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Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Pro to get 3D ToF cameras

The information about the depth-sensing 3D Time of Flight sensors was found in the iOS 14 code. The sensor should help improve the Portrait shots on the iPhone 12 Pro phones.

Sushant Talwar | March 19, 2020 | Updated 11:29 IST
iPhone 12

Highlights

  • iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max could get 3D ToF sensors
  • The sensors will greatly enhance portrait mode photographs clicked using the phone
  • The ToF sensor could also add new AR functionality to the smartphone

We're still quite some time away from the launch of the upcoming iPhone 12 series of phones, yet, rumours and leaks about the device have already started coming thick and fast. And the latest one coming in courtesy of 9to5Mac claims to have revealed some crucial information about the upcoming phone's camera set-up.

The publication claims that the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro will come with Time of Flight (ToF) sensors for more accurate depth sensing, giving the two phones a distinct advantage over other iPhones.

The publication has made this claim after it found mentions of a 3D sensor in the code of iOS 14. Interestingly, this isn't the first time we are hearing of such a sensor for the new iPhone 12 Pro series. In the past, reports have also noted the inclusion of a world-facing' 3D sensor.

If the report ends up being true, it would represent a huge leap for the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, and see them offer improved camera performance and even take the AR game up a notch. The ToF camera will also help the iPhone 12 Pro phones in taking on the threat from competing Android flagships in the market, many of which already come equipped with this particular lens.

The report further goes on to reveal the codenames of these 2020 iPhones. The suggestion is the codename is 'd5x' for the iPhone 12 family, as the iPhone 11 series is mentioned in the same code with the name 'd4x'.

Of the two phones to get the ToF sensor, the iPhone 12 Pro Max will be the more premium one, with the phone also being reported to feature a quad-camera setup which apart from the ToF 3D sensor will also house a wide-angle sensor, a telephoto lens, and an ultra-wide-angle sensor.

The time of flight sensor is expected to come quite handy for the new phones, with the lens allowing the camera to improve its judgment of the relative distances of the subjects it's shooting. This will greatly help in improving the results of the Portrait mode.

However, that's not the only use of the lens. The ToF sensor could also be used by Apple to introduce new AR features. This would also fall in line with previous leaks which have claimed the company is looking at announcing a new AR app and functionality with its upcoming iPhones.

But even if Apple doesn't end up doing so, the ToF lens would at least help the iPhone 12 Pro phones be more competitive in the market as flagships such as the Galaxy S20 series of phones already come equipped with this lens.

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