iPhone 6 gray silver gold back camera

Apple supplier Sony has announced a new 21-megapixel mobile camera sensor, dubbed the Exmor RS IMX230, that could see itself in a future iOS device after the sensor begins shipping in April 2015. The IMX230 camera uses a stacked CMOS imaging sensor design, allowing for faster auto-focusing and better image quality. It also features 4K HDR video.

“Rather than the traditional back-illuminated CMOS image sensor’s support substrate, the Exmor RS uses a chip consisting of signal processing circuits, on top of which is stacked a pixel section consisting of back-illuminated pixels for an original stacked construction,” Sony describes. Confusing, right?

Sony says up to 192 AF points can be used, carried out by the stacked CMOS image sensor’s internal image processing circuits, making it easier to capture fast-moving objects. The sensor also includes support for full 21-megapixel HDR pictures and 4K HDR video, made possible by setting two different exposure conditions and applying the appropriate signal processing to the image information obtained from each condition. The 4K video shoots in a 4096 x 2160 resolution.

Apple has typically stayed away from high-megapixel cameras in its iOS devices (using only 8-megapixels in the iPhone 6 lineup), but has chosen Sony’s camera sensors, as they’re some of the best in the business. If Apple doesn’t opt for the 21-megapixel sensor announced on Monday, perhaps it would use a 16-megapixel version with the same stacking technology.

[Sony via MacRumors]

  • TheGreatShalaw

    Typical apple to say: there is no need for that, we are going to stick with our 8MP camera 🙂

    • BoardDWorld

      Nope, that’s just biennial major design change talking. Next year we’re going to see some big performance enhancements just like the 3GS, 4S & 5S. It’s on speed… And it probably won’t bend.

    • HamptonWalley

      8MP is plenty enough for these small mobile phone sensors.

    • Fanboy 

      If they increase the MP to allow 4K video, they’re going to start seeing their 128GB models sales increase, because we sure as hell are gonna need the space! lol. It would actually be a really great tactic to increase sales because they have higher profit margins on those models.

  • Adam

    No way ! – with current Apple policy we will see 8MP camera for next 5 years – will get upgrades like – smart pixels, happy pixels, super focused pixels, zoomed pixels, 5D pixels but no actual MP change – sorry guys – wish this was true – but no – it’s Apple

    • ra1nmaster

      lol. 5D pixels. That made my day.

    • Ian Leon

      Apple does change lol. They can go from megapixels are not that important to megapixels are mega important. They can go from you should be able to use the phone with one hand to the bigger than bigger iPhone 6 Plus. They can go from ridiculously skeumorphic to extremely flat. They have gone from aluminum phones to plastic and back twice. Lol

    • Alawyy96

      the only reason that will make apple increase their mp number is to give 4k video shooting ability, that’s if they care, other companies did used the benefits of increasing the mp size to use 4k mode, but would apple sacrifice their huge mp for 4k? maybe on iPhone 7

    • BoardDWorld

      What matters is if the can make the jump without affecting the photo quality. Apple’s policy is quality before Pixels. Note quality is not pixels.

    • n0ahcruz3

      Dont forget “super duper 2.x aperture!” And alot will buy their BS lol

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Lolare you kidding? Aperture is not bs you fool. Please read something about how digital photography works before commenting on a topic you have no idea about.

      • n0ahcruz3

        iPhone photography is crap only ones saying its great are blind apple fanboys
        -typed this using my iPhone 6

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Crap? Iphone 6 is rocking a great camera, one of the best mobile cameras. Wven highly popular android lover reviewers gave it a huge praise (mkbhd, pocketnow, tc, techobuffolo..) i have never seen a bad review of the iphone 6 camera so I hage no idea what are you basing all this bashing on..

      • n0ahcruz3

        Oh and im not talking about just how they highlight the aperture all their bs moniker like the OP said “focused pixel” “super duper pixel” etc and all that fancy names. “Retina HD” dafuq same 320 ppi.

      • Umut Bilgiç

        Okay at least it is clear you are a troll now

      • n0ahcruz3

        Apple iphone spec is behind the competition thats a fact. -.-

      • Umut Bilgiç

        It indeed is. But when it comes to mobile, the spec vs spec comparison mihht not decise who outperforms the other since mobile form factor processing has a lot of other factors. This is why iPhones can outperform most of the competition in both synthetic and real time benchmarks. The only thing no one can beat is the tegra k1, but that thing consumes a hell lot of power. Other than that, iphones blow 95% of the competition out of the water.

    • Mohammed Khaled

      Banana pixels :p

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    If that happens I’m DEF selling my 128GB 6 Plus! Main reason I got the 128 version. lol In case next years model had something like that. Of course this is just a rumor so ill wait half a year. lol

  • CS

    A good iPhone 7 feature 🙂

    • AnArcticMonkey

      Try iPhone 10, hopefully we will have waterproof and wireless charging capabilities by then, maybe even 3gb of RAM 😉

  • Christian Mejía

    8 MP is already too many MP in apples eyes.

    • NP92

      Kid:) MP is far away from everything when we talks about cams/video

  • SIMON

    Oh, I probably will not experience that, if the next iPhones will bend like corn waffle …

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    Man I don’t think any other company can compete with Sony pictures in smartphone camera sensor.

    • BoardDWorld

      Nokia..?

  • CreeDiddy

    This makes sense as Apple is speculated to go 64gb, 128gb, and 256gb as far as storage sizes. Let’s hope this 21mp rumor holds true.

  • Ian Leon

    Apple will say “for this version of the iPhone we have made a giant leap in terms of megapixels, megapixels are super important, megapixels are great, wonderful,so COOL!!,amazing,”

  • GaugePrower

    This might just actually be the next step, or a step in this direction at least. There has never been an actual need to increase the megapixel count in the iPhone camera until now, since stepping up to shooting 4k video with the 8mp camera is not an option.

    The iPhone camera since the iPhone 4 at least has always topped the smartphone camera charts at their time of release. I will confidently say that yes, my iPhone 5S takes much better photos than the GS5 camera does, or the Note 4 does. I’m not talking tripods here, I’m talking out in the real world. I whip it out of my pocket point and snap. Never have to worry about motion blur, or focus, or lighting. The other smartphone cameras out there have higher megapixel counts but bullcrap image capture software to back it up, so even if the hardware is better, your pictures still look like crap and you’ve lost the moment…better luck next time.

    I’ve printed 5×7’s of my iPhone images and people have asked me which Canon or Nikon I shot the images with.

    The problem is, that now the GS5 and up shoot 4k video. Apple cant have that. They cant fall behind. So now, they need to up the megapixels enough to shoot 4k and produce great looking, larger sized images, but not too much that the software end of things (on the fly image processing) can’t handle it. Remember, the phone has to take 3 pictures behind the scenes for every picture you take to compensate for motion blur, the phone has to process and stitch together panoramas from video footage, the phone has to put out a great image in low light without noticeable noise. The images have to look every bit as good as they do now from an iPhone 6, but now with a significant increase in resolution. It’s going to be much harder to hide any imperfections at these higher resolutions.

    I’m thinking that 16mp might be spot on, or if Apple really wants to stick it to Samsung, they could get ballsy and go the full 21 if they can manage to still do it better than the Galaxies, but that might take a big time hardware increase when it comes to GPU and RAM.

    We all know that the 6S is going to have to have some kind of camera upgrade, they always do. October will be here before we know it lol.

  • Shane

    “but, but,…, they look the same on facebook” 😉

  • Matt

    Could be — but won’t…

  • Reload Gglax

    Guys stop with the iPhone 7 it’s not even iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Expect this on the iphone 10 lol

  • TheDarkLord

    And that’s why I jumped to the Z3 Compact this year after 5 years with an iPhone. Not enough ingenuity anymore from Cupertino. Sony has it all now especially with their Z3 line-up. 20MP camera, wireless charging, water/dust proof, premium glass design, 3.5 day battery life on a single charge, dual stereo front speakers, micro sd expansion, etc.

  • mark arellano

    So now what one single pic will use 1gb of space in my iphone then we need a new iphone with 128 tbites

  • GMUSIK805 .

    All i know is what ever phone gets this along with a the droid turbo charge tech im all in for an upgrade

  • TJ

    4K video on a phone is a waste. You’d need a 4K display on the phone to take full advantage of playing back the video anyway. When it comes to editing the video on a computer or watching it on a TV most people don’t have a 4K display to really benefit from it. It’s all well and good shouting that you can record 4K video on your phone but what use is it to the average person.

    • TheDarkLord

      4K compressed down to 1080p is far greater than shooting 1080p natively, so hence, uploading a 4K video of family moments will look better on your TV streaming from say YouTube than you shooting the same video with a traditional 1080p device. The resolution and color reproduction is very noticeable. It’s been proven many times over. And of course, when you finally do upgrade to a 4K TV, you will reap the benefits of having those moments shot in UHD.