Apple has an advisory for motorcyclists: Doing this may damage your iPhone camera

By: |
September 12, 2021 6:37 PM

Apple has laid out a detailed explanation about the issue.

Apple stated that to prevent the images from getting blurry when the user accidentally moves while clicking the pictures, some models of the iPhones have been equipped with optical image stabilisation or the OIS.

Apple iPhone: In a post on the Apple Support Forum on Friday, Cupertino has said that exposure of iPhones to high-amplitude vibrations, in particular to those that high-power motorcycle engines generate, can lead to degradation of the mobile camera performance. The tech giant has therefore advised against mounting the iPhone on a motorcycle since it could lead to high-amplitude vibrations to be transferred to the phone via the handlebars and chassis of the motorcycle. Apple has laid out a detailed explanation about the issue in the blog post.

Apple stated that to prevent the images from getting blurry when the user accidentally moves while clicking the pictures, some models of the iPhones have been equipped with optical image stabilisation or the OIS. “OIS lets you take sharp photos even if you accidentally move the camera. With OIS, a gyroscope senses that the camera moved. To reduce image motion, and the resulting blur, the lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope,” Cupertino said.

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Moreover, some models also have closed-loop autofocus (AF) systems that resist the effects that gravity and vibration have so that images can have a sharp focus in stills, panoramas as well as videos. “With closed-loop AF, on-board magnetic sensors measure gravity and vibration effects and determine the lens position so that the compensating motion can be set accurately,” Apple stated in the post.

Apple has said that while the OIS and closed-loop AF systems in the iPhone have been made to be durable, just like many other consumer electronics having systems like OIS, the performance of such systems can be degraded if they have long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations at a certain frequency. This can, in turn, lead to reduced quality of images and videos, Cupertino added, recommending that such exposure for extended periods be avoided.

“High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines generate intense high-amplitude vibrations, which are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate,” the iPhone maker said. It further stated that if the iPhone is attached to vehicles that have small-volume or electric engines – scooters and mopeds – then that can lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations. However, the company recommended using “a vibration dampening mount” while attaching the phone so that the risk can be lessened, but still advised against such regular attachment for prolonged periods.

As far as the OIS is concerned, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and later models, including iPhone SE (2nd generation) have this technology. On the other hand, the Ultra Wide camera on iPhone 11 and later doesn’t have OIS, nor does the Telephoto camera on iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus, Apple stated.
Meanwhile, iPhone XS and later models, including iPhone SE 2020 have the closed-loop AF.

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