Is it finally time for Apple to say goodbye to 8MP cameras for the iPhone? After years and years of coming back to the same resolution shooter, rumors have suggested that Apple may be ready to join much of its smartphone competition in the land of higher pixel counts, and could give the next-gen iPhone a 12MP camera. That same claim is now being repeated by new analyst sources, but with some clarification that may have you thinking twice about just how welcome this change could be.
Supposedly, while Apple could give the iPhone 6S a 12MP main camera, we’d see physical pixel size drop from what we have with the current 8MP camera. While that seems like an obvious consequence, it’s not inconceivable that Apple might have made efforts to maintain pixel size despite the resolution bump in an effort to keep image quality up where it is now.
What’s the problem with smaller pixels? With less surface area, it gets harder for these pixels to capture light, and as a result the camera’s low-light performance may see a hit. That could spell washed-out colors, digital noise, and all the all the things we’d rather not see from an iPhone’s camera.
Knowing Apple as we do, though, we have to imagine that it wouldn’t go down this route if it really meant making big sacrifices. Whether that means something with sensor design, lens construction, or even image processing, there’s a lot it might try to keep image quality consistent – even with smaller pixels.