Apple is currently working on its in-house ISP (Image Signal Processor) to improve its imaging and video capabilities even further. This in-house designed camera component is expected to enter mass production in the second half of 2026. And again, Apple will fabricate these self-designed chips from TSMC.
But what is the role of the ISP in the first place? ISP is a specialized chip that is responsible for processing the raw image data captured by the camera sensor in a smartphone. This chip performs a variety of tasks, including demosaicing, noise reduction, maintaining the white balance and exposure, image sharpening, and more.
If it feels a bit technical, in general words, the image signal processor in your phone helps improve the image quality in low-light conditions, maintain the lights and shadows, help keep your subject in focus, and also enhance video recording.
The implications of the switch to Apple’s in-house ISP for future iPhone cameras
In terms of video, Apple has already managed to tune Sony’s ISP to manage things like exposure shifts better than most Android manufacturers. But honestly, the imaging capabilities of an iPhone don’t always tell the same story.
There will always be an Android device that takes the lead in a particular category when compared to the latest iPhone. For example, consider the dynamic range of Google’s Pixel devices’ cameras or the low-light imaging performance of some Huawei devices.
In any case, things finally may take a turn for the iPhone’s imaging capabilities. iPhones are great when you want a mostly perfect and all-rounder camera system. And, with Apple’s self-designed ISP, iPhones might even take the crown of being best, in those niche scenarios like the ‘best camera for low light’ or the ‘best dynamic range ever on a phone’ and so on.
Tipster Revegnus on X reported about Apple’s under-the-hood efforts on its camera system and, if done right, the future iPhones might bring a change in some words inside the ‘best camera’ category.
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