There are 800 engineers working on the iPhone camera alone

Comments

  • KID ANDROID

    Wow does the writer use an iPhone or what lol, Hello it’s not even in the top 3 cameras on a smartphone now so don’t make it sound like it’s going to he best camera in a smartphone or anything

    • Karl Dagenais

      He didn’t say that. Plus, they were the best in the business until this year, so, yeah…

    • Missa Solemnis

      They still are among the best in the business, this year included. The Fandroid is just that.

    • J.S.Bach

      Hey stupid..

    • birdman_36

      Which are the Top 3, iyo?

    • Missa Solemnis

      Hello, I suggest you Google that up and you’ll find the iPhone consistently ranks as among the top 3 on most tech review sites.
      Hate much on Apple do ya? You sound like another BB Rimtard fanboy.

    • J.S.Bach

      Hey stupid.

    • 6ixup

      Hey stupid.

    • gommer strike

      Because the entire article is based upon something aired from the TV show 60 minutes.

      I mean, did they mention that these cameras use Sony sensors? That’s the real MVP here.

    • Vito R.

      Really? Everybody uses the same sensors but only Apple has been able to consistently produce great images from their product. Everybody else has been catching up and even *out performed* Apple in a lab setting. However, when it comes to pulling out a smartphone and nailing a moment in any type of lighting condition – I’d still rather use an iPhone because it gets it right a lot more often than any other device I’ve used. There’s a lot of effort put into that.

      Now, if I’m outside on a nice sunny day and I have time to set everything up just right, pretty much ALL

    • gommer strike

      The 60 minutes thing could have interviewed really anyone. It could have been Samsung, OnePlus, or anyone else who used Sony camera sensors for that matter.

      But we all know that Apple has never been known to be the “best” at anything. Its key is consistency…the “good enough” which is at a high enough bar. In the Android space you have the extreme “bests” where it comes to all different parts of the smartphone experience. When even someone like MKBHD was indecisive over which is the “best, overall smartphone”…it’s a tough decision(it’s probably the Nexus 6P for the Android space anyways).

      But as they all say – the best camera is the one you have with you. Anything nowadays will do the job. It’s only when you compare them against each other that one outshines the others, but when you don’t? They’re all pretty close. All awesome with great lighting, all terrible in low-light.

    • Vito R.

      Difference being, Apple has placed a priority on image quality for at least the past 6 years and now everyone else is finally catching up. This is a good thing. Now, if Apple wants to restore the competitive advantage they once had then they are going to have to step up their game. The last time I remember them showing off all the effort they put into something was when they showed off the Apple Watch fitness labs – it wouldn’t surprise me if they stepped up their imaging game on the iPhone 7.

    • gommer strike

      We’ll definitely see if they’ll come out with something even better on the iPhone 7. But I think we’re reaching the limits with what can be done with a smartphone camera(if we’re not already there).

      One thing I’m told is the sensor size. Compared to professional-grade cameras…the sensors in today’s smartphones is tiny. Larger the sensor, the more light you can capture, and along with all the factors that go with it(I’m not a photographer)…well we’re never going to see DSLR quality on a smartphone. At least not with the limitations we’re under today.

      Sure you can get away with just using a smartphone for many circumstances and occasions. And I dare say that’s good enough for almost everyone. But soon as your job is take professional photos…time to whip the REAL man’s gear, and put the toys away for when it’s just playtime.

    • Vito R.

      Meh, I find that “real man’s gear” argument silly. Most people that I see hauling around SLRs don’t even know how to use them. I’ve taken fantastic pics with my smartphone. There was even a time not too long ago when the SLR guys said that digital SLR cameras weren’t real cameras – where are all the film guys now?

      All things being equal, you’re obviously never going to get as good a picture from a smartphone vs. an SLR. It’s not just the sensor but also the glass, more glass=more light=better picture. But speaking as someone who has bought and lugged around SLRs – while I love the photo quality, I hate the hassle. I don’t only “get away” with using an smartphone camera, I use it almost exclusively. On top of that, the pics I take with my smartphone are much more likely to get shared with friends and family.

      Anyway, back to smartphone imaging. I think Apple, Sony and Samsung have a strong incentive to improve their imaging as they see it as a differentiating factor. I already think their image processing is better than that of Nikon & Canon. Since there is only so much they can do with the limited glass and sensor size, any smartphone imaging improvements will have come from improved image processing on their SoCs.

    • gommer strike

      I’d be really interested to see if wedding photogs are gonna start using just their smartphones for their jobs, instead of lugging around all this equipment. That would be something to see, but probably won’t happen anytime soon.

      Every time I go on Facebook, I constantly see all these posts from the photogs who link a new article each day like “Why photographers need to charge”, “Why wedding photos cost what they do”…constantly justifying to their Facebook audience their livelihood. They go on list not only all their fixed costs, but also all their variable costs too. Oh I need insurance, I need extra memory cards, I need this, I need that, the list just goes on and on.

      The funny thing is, I’ve yet to see an accountant, lawyer, mechanic, or even IT professional do likewise. Now you might argue “but that’s different if you’re employed by a company” – except that I’m talking the self-employed people. I’ve yet to see a realtor justify her commission.

    • Vito R.

      Difference is that people don’t think they can argue a case in court or sell a house – but because they like to Instagram they think anybody can take good wedding photos. There is value is what they do, you might not agree with their price – but I think they will do a much better job than cousin Steve. Problem is, they’ve been overcharging for a long time and now with digital people aren’t willing to pay extortion level prices for prints.

      Google “Here’s what your newspaper looks like when you fire your photographers” to see the difference in quality between a guy with his iPhone and professional photographers.

    • gommer strike

      I remember the video that shows a movie looks like when you have no special effects people. I also recall a video which was meant to show what a TV show would look like if you used just Joes off the street instead of professional actors. I get the picture.

      Mentioning the guy with his iPhone vs pro photographers, I’m sure there’s a world of difference if you took just the pro photog but gave him nothing but an iPhone to use.

  • birdman_36

    800 engineers yet it still took a few years to break over the 8 MP mark. Wow.

    • It’s Me

      because we all know, ‘mo MP ‘mo betta

    • birdman_36

      We also know that Apple releases its best tech in increments for marketing purposes.

    • It’s Me

      okie dokie

    • Brad Fortin

      Clearly if we could fit 500 megapixels onto a 1/3.2-inch sensor the results would be better than any other camera ever, no questions asked.

    • kaostheory

      Exactly and bet Apple will increase MP next year again. The reason Apple stays low on mp is because higher mp will cause lag.

    • Vito R.

      That and because they generally don’t do more than they have to.

    • kaostheory

      Why wouldn’t they want to be better? Maybe they can keep selling phones that compared to Android flagships barely compete (not talking about os, just hardware). As I said they will increase MP when their cpus and storage can handle it. The finest detail is still the 808 with the highest MP count.

    • Vito R.

      Nobody’s competing with the Nokia 808 – not because they can’t but because they don’t want to. The sacrifices that needed to be made to get that imaging system onto that phone are ridiculous and make for a product people don’t want to buy.

      Of course Apple hardware gets better – but this generally happens incrementally, on their schedule. I think they have a already planned out all the upgrades for the next couple generations of iPhones. And you’re right, the hardware and software teams at Apple work hand-in-hand to ensure any increase in camera megapixels doesn’t drag down the camera processing ability and thus the overall responsiveness of the device – but I think they still have a lot of unused overhead in their imaging capabilities.

      While Apple’s hardware isn’t “spec sheet” competitive (smaller batteries, less RAM, slower/less CPUs, less pixels, etc) it’s pretty impressive that it still manages to outperform it’s Android contemporaries.

    • kaostheory

      Not sure if you understand what outperform means. Except for the cpu/gpu (and still not in all instances) the iPhone isn’t first in any category.

    • Vito R.

      Do you understand how do you measure performance of a smartphone? How do they barely compete when their phones are generally faster?

    • kaostheory

      Now you don’t understand os vs hardware. I’ll repeat, their hardware (that’s the actual phone) is behind on every aspect except (as I mentioned above) cpu/gpu (although it doesn’t outperform in every instance) I measure the performance of a phone on the complete package… screen (ppi, nits, color and contrast) speakers and headphone output, camera, etc. If all that matters to you is cpu and nothing else, why not just buy a desktop cpu and put it in your pocket.

    • Vito R.

      I don’t know what you’re trying to say. In practice, the iPhone feels faster to use and doesn’t close apps as often as Samsung flagships. I don’t care if they use 512MB of RAM if it performs as well or better than competing devices.

    • Elton Bello

      Hahahaha

  • Gilbert P.

    I thought Sony made the iPhone’s camera..

    • deltatux

      No, Sony only makes the sensor.

  • neo905

    So how many Samsung engineers worked on the S6 camera? Does anyone care? If it took 400 engineers to produce arguably a better camera than the 6S, is that more or less impressive?

    How many Apple engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb…nevermind…useless fluff article..

    • Mr Clown

      None, they just explain that the light burning out is a feature.

    • Vito R.

      I don’t think that as a whole, the photo taking experience on a Galaxy is better than an iPhone. My three biggest complaints are: perceived delay between taking picture and viewing results, the changing display brightness between taking a pic and viewing it (why do they do this??) and the delay in viewing the full resolution photo (starts off lower res).

      Apple’s advantage is that they design their own SoC which does all the heavy lifting when it comes to image processing.

    • neo905

      Leave it to Vito to defend Apple at all costs when I specifically said arguably better not definitely better. No need to argue the particulars. It’s not necessary.

    • Vito R.

      I’m just balancing out some of the ignorance in this thread. I don’t need to “defend” Apple from uneducated fanboys – just explaining the difference for those who think more megapixels=better picture.

    • neo905

      You calling someone else a fanboy is pretty rich. You seem to like arguing with yourself because I said nothing about pixels nor did I even want to argue. Just go ahead and continue yammering on and on.

    • Vito R.

      I wasn’t talking about you.

    • neo905

      Then why are you still talking to me then LOL. You are just making my point. Just let it go. Pretty much every camera on a flagship has been good this year, except HTC, whatever advantage Apple had isn’t there anymore. OEM’S finally realized shite cameras won’t cut it anymore.

    • Vito R.

      You’re the one still talking – you suggested I was an Apple fanboy just because I disagree with the Android mob.

      It’s funny considering I buy more Android phones than probably anybody here – I even returned the iPhone 6S because I didn’t think there was value in upgrading (at that price).

      Also, and this might surprise you – I don’t really like using my iPhone – I only use it because my car has Siri built in for hands free and because I need it for my watch. I much prefer to use my Nexus 5x. However, anyone who suggests the 5x photo taking abilities is “better” than an iPhone just because its sensor is ranked higher hasn’t used both and doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

      But I can agree that all flagship (except HTC) now have excellent camera – but they all have room for improvement.

  • J.S.Bach

    I think this article is really just pointing out that Apple has become a bloated behemoth with so many engineers that nobody can make a decision without negotiating 799 other members of the team. Any logical person would realize that this is a bad sign.

    • Missa Solemnis

      LOL! Really? And just look at your precious Blackberry and all the engineers they’ve canned and what its done to product quality, design and overall appeal.
      You’re really a clown you know that.

    • J.S.Bach

      Hey stupid

    • 6ixup

      Hey stupid..

  • fruvous

    800 engineers. Probably most are in sweatshops with barred windows and paid peanuts.

  • Jason

    I remember hearing somewhere that double the employees doesn’t mean double the efficiency

    • Bingo – that kind of logic is lost on the fanboys of the world though (from all camps)

    • Vito R.

      Nobody suggested it was more efficient – just that image quality is a priority for Apple and always has been. The Android OEMs haven’t taken imaging seriously until recently. Up until recently most Android users I spoke to suggested they didn’t care about image quality from their smartphone – I’m happy to see that they do now. I would love for this to become a new front in the smartphone wars – maybe in a few years we’ll all have 21mp sensors that see in the dark with image quality rivalling DSLRs 🙂

  • I think MobSyp should put “Sponsored” tags on ads that are made to look like articles. This is pure fluff and one of the worst articles I’ve seen grace this sites. I think copying Apple’s press release would have been better.

    • neo905

      At least Android Police started doing this for more transparency.

  • rjmlive

    I’d be curious to know how many people have worked on the Lumia cameras considering they are fairly consistently rated better overall, despite not being in popular devices. 800 engineers seems like a bit of office/outsourcing architecture overkill. If this includes software however, seems more likely I suppose.

    • FlamesFan89

      Yeah, if I had to guess, that 800 figure is being inflated by including anyone who is working on anything that accesses the camera in any aspect. Like, some guy working on the software involved in changing the wallpaper, and it gives you access to the gallery, to choose a photo, and that photo was taken by the camera, that counts. Otherwise, that is horribly inefficient use of talent to have 800 people working on the camera.

      I would also guess that they are using the term “engineer” loosely. As a Professional Engineer myself, it is a major pet peeve of mine how the term engineer gets tossed around like it is meaningless. I’m sure that anyone with an iron ring on their pinky finger would feel the same as me on that one. Writing some software code doesn’t make you an engineer. Performing some endurance testing doesn’t make you an engineer.

    • rjmlive

      Well not that I am engineer in any sense, but I would consider software engineers included in this space. The marriage of hardware and software make a complete product. Arguably so does marketing and sales and supply chain etc.. but direct manufacture and innovation in a product I would have to say includes software engineers that write code. Getting light translated to 0’s and 1’s is relevant.

    • FlamesFan89

      Just to back things up here a bit, I’m not suggesting that a software engineer isn’t an engineer. I’m saying that just being someone who writes code isn’t, by default, considered an engineer.

      A smartphone is a phone, but not all phones are smartphones. Make sense?

      Again, I’m not trying to insult, or belittle software engineers, I’m simply pointing out that just learning how to code, then doing that, doesn’t make you an engineer.

    • It’s Me

      Pretty much entirely agree. Engineering as a profession has completely lost control of the designation. Lawyers, accountants, dentists all mean the professional designation without a qualification needed. But anyone can call themselves an engineer for absolutely any role (custodial engineer, MSCE, tech support engineer, etc).

      Guess you have to rely on the “professional” qualification the ways MDs have to rely on their medical qualification.

    • FlamesFan89

      PEO in Ontario is fighting hard (at least they talk a big talk) about trying to fight the unqualified use of the word “engineer”. Legally speaking, it IS actually a protected word, and you aren’t allowed to offer services under the title “engineer” without a professional engineering licence, however, it is just not cost feasible to go after every “custodial engineer” out there. They do however bring the hammer when it comes to someone offering traditional engineering services, such as structural or civil engineering, without a licence.

    • It’s Me

      Didn’t they lose some case when the went after MSCE’s back in the 90s?

    • FlamesFan89

      I’m not sure. I assume you are referring to MSCE as “Microsoft Certified Engineer”?

      The P.Eng Act states the following:

      (2) Every person who is not a holder of a licence or a temporary licence and who,

      (a) uses the title “professional engineer” or “ingénieur” or an abbreviation or variation thereof as an occupational or business designation;

      (a.1) uses the title “engineer” or an abbreviation of that title in a manner that will lead to the belief that the person may engage in the practice of professional engineering;

      (b) uses a term, title or description that will lead to the belief that the person may engage in the practice of professional engineering; or

      (c) uses a seal that will lead to the belief that the person is a professional engineer,

      is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable for the first offence to a fine of not more than $10,000 and for each subsequent offence to a fine of not more than $25,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.28, s. 40 (2); 2001, c. 9, Sched. B, s. 11 (59).

      So it’s clear that you can’t use the term, IF, it could be mistaken that you are eligible to perform the duties of a professional engineer, which I’m sure, how things like custodial engineer slip through, but to me, software engineer is one that sits in a grey area. There are software engineers who have an engineering degree from an accredited school, have have done their internship, and have a P.Eng. licence. But there are also “software engineers” who are just guys (or gals) who know how to code. There is a big difference.

    • It’s Me

      Yup, big difference. Shortly after I finished my CS degree from UW, they introduced a software engineering program that was part of their peng program, with the rational being that they had one of the top CS programs and one of the top engineering programs in Canada so a combination would be even better. Not sure if they still offer it.

      And at work, my internal title is software engineer but externally it never says engineer, just senior or primary software developer. I’ve never liked anyone using the term engineer for anything but peng but I’ve got a lot of engineers in the family so that probably influenced my point of view.

    • FlamesFan89

      Yeah, my Dad is a mechanical engineer, so I grew up with it as well. I learned early that there is a responsibility that comes with the term, beyond just doing your job. I think the fact there is an entire Act in place surrounding the profession, the qualifications, responsibilities, etc speaks volumes.

      Engineers, and engineering firms are complicit in the devaluation of the term though too. I haven’t scoured the Act, but if not in writing, there is an understanding within the profession, that if you aren’t engaged in actual engineering work, that you refrain from use of the term. And both my Dad, as well as mentors I have had, have spoken about how engineers used to be as highly paid as doctors and the like, and how it was a revered title, but now there are plenty of engineering firms out there, doing municipal infrastructure work, and things like that, and they undercut rates, and it’s basically a race to the bottom. They have guys chained to AutoCAD stations, and just pump out cookie cutter designs, and call it engineering, then make money from change orders and loopholes in contracts. It devalues the entire profession.

    • Domino67

      Perhaps they should be called software technicians?

    • Mr_Smoosh

      They did lose that case as I recall, or chose not to pursue, MS has deep pockets and all.

  • FlamesFan89

    800 “engineers” working on the camera, and they don’t even design or make their own sensors. Sounds inefficient to me.

    • Vito R.

      I think the time it takes my wife to get ready to go out seems inefficient – but I can’t argue with the results.

    • FlamesFan89

      I hope, for your sake, she doesn’t look like an Apple Watch.

    • Domino67

      Maybe she has big “bezels” humina humina 🙂

    • FlamesFan89

      You sir, just won the internet! Ha ha ha

    • Vito R.

      She definitely doesn’t look like a Pebble thank goodness.

    • thereasoner

      Sounds like a propaganda sound bite to me.

  • danakin

    If nothing else, it would make for an interesting department org-chart!

  • Elton Bello

    Thats why we pay 1500$ for an iphone

  • Mo Dabbas

    I didn’t know apple classifies those Chinese kid workers at foxconn as engineers. huh, good to know.

  • TheShinraCorp .

    Apparently it takes 800 people to work on a camera… does it take another 800 to work on a processor and another 800 to work on a case? 😛