Apple’s novel Sensor-shift OIS in the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera

Today’s top tier smartphone cameras use a variety of techniques to produce consistently high-quality images under non-ideal conditions. One such technique is optical image stabilization (OIS), where the camera rapidly adjusts its optical path in real time to correct for a shaky hand or bumpy car during long exposures and video capture. In conventional smartphone OIS, the lens barrel is shifted laterally to keep the image static on the image sensor. With the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has taken a different approach, and instead shifts the image sensor itself. Thus the name, ‘Sensor-shift’ OIS. The primary advantage of this is that the image sensor is much lighter than the lens barrel, so shifting the sensor results in more reactive and precise stabilization. Further, lens barrel-based OIS cannot correct for camera “roll” rotation, that is, when the user inadvertently twists the camera around the optical axis while shooting. []
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Further description of the Sensor-shift OIS system, along with the estimated manufacturing process and cost analysis, will be presented in the System Plus Consulting upcoming report on the iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera, stay tuned.

Apple's novel sensor-shift OIS in the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera

About the author

Peter Bonanno, PhD., is a Technology & Cost Analyst, Imaging, at System Plus Consulting, part of Yole Développement.
With strong expertise in the field of imaging, optical sensors and optoelectronics, Peter performs reverse engineering & costing analyses as well as custom projects.
He collaborates closely with the laboratory team, and together they create an analysis plan to reveal the device structures, technologies, and manufacturing steps used by leading imaging & photonics companies.
At the same time, Peter runs a technology watch to identify the latest innovations and related manufacturing processes. His aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of technologies and identify the strategies of the leading manufacturers. His technology watch is supported by his participation in numerous trade shows and conferences.
Peter previously worked at the US Naval Research Laboratory where he developed tools for time-resolved 2-photon photoluminescence and UV defect imaging. He also authored many scientific papers and articles.
Peter holds a Ph.D. in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) and a B.S. in Computer Science and Applied Physics (double major) from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, New Jersey, USA).