iPhone 16 Pro Camera: Less reflections and ghosting?

Apple is testing a new anti-reflective coating for the iPhone 16 Pro's cameras, according to a new report from Korea.
Apple iPhone 16 Pro / Pro Max

According to a rumor from Korea, Apple is testing a new anti-reflective optical coating technology for future iPhone cameras. The technology is intended to improve the quality of photos by reducing artifacts such as lens flare and ghosting, and could debut in the Apple iPhone 16 Pro. The author of the post on the Naver platform cites a company source within Apple’s supply chain.

Accordingly, Apple wants to convert to new ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) devices for the manufacturing process of iPhone camera lenses. ALD processes are used to deposit materials layer by layer onto a substrate at the atomic level. They enable extremely precise manufacturing including control over thickness and composition. A typical use is for semiconductor devices, including camera components.

For camera lenses, manufacturers can use ALD to apply anti-reflective coatings. These can help reduce photographic artifacts such as light streaks and halos in the final image when a bright light source such as the sun shines directly into the lens.

Additionally, ALD can also reduce ghosting, a type of image distortion in which faint, secondary images appear in the photo. These typically occur when exposed to a bright light source. This happens when light reflects back and forth between the surfaces of the lens elements and the camera sensor.

In addition, materials provided with ALD can protect the camera lens system from environmental damage without compromising the sensor’s ability to effectively capture light. According to the Naver post, the manufacturing process is already being applied to an iPhone Pro model. Given the timing, this can only be the iPhone 16 Pro or Pro Max.

Launching in the iPhone 16 Pro or iPhone 17 Pro?

However, there are already rumors that Apple is currently only testing the process for next year’s iPhone 17 Pro models. Both upcoming iPhone 16 Pro models are expected to feature a tetraprism lens with up to 5x optical zoom. Apple is currently installing such a lens exclusively in the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple usually brings its new iPhones onto the market around mid-September.

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