Each of the three sensors capture a separate color component, and divide a special light-splitting cube that divides the light entering the camera into red, green and blue wavelengths.
According to a recent report from AppleInsider, on Tuesday morning Apple secured the rights to a new patent for a special three sensor camera designed for small mobile devices like the iPhone. The patent, No. 8,988,564 is called “Digital camera with light splitter”. Each of the three sensors would capture a separate color component, and divide a special light-splitting cube that divides the light entering the camera into red, green and blue (or whichever primary color) wavelengths.
This camera creates a much higher resolution and lower noise, because it doesn’t require filters or algorithms to separate the color information on the captured image afterwards, on a pixel-by-pixel basis. This means that the overall image quality would improve remarkably on the mobile cameras, especially in video footage.
However, this is much more expensive than any current technology that we use in our mobiles, even in the current iPhone camera. It would also take up more physical space inside the case due to component parts, and Apple has generally attempted to ensure a very clean and simple design. However, the more accurate colors with the new technology, as well as an improved dynamic range capacity and a much better low-light performance might convince them otherwise, depending on how much Apple can minimize the parts.
This means more accurate colors, an improved dynamic range capacity and a much better low-light performance.
With each successive year Apple has been pushing its camera in the right direction, making each new camera generation of the iPhone more improved. It is, according to Flickr, the most-used camera on the planet. This year it nearly snatched the title of the best smartphone camera, but once again Samsung prevailed, based on their low-light performance. Perhaps the iPhone 6s, or the iPhone 7, will be a different story, though.