KEY POINTS

  • Apple said high amplitude vibrations impacts how the iPhone cameras work
  • Vibrations directly affect iPhone cameras' OIS and closed-loop autofocus features
  • Apple recommends using a vibration dampening mount and reduced tremor exposure to prevent iPhone camera damage

Are you an iPhone user who always rides a motorcycle? You might want to take precautionary measures as the vibrations generated by the engines of motorcycles can have a negative effect on the way iPhone cameras function.

Apple published a support article on Sept. 1 to warn iPhone users that their motorcycle engines can put their devices at risk. The tech giant further noted that high amplitude vibrations may affect devices' photo and video quality.

According to Apple, the prolonged exposure of an iPhone to high amplitude vibrations poses a risk to the device's ability to capture high-quality photos and videos. This is because such vibrations, similar to what motorcycles produce, degrade the performance of features like optical image stabilization (OIS) and closed-loop autofocus, reported XDA Developers.

OIS and closed-loop autofocus are technologies in iPhone that help take blur-free photos even in hard-to-capture moments. OIS helps maintain a high-quality portrait even when a user accidentally moves the device while taking a photo. The OIS sends a signal to the gyroscope when a camera movement is detected during image capture. The iPhone camera lens automatically adjusts based on the gyroscope's angle.

On the other hand, closed-loop autofocus helps the iPhone camera stay still amid the vibration. It automatically measures and adjusts the iPhone camera lens to the most accurate settings. This is made possible by the onboard magnetic sensors that measure the gravity and the effects of vibration.

Apple added that the handlebars and chassis transmit high amplitude vibrations generated by high-power motorcycle engines. Attaching the iPhone to handlebars of such motorcycles then exposes the device to vibrations that leave a notable effect on its cameras, reported The Verge.

Meanwhile, small volume vehicles or electric engines do not create as much damage as the ones that generate high amplitude vibrations. However, Apple still recommends using a vibration dampening mount when attaching an iPhone to small volume vehicles such as scooters.

The tech company then reminded iPhone users that reducing their devices' exposure to the electric engines, even at lower amplitude, can also reduce the risk of their iPhone cameras' OIS and closed-loop autofocus.

iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, all iPhone 7 and later models are prone to the risk as they all use the OIS and closed-loop AF technology, according to MacRumors.

In this file photo taken on September 20, 2019 a woman looks at her mobile phone as she walks past advertising for the new iPhone 11 Pro smartphone at an Apple store in Hong Kong In this file photo taken on September 20, 2019 a woman looks at her mobile phone as she walks past advertising for the new iPhone 11 Pro smartphone at an Apple store in Hong Kong Photo: AFP / Philip FONG