Nowadays, in some instances, photos taken by mobile phone cameras with image algorithms even look better than professional cameras. Although the Apple iPhone’s camera is not as good as its friends in terms of camera sensors megapixels, the imaging effects of previous iPhones are not bad. In order to strengthen the iPhone’s camera, all models starting from iPhone 7, as well as iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus, are equipped with OIS (optical image stabilization) and closed-loop autofocus (AF) systems. Recently, Apple issued a warning to its subscriber “don’t tie your iPhone to a motorcycle”. It may surprise you why this is so since phones have OIS.
Recently, Apple has updated its documents, stating that “vibration generated by high-power motorcycles may affect the iPhone camera.” iPhone cameras equipped with optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus systems, under high-amplitude vibrations in certain frequency ranges, may degrade the performance of the iPhone camera system. This is because they use gyroscopes and magnetic sensors to help compensate for the effects of taking pictures or videos when there is Movement and vibration.
Apple Warns: Don’t Tie your iPhone to a Motorcycle
Apple recommends not to install the iPhone directly on the chassis or handlebars of any motorcycle. If the phone is installed on low-power devices such as mopeds and electric scooters, at least use a shock-absorbing bracket, which may damage the iPhone camera. Sex is minimized.
Earlier, Apple said that optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus systems will also be subject to magnetic interference, and when used with certain accessories, it will reduce iPhone camera performance. Compared with motorcycle vibration, the problem of magnetic interference can be solved by removing the related accessories, and the vibration of a specific frequency will directly cause permanent damage to the iPhone camera system.
Will Vibration at a Certain Frequency Affect the iPhone Camera?
In fact, this also applies to many consumer electronic products equipped with optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus systems. Basically, long-term exposure to vibrations in certain frequency ranges may cause the quality of photos and videos to deteriorate.
We all know that the working principle of optical image stabilization on mobile phones is to detect the frequency and direction of vibration through a gyroscope, and then the photosensitive element will move in the opposite direction to offset the image vibration caused by the outside world.
To put it simply, when you are using the iPhone camera to take photos or videos, if the gyroscope inside the phone detects that the device has a certain displacement jitter, it will call the photosensitive element to make the displacement jitter in the opposite direction to offset it.
This is a bit similar to the active noise reduction on TWS headphones. The noise reduction system generates the same reverse sound wave as the outside world, which neutralizes the noise and achieves the noise reduction effect.
Working Principles Of Camera Autofocus
As for the working principle of autofocus, when the object is in the distant view or the close range, the corresponding imaging position is different, and the distance between the lens and the photosensitive chip needs to be adjusted so that the photosensitive chip can always obtain a clear effect. In the camera module of the mobile phone, the lens position does not move, mainly relying on the motor to drive the lens to move to achieve autofocus.
Generally speaking, a closed-loop motor will install a Hall effect sensor at the position of the lens carrier, through the Hall effect chip to sense the magnetic flux of the surrounding magnets, and then calculate the actual position of the lens. The closed-loop motor continuously adjusts the position of the motor according to the feedback of the Hall chip to keep the position consistent with the input position.
The advantage of the closed-loop motor is that it can accelerate the focusing speed and accurately adjust the lens position, and the image quality of the mobile phone camera will be higher.
By analyzing the optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus system, we can draw a conclusion that both technologies will make corresponding position adjustments according to the external jitter displacement.
This helps to ensure the stability of the shooting pictures as much as possible.
Effects of OIS and Closed-Loop Autofocus Systems on Mobile Photography
In fact, whether it is optical image stabilization or closed-loop autofocus systems, their application scenarios are more tailored to handheld devices. This can solve the problem of blurred shooting pictures caused by a slight mobile phone shake.
The original intention of the manufacturers to introduce these two functions on the mobile phone may be to help users reduce the burden.
In the handheld state, through these two functions, the mobile phone no longer needs equipment such as shock absorbers.
For example, if a mobile phone is tied to a motorcycle or off-road vehicle, the vibration displacement generated by it has exceeded the range that these two technologies can tolerate. Therefore, it is natural that high-frequency vibration will damage the iPhone camera.
This is like you bought a three-proof (drop-proof, waterproof, dust-proof) mobile phone. If you drop the mobile phone hard, it looks like there is no problem in appearance, but in fact, the mobile phone may have been damaged “internally” because the mobile phone hit the ground soo hard. The resulting high-frequency vibration damages internal components.
What Happens When A Phone With OIS and Closed-Loop AF Encounters Excessive Vibrations?
Generally, when the optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus system on the mobile phone cannot withstand excessively high-frequency vibration displacement, it may cause component misalignment and damage. Even if these two functions can withstand high-frequency vibration, the phone may have problems if it is left in this state for a long time.
Therefore, as long as the phone is equipped with these two features, long-term exposure to high-frequency vibration may cause damage to the camera or reduce image quality.
Does The iPhone 13 Series Cameras also Have This Problem?
Generally speaking, optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus systems are currently relatively advanced imaging technologies in mobile phones, and high-end mobile phones are basically equipped with these two technologies. Therefore, the upcoming iPhone 13 series will also be equipped with these two technologies.
It is worth mentioning that Apple introduced the sensor displacement optical image stabilization function for the first time on the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which offsets the jitter of the mobile phone by moving the image sensor.
Earlier, according to Taiwan media DigiTimes, although the sensor displacement optical image stabilization function is currently only supported by the iPhone 12 Pro Max, this function will become the standard configuration of the iPhone 13 series of cameras. At the same time, iPhone 13 will be equipped with a new ultra-wide-angle lens, upgraded from 5P (f/2.4) and fixed focus (FF) to 6P (f/1.8), and supports autofocus (AF) function.
If the above revelations are true, even the iPhone 13 series, long-term exposure to the high-frequency vibration of the motorcycle, may directly damage its camera or reduce the image quality.
Summary and Conclusion
It should be noted that mobile phone cameras can cause component damage at a certain frequency. This is a common problem of optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus systems.
Theoretically, this is really not Apple’s design flaw, but these two functions themselves have the above-mentioned problems.
If you want the iPhone camera to be immune to motorcycle vibration, Apple will need to remove these two technologies.
To be honest, how many users would tie their mobile phones to their motorcycles? IT is a very rare occurrence. Only people in special occupations such as food delivery or express delivery, users may tie their mobile phones to electric vehicles or motorcycles.
For ordinary users, it is rare to tie a mobile phone to a device that generates high-frequency vibrations. Therefore, this fact is which is basically negligible since it can only affect a few sets of people.