Apple acquires LinX, but don't expect DSLR image quality from any iPhone ever.

The WSJ reports that Apple has acquired the Israeli-based camera technology company LinX for a claimed $20 Million:

Last year, the company said its tiny camera modules allow for better-quality pictures in low light and faster exposure at standard indoor conditions. It said the technology offers single-lens-reflex (SLR) camera image quality without the need for a bulky device.

Continue reading “Apple Buys Israeli Camera-Technology Company LinX” at The WSJ

Emphasis mine. The smaller a camera is, the smaller its sensor is likely to be, and the less likely we are to have anything resembling SLR/DSLR image quality. Thus I continually get cheesed off when the terms “smartphone” and “DSLR image quality” are used in the same sentence, given that  squaring the former with the latter isn't physically or optically possible. Opened in Photoshop, or heck even Instagram, a picture taken with the iPhone 6 displays zero of the quality of a picture taken with a DSLR, they aren't close and won't ever be close (it's not as if bigger sensors are immune to the advances of technology).

Instead, what's actually meant by “DSLR image quality” is the illusion of DSLR image quality, usually as it pertains to the blurred backgrounds achieved by lenses with very large apertures. Such effects are easily procured with big sensors and expensive lenses with multiple glass elements, not so much by tiny camera modules confined by ever thinner smartphone chassis. The solution then: combine two or more shots that at minimum include an in-focus foreground and out-of-focus background (and ideally several transitional shots between the two), then via software, mask the two together. The result mimics the look of shooting wide open with a DSLR, minus the subtle focus falloff and bokeh qualities. It may be DSLR-like, and honestly I'm fine with any attempt at an approximation that the Camera.app wants to spit out, but it isn't actually DSLR image quality (which obviously entails more than just an out-of-focus background), and never will be.