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Rumors Persist About Triple-Lens Rear Camera System With Advanced 3D Sensing on 2019 iPhones

While we're still two months away from Apple's widely rumored trio of 2018 iPhones, the rumor mill is already looking ahead to next year.

iPhone with triple-lens rear camera mockup via iDrop News

Much of the early discussion has centered upon the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones, with multiple reports claiming it will be a triple-lens array with advanced 3D sensing for augmented reality capabilities.

Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News says as much in a pair of reports today, claiming that the rear-facing camera on 2019 iPhones will feature "more advanced" sensing than the front-facing TrueDepth system on the current iPhone X, with a triple-lens setup capable of stereoscopic imaging.

With stereoscopic imaging, two of the sensors would be able to capture images of a single object from different angles. A triangulation method would then be used to obtain the distance between the iPhone and the object.

The third lens would also likely enable 3x optical zoom on an iPhone for the first time, enabling users to magnify the image in the viewfinder by up to three times without a blurry reduction in quality like digital zoom.

Bloomberg News last year reported that Apple aims to include rear-facing 3D sensing capabilities in its 2019 iPhones. At the time, Apple was said to be evaluating a time-of-flight approach that calculates the time it takes for a laser to bounce off surrounding objects to create a 3D image of the environment.

While the exact implementation remains to be seen, it's clear that the rear camera could play a big role in the augmented reality capabilities of future iPhones. Last year, Apple released ARKit, a framework that enables developers to incorporate augmented reality into their apps on iOS 11 and later.

Apple previews ARKit 2 during WWDC 2018 at around 22:05 mark of video

At WWDC 2018 last month, Apple previewed ARKit 2, with shared experiences like multiplayer games, persistent augmented reality, extended support for image detection and tracking, and more.

Related Roundup: 2019 iPhones


Top Rated Comments

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19 weeks ago
Come on Apple, 20 lenses or i'm not impressed.
Rating: 7 Votes
19 weeks ago
If they could find a way to do the P20 Pro sensor "merge" to provide the superior night shot capabilities but with better, more natural colouring, this could be absolutely epic.

3D stuffs though, yeah but no. There is a reason that chaff died out on TV's.
Rating: 4 Votes
19 weeks ago
That is one ugly looking mockup
Rating: 3 Votes
19 weeks ago

Cue all the hump hate.

I am all for camera improvements. One of the design sacrifices I’m completely content with.


Same. If Apple can dramatically improve their low light and noise performance, I’d be a happy camper. It’s the one area where I find other phone brands do a lot better.
Rating: 2 Votes
19 weeks ago

If they could find a way to do the P20 Pro sensor "merge" to provide the superior night shot capabilities but with better, more natural colouring, this could be absolutely epic.

3D stuffs though, yeah but no. There is a reason that chaff died out on TV's.


3D for augmented reality ;)
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Is the actual supply chain rumor for a 3x lens? It seems more likely to me that we'll get two wide lenses and one tele lens. The two wide would be the top/bottom and allow for much better depth sensing because of the same lens, but different positions. It would also allow for much improved lowlight photos by combining the sensors with two shorter exposures, meaning less motion blur from leaving the shutter open longer. Plus every photo could have depth data added to it.

Zoom is nice, but I find I rarely use the 2x lens on my camera on anything other than portrait mode, just because of the higher aperture. I doubt I would use a 3x at all.


Making a 3x zoom lens that would actually take good pictures would be tougher than with the 2x, we'll see.
[doublepost=1530807346][/doublepost]

If this is true, does it mean we could get more or less an effective 18mm-56mm f1.8 setup?


56mm at 1.8? That would be a massive phone or a really small sensor...
[doublepost=1530807545][/doublepost]

How is it that the Google phones have one lens but take better pictures? Supposedly, the XL3 will only have one len as well. Is it software that make Google phone pictures come out so good?


Software and a larger sensor. If Apple increased sensor size just a little, they could get results that would be quite a bit better. But also: Software. iPhone camera hardware has been getting better, but I think the software is holding it back quite a bit.
Rating: 1 Votes
19 weeks ago
I Think the camera improvement’s for the iPhone is exactly what Apple knows the consumers is attracted to the most, because of how much we value photos that we take every single day. And the biggest improvement over any iPhone feature _is_the camera and now Augemented reality is progressing. And I do see this being a fairly large Leap in 2019 for the next iPhone. I think this technology should be fairly interesting and its interesting to see how far the iPhone camera has improved from 10 years ago.
Rating: 1 Votes
19 weeks ago
1x, 2x, 5x. Thanks.
Rating: 1 Votes
19 weeks ago
I'm wondering if "stereophonic" pictures would require the camera be he held in landscape only or both landscape and portrait because of the spacing needed for the cameras?
Rating: 1 Votes
19 weeks ago

I'm wondering if "stereophonic" pictures would require the camera be he held in landscape only or both landscape and portrait because of the spacing needed for the cameras?


It would need to be held in Landscape mode, and the left/right camera-lens elements would have to be spaced typically the same distance as found between two eyes...just like mine!
Rating: 1 Votes
19 weeks ago
Is the actual supply chain rumor for a 3x lens? It seems more likely to me that we'll get two wide lenses and one tele lens. The two wide would be the top/bottom and allow for much better depth sensing because of the same lens, but different positions. It would also allow for much improved lowlight photos by combining the sensors with two shorter exposures, meaning less motion blur from leaving the shutter open longer. Plus every photo could have depth data added to it.

Zoom is nice, but I find I rarely use the 2x lens on my camera on anything other than portrait mode, just because of the higher aperture. I doubt I would use a 3x at all.
Rating: 1 Votes

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