Wait for Better Cameras
According to Bloomberg, Apple is planning to put laser-powered time-of-flight 3D cameras on the iPhone which will lead to big improvements to Augmented Reality (AR) on the iPhone.
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman states that the iPhone's new 3D camera "will give the phone a better sense of where it is in physical space, improving the accuracy of object placement in augmented-reality apps, which overlay virtual images on the real world."
Analysis from JP Morgan's Samik Chatterjee echoes these rumors. So does a report from Digitimes and a report from Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo believes only two of the three 2020 iPhone models will feature this technology on board.
This assertion has been backed up by leaked iOS 14 code from 9to5Mac. According to the code, only the iPhone 12 Pro models will feature the time-of-flight sensor.
Kuo thinks the 2020 iPhones will come with the same ultra-wide lens design that's found on the 2019 models. And in a more recent note, Kuo says the 6.7-inch 2020 iPhone will also feature sensor-shift image stabilization.
He also thinks the iPhone 12 will come with a "high-end" lens array in the rear camera. This should help improve image quality.
Kuo also believes the iPhone 12's camera will feature improved autofocus.
A Fast Company report goes into detail about the iPhone 12's "world-facing" 3D camera. The camera is "actually a laser, sensor, and software system" that emits light to measure the distance between the phone and the objects and surfaces in front of it.
In addition to new AR experiences, the camera will reportedly enable new photo and video effects.
A leak suggests the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max models will come with LiDAR (light detection and ranging), the same feature found on the new iPad Pro models. Conversely, one leaker believes LiDAR will only be found on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Alleged screenshots of the iPhone 12 Pro Max's settings point to the existence of a LiDAR scanner. In the settings there is a toggle to enable "LiDAR." A leaked photo of what allegedly is the iPhone 12 Pro's back glass shows a hole for the LiDAR scanner.
We're also hearing that the 2020 iPhone models could have optical image stabilization in all three rear camera sensors. The 2020 iPhones also are said to have improved photo capturing tools on board.
We've also heard, via EverythingApplePro and XDA's Max Weinbach, that Apple might bring Night Mode support to the wide-angle, telephoto lens, and the front-facing camera. Weinbach claims the telephoto lens will increase to 3x optical zoom.
In addition, Weinbach thinks the iPhone 12 Pro models will be able to shoot 4K video at 120fps and 240fps. Weinbach discovered these modes in the iOS 14 beta so there's a good chance they're being tested behind the scenes.
A report from Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis, Thomas O'Malley, and Baylie Harri suggests that Face ID will improve thanks to these changes. Unfortunately, the report doesn't go into specifics. An additional report from Weinbach suggests Face ID will come with a wider angle of view. Weinbach also believes Face ID will be faster.
If you aren't thrilled with the cameras on the iPhone 11 models, or the cameras on older versions of the iPhone, or you're interested in a new 3D camera system and improved Face ID, think about waiting.
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