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iPhone 13 lineup may be getting this massive camera upgrade from the iPhone 12 Pro Max

iPhone 12 Pro Max rear camera array
(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

While the iPhone 12 is considered the best smartphone for most people, there is no denying that the iPhone 12 Pro Max has some important advantages over all of its smaller and less expensive siblings. 

But if a new report from Digitimes is accurate, it will be giving up one of those key advantages next year as the iPhone 13 could bring sensor-shift optical image stabilization to the entire lineup (via UberGizmo).

Many flagship smartphones have adopted optical image stabilization (OIS) in recent years, which essentially counteracts camera shake by stabilizing the camera lens or lenses. This is achieved with gyroscopes and motors applying subtle movements to the floating lens itself.

Sensor-shift optical image stabilization is much rarer, this involves essentially the same principle applied to the camera sensor itself. In the traditional camera world this is also known as in-body image stabilization (IBIS). 

One of the key advantages offered by sensor-shift over simple optical image stabilization is improved handling of more complex movements like vibration or rotation of the camera versus simple vertical and horizontal movements. Given the small-and-light nature of smartphones and their less ergonomic nature when it comes to snapping photos, this is a tremendous advantage.

Considering this feature just hit the iPhone 12 Pro Max last year, it would be impressive if Apple managed to bring it to the full lineup in 2021. It seems like the kind of feature they would reserve for the Pro models to maintain feature separation, but perhaps that signals at how much more Apple has in store for the iPhone 13 Pro cameras.

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.