3.2 Megapixel Camera in Next iPhone?

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Today’s iPhone 3G has a 2 megapixel camera. It takes decent pictures but is terrible at taking closeups and is just as bad at taking pictures when there isn’t a lot of light. Check out my review of the Clarifi that dramatically helps with closeups on the iPhone. There are many other phones on the market that eat iPhone’s camera for breakfast with xenon flash, lots more pixels, optical zoom, etc. DigiTimes is suggesting that the next iPhone might be sporting a 3.2 megapixel camera.

I’m not so sure I like more pixels. Apple has don’t a not-so-great job with just 2 megapixels on its iPhone. Will adding more pixels make pictures look better? Nope. Not if you use the same sensor. That’s where OmniVision comes in.

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OmniVision has 7 CMOS-based digital image sensors at the moment that sports 3 megapixels. These are based on its OmniPixel3 technology. But there is the mention of a new OmniPixel3-HS for High Sensitivity that improves picture quality in low light situations. These image sensors also have image stabilization. Cool. Pixel size is 1.75µm squared. Compare these to the company’s 2 megapixel image sensors: 2.2µm squared pixels. What does this mean?

What this means is that without a lot of process enhancements, improvements in the lens, etc. the light gathering capabilities of the pixels on the image sensor degrades when you go from 2 megapixels to 3. You need bigger pixels on the image sensor to get better quality pictures.

It would be better if Apple just stuck to 2 megapixels and used a much bigger CMOS image sensor, add high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities, video capture, faster shutter speeds, LED flash, optical zoom, etc.

Source: DigiTimes, iPhonebuzz, OmniVision

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