Apple is eyeing a patent that would enable users to change the camera lens of the iPhone. The company has already sent a patent application for a swappable lens system on the iPhone’s rear casing. The idea isn’t exactly new since there’s already add-on camera lenses made by third party companies, such as [easyazon-link asin=”B005JTDFOA” locale=”us”]Olloclip[/easyazon-link], that already serves this function. But it’s certainly encouraging that Apple is still looking for ways to improve its product.
This undoubtedly signals a change in the iPhone’s design, which has remained more or less the same since the first iPhone came out. In the past, Apple’s design for the iPhone had been fully sealed, which effectively ruled out any tampering with the lens. Camera photography aficionados, however, had been able to work around this restriction by adding special lenses on top of the iPhone lens.
Now, however, Apple’s move will surely uncover new possibilities in iPhone photography, which has also been called iPhoneography by avid fans. For instance, users interested in close-up photography can use a specially-built macro lens built on a rear cover. Later, if they wish to engage in taking shots with a telephoto zoom lens, they can simply take out the macro lens cover and change it with a telephoto zoom one. Meanwhile, those who are happy with the built-in lens need not buy new rear covers with special lenses.
The same lens-swapping mechanism is present on today’s DSLR cameras, which allow users to create various kinds of effects with different lenses. Unlike DSLR camera lenses, however, which protrude and are quite heavy to lug around, the iPhone lenses will be flat and lightweight.
In addition to the interchangeable lens system, Apple is also likely to introduce features such as image stabilization or a better flash. This development is congruent with the decision of other handset manufacturers to make phones better alternatives to regular cameras as the former are increasingly taking the place of the latter. This same trend is being taken advantage of by companies such as Sony, Nokia, and HTC.
If Steve Jobs were alive today, he would have probably nodded at this fresh addition, since the Apple founder was himself a photography enthusiast. Last year, before his death, he had been in talks in an effort to enhance the mobile device’s camera.
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