The best iPhone camera yet

Apple's bought camera sensors from Sony before, and this year there's signs that we're going to see a new, 13MP sensor that takes up less room without compromising image quality.

With the arrival of iOS 8 at WWDC, Apple showed off a whole host of fancy new photo editing options and what better way to take full advantage of the new features than with an upgraded camera on the iPhone 6?

But that's not what everybody thinks.

The China Post, quoting a tip from the country's Nomura Security, claims that the new iPhone won't go for a 12 or 16MP sensor, instead sticking to the existing 8MP unit.

With more recent rumors suggesting that Apple has signed up to use a new material that will dramatically improve the quality of light trickling into the phone, a 10MP+ sensor could be possible - but we're more inclined to believe that, as another report recently suggested, Apple will stick with the current resolution.

iPhone 6 camera

Why go for more megapixels if the pictures won't be any better? The notion that Apple will stick with an 8MP sensor might not be so good for marketing, but news states the iPhone 6 will have an f/2.0 aperture and dramatically enhanced image processing, so your snaps will look so good that most won't even care that the numbers are down.

And you shouldn't - 5MP is enough to blow up a photo to A3 size, so when are you going to need more?

Sun Chang Xu, the chief analyst at ESM-China, has also claimed on Weibo that the iPhone 6 will have 1.75 um pixels, compared to the 1.5 um pixels on the iPhone 5S. Bigger pixels let more light in and deliver better quality shots, particularly in low light, but if Apple is increasing the pixel size then that further suggests that the company won't be upping the megapixel count.

On top of that, more impressive tech will also help make your snaps stand out. A patent confirms this, saying Apple's aim is to use "voice coil motor actuators" to move the lens around the optical axis.

All that said, the 13MP rumor has popped up again, this time from G4Games, quoting a source with "a great track record", so the iPhone 6 might be getting a megapixel boost after all.

An Apple patent, uncovered by Apple Insider in May 2013, shows a system where an iPhone can remotely control other illuminating devices - extra flashes. It would work in a similar manner to that seen in professional photography studios.

Interesting stuff, though there are dozens of Apple patents floating around and there's no reason to think this particular one will make it into a finished product.

Say Cheese to the iPhone 6
Will the iPhone 6 be handy for pro photographers? [Image credit: Apple Insider]

More convincingly, Sun Chang Xu reported on Weibo that the iPhone 6 will use Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). That's a software alternative to Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). Both solutions aim to prevent images from coming out blurred, but while OIS uses moving parts to balance the camera, EIS uses software algorithms to compensate.

EIS has been upgraded hugely in the last year to match the prowess of the optical solution - so much so that the likes of LG have dropped OIS to move to this electronic option.

iPhone 6 camera

Whatever camera we get it may not be flush with the back of the handset, as a schematic shared by apple.club.tw shows an iPhone 6 with a protruding camera lens which sticks out either 0.67 or 0.77mm. A recent video of someone hands on with an apparent iPhone 6 echoes this so it could well be the case. This might be necessary in order to make the iPhone 6 extra slim, but it seems like a clunky solution.

iPhone 6 wireless charging, haptic feedback and more

Wireless charging still isn't mainstream. Could Apple help give it a push? CP Tech reports that Apple has filed a patent for efficient wireless charging, but then again Apple has filed patents for pretty much anything imaginable.

The tasty bit of this particular patent is that Apple's tech wouldn't just charge one device, but multiple ones. Here are more details on the iPhone 6 wireless charging patent.

Wireless charging is slowly starting to pick up steam and Apple could give it just the push it needs to really get there, but we're not convinced we'll see the tech in the iPhone 6, as it seems like something that Apple's more likely to wait on until the infrastructure is in place to make it genuinely useful.

A new rumor out of China suggests that the iPhone 6 may have improved haptic feedback, allowing it to deliver different vibrations depending on the needs of an application or based on which part of the screen you touch.

Meanwhile, a further Apple patent seems to imply that future iPhones will be able to adjust volume as you move them away from your ear. Again, there's a big difference between a patent and a finished product and little reason to think it will make it into the iPhone 6, but it's certainly an interesting idea.

We've also caught wind of a reversible Lightning USB cable, which may well debut with the iPhone 6 and can be plugged into a power adapter or computer either way up.