iPhone 5 Camera: Sony Or Lytro?
Steve Jobs played a critical role in evolving smartphone design to include high-quality digital cameras. He had a passion for photography, which is why early on he envisioned the iPhone becoming a serious camera — not just for taking snapshots — but also for taking amazing photos. It is for this reason that, when the story surfaced that Jobs met with the CEO of Lytro just months before his death, it may have been a hint that the iPhone 5 could somehow include Lytro camera technology.
So, what’s Lytro, you ask?
As you know, I’m not a very good geek, so I’ll give you the layman’s perspective on it: it is a camera sensor that takes in a great deal more visual data and light than even the most advanced camera sensors. By doing so, Lytro would empower iPhone users to make even their casual snapshots look like works of art. For example, if you take a picture with Lytro, it can give you the option of toggling focus in both the foreground and background objects.
With this kind of technology, it’s no wonder that analysts have imagined it being included on the iPhone 5. While Apple and Lytro never forged any kind of partnership or licensing agreement, Steve Jobs reportedly picked their brains over the technology, and was incredibly excited about its possibilities.
Now, this story is giving rise to Lytro iPhone 5 rumors. 9to5Mac has a very good article about Jobs’ vision for camera technology, in which they intimate how Lytro could fulfill his vision: “Jobs actively pursued his goal of reinventing photography, asking the CEO of Lytro to outline three specific things that the company would want to work on with Apple.”
In spite of Jobs loving Lytro, however, it is still more likely that the iPhone 5 will debut with the new Sony 8MP camera sensor we wrote about recently. While Lytro offers features not yet seen on even the most advanced smartphones, the iPhone 4S sensor actually has been resolution than what Lytro can offer. Moreover, the new Sony camera sensor has the one thing that the iPhone 5 will need: thinness. Lytro, on the other hand, is still a relatively bulky technology that isn’t at all suited to the ultra-thin trend that the iPhone 5 form factor seems to be moving toward.
With all of this being said, Lytro may be on the horizon. In a couple of years, Lytro could most definitely be refined down to a smaller package, and find itself on the likes of the iPhone 6.
By Michael Nace