Put a lens on it: Future iPhones, iPads could include DSLR-like mount for accessories

new apple patent hits at dslr style mounting system for lenses on iphones ipads iphone bayonet 2

Just recently, we reported on an Apple patent sketching a dual-camera technology that would ultimately allow for slimmer mobile devices. Now, a new patent suggests that bayonet-mounted accessory lenses could be headed to future generations of iPhones and iPads. Accessory lenses for iPhones and iPads have been around for a while, and, so far, they were either clipped on to the devices or attached magnetically. In the future, however, Apple’s mobile devices could come with a bayonet mount similar to what you find in interchangeable lens cameras, such as DSLRs.

apple-iphone-bayonet-1While clip-on and magnetically attached lenses are easier to produce, the bayonet mount solution has a number of advantages. For one, the bayonet will make sure that the lens always sits at the correct position. The current designs for attached lenses can easily get misaligned, which can have a negative impact on image quality. Also, clip-on lenses and magnetically attached lenses can easily get lost, as they are not attached as tightly to the camera as is a bayonet-mounted lens. A further benefit of the bayonet mount is that it can support even larger and heavier lenses, opening further possibilities for accessory lenses.

Olloclip clip-on lens attachment

The U.S. Patent No. 8,687,299 dates from April 1, 2014, but despite the date hinting at an April Fools’ joke, it seems to be legit. It also makes a lot of sense that Apple would introduce a proprietary system to attach accessory lenses to its mobile devices, seeing how popular they have become with the introduction of truly powerful cameras in the iPhone and iPad. Also, introducing a proprietary mount means that Apple can make money off third-party manufacturers by licensing the technology, and eventually the company could introduce their own accessory lenses in time.

As always, take this with a grain of salt, as the filing of a patent only means that a technology is being researched, but not necessarily that it is going to be realized. At this time, there’s no way of telling whether such a bayonet mount for accessory lenses will ever make it to future iPhone and iPad generations, but the ability is there. Camera companies have always touted their interchangeable lenses as a strength over smartphones, but this patent could some day put an end to that argument.

(Via Apple Insider via Übergizmo)


Get up close and personal with this telephoto lens for your phone

Moment is replacing its aging 60mm telephoto lens with a new 58mm tele lens, redesigned from the ground up for the latest iPhone, Pixel, and Galaxy phones. Mount it onto the phone via a case and get closer with 2x optical zoom.

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 

Sony could be working on a screen-equipped PlayStation controller

A patent recently granted to Sony seems to point to the company creating a controller with a touchscreen. The patent was filed in 2017 and granted in October 2018, which could mean it is planned for the next PlayStation.

Need to combine a PDF? Here's how to get it done on both Windows and Mac

Sometimes juggling multiple files at once is more of a hassle than a convenience, especially when a single file would do. This quick guide will teach you how to combine PDF files on Windows, MacOS, or with online tools.
Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

Golf ball-sized Lume Cube Air is a pocketable LED for photos and video

Off-camera lighting for smartphones and GoPros just got even smaller. Meet the Lume Cube Air, a smaller portable LED light designed for photos and videos that weighs only about two ounces.

Taking shots in the dark with Night Sight, the Pixel’s newest photo feature

The Google Pixel range has always been the home of some of the mobile world's best phone cameras. That performance is now getting even better with the introduction of the low-light Night Sight mode.

Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 now has a dedicated tab for portraits that automatically recognizes faces to help with retouching. The update also brings a new focus stacking tool, enhancements to layers, and improvements to local adjustments.

Alpha Female: Sony awards five women grants to support artisan diversity

Women can face several challenges in launching a photography career -- Sony's latest initiative aims to help propel women in the industry forward. Sony recently announced the winners of the Alpha Female program.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Product Review

Fewer pixels, better camera? The Nikon Z6 shows the beauty of restraint

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Product Review

With outstanding image quality, the ‘basic’ Sony A7 III excels in every way

Replacing the four-year-old A7 II as the new entry-level model in Sony's full-frame line, the A7 III is an impressively capable camera that gives more expensive models a run for their money.