Rumors have surfaced recently that the upcoming next-generation iPhone, to be called iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 or something else, will have its flash moved from the camera’s vicinity all the way to the other side, at least according to a picture of a next Apple-smartphone case that surfaced.
Moving the flash in the opposite direction will most probably not impact on low light sensitivity while recording videos or capturing images — since the amount of light is the same, the distance to the object is the same, this of course in case Apple won’t put dual flashes or Xenons on board. The only thing that is changed is the angle of impact at which the light is hitting the subject to illuminate it.
The angle at which the light coming from the embedded flash is reflected back to the lens from the subject’s eyes is what determines whether your pictures come out with red eyes or not. If the angle is small, you’ll likely to have red-eyed subjects on your pictures. Increasing the angle (and thus the distance between the flash and the lens) will dramatically improve your red-eye pictures — if not eliminate them altogether. Take a look at the illustration below to better comprehend!
Modern day cameras — both portables or dSLRs — have the option of (trying) to reduce the red-eye effect by firing off a couple of test flashes before the actual shot is taken. This is to force your subject’s eyes to react to the light, have the pupils contracted and (try to) reduce red-eyes. The angle of incidence for the flash light is one of the main reasons professional cameras have the embedded — or hot shoed — flashes above the camera and not in its close vicinity.
Apple must have thought of this too when — if true — decided to move the flash away from the lens. If you use an iPhone 4 you most probably had a couple of red-eyed subjects in your pictures take in dark conditions. This would probably fix some of the issues and reduce the problem occurrences. And the alleged eight-megapixel camera will further improve the quality of the pictures — as current iPhones already take good pictures.
If, again, the rumors are true, we might see a new trend coming and it looks like it was necessary for Apple to make the move in order for other manufacturers to follow.
Image: DigiCam Guides