Apple’s next-generation iPhone 7 Plus is expected to be a huge improvement over its predecessors in many ways — one of which could be its camera quality. According to the latest information from the reliable KGI Securities, the device will have dual rear-facing cameras with optical zoom.
If you’ve ever used zoom on a standard smartphone (not counting Samsung’s Galaxy K Zoom), then you’ll know it’s pretty terrible. Digital zoom essentially enlarges a portion of your image, losing detail at the same time. Most people simply avoid it.
But according to KGI, Apple wants to change that by delivering optical zoom — the same kind of zoom you get with a digital camera, where the lens actually moves back and forth. It’s thought the company is aiming for 2-3x magnification.
There is one big downside, though: KGI says this will be reserved for the 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus, and not available on the smaller model. In fact, it may not even be available on all iPhone 7 Plus variants, with Apple expected to offer a high-end model that includes special camera features.
Another one of those features could be a dual-sensor system, which will use two cameras to deliver better images. One could provide optical image stabilization and a wide field of view, while the other could have a telephoto lens for a narrower field of view, KGI says.
Apple has been toying with the idea of dual cameras for a while, as demonstrated in various patents, and its acquisition of LinX, a company that specialized in building “miniature multi-aperture cameras designed for mobile devices.”
It seems having multiple iPhone 7 Plus variants — plus a smaller iPhone 7, plus an even smaller ‘iPhone 5se‘ — could be incredibly confusing. It’s unlikely too many customers will be happy with having to pay a premium for a better camera, either.
While KGI is normally reliable, then, we’ll wait until Apple makes the iPhone 7 official in September before reading too much into these claims. We would like the see a much-improved iPhone camera with extras features, but we don’t want four iPhone options to choose from.