras with three or four lenses on a rotating turret?


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Re: There is a new iPhone with two cameras (and massive processing power)
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 03:50:03 am »

Old movie and television cams with three revolving lenses on a turret ? We've even got something vaguely reminiscent today with the zeiss exo lens !

The 7 has a new camera: f1.8 v f2.2 and a further element in the wide-angle lens, no knowledge about the sensor. Whether the 2 lens will be the killer atttraction I do not know - that it's only available on the 'plus' is a negative from my pov - although the pre-orders, surprisingly,  look to be favouring it by a 2:1 margin

More interestingly is the imminent arrival of iOS10 (today). RAW finally comes to the iPhone, and not just the 7 but also as far back as the 5s (in .dng format) IF the 'word' is accurate. I'll be testing it on my venerable 5s asap.

From a personal pov, the 7 form factor was, and is, the ultimate 'always-with-you' p&s. I don't know whether the dual lens of the 7 plus will outweigh the inconvenience of a phablet. In my case, I suspect not.

A few links to the first 7 images:
compared to last years 6s

so, in-app LrM camera now supports DNG  but only on iOS10 (reasonable) and a device that has a 12MP camera (uh huh!) - so RAW only on the 7 and the 6s
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 12:10:10 pm by Manoli »


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Re: There is a new iPhone with two cameras (and massive processing power)
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2016, 05:31:14 am »

Amazing quality of those iPhone images!  I need to take a closer look at those Zeiss lens attachments.


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Re: There is a new iPhone with two cameras (and massive processing power)
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 01:32:25 am »

I"m not sure if many people are aware of this new black magic:

Every time you take a picture with the iPhone 7, both the wide angle and telephoto fire off. Yes, two 12 megapixel pictures for every shot. This could be a prime driver behind the increase of the iPhone 7 Plus’ memory to 3GB.

Both images are needed due to an Apple technique it is calling “fusion” internally. Fusion takes data from both sensors and merges them into the best possible picture for every condition. If, for instance, there is a low-light scene that has some dark areas, the image-processing chip could choose to pick up some image data (pixels or other stuff like luminance) from the brighter f1.8 wide angle and mix it in with the data from the f2.8 telephoto, creating a composite image on the fly without any input from the user. This fusion technique is available to every shot coming from the camera, which means that the iPhone 7 Plus is mixing and matching data every time that trigger is tapped.

This technique is made possible because the optics, coatings, sensors, perspectives and color balances of the two cameras are perfectly matched.

The fusion technique also comes in handy when using the new zoom functions of the iPhone 7 Plus.
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