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Apple claims bike mounting can damage your iPhone camera: here’s why

A new post from the Apple Support Forum suggests that the strong vibrations emitted while riding a motorcycle could be harmful to the iPhone’s camera module. The smartphone manufacturer advises against mounting the phone on a motorcycle to avoid this.

Apple further explains that it is to protect two technologies used in iPhone cameras, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) and Closed Loop Auto Focus.

“If you accidentally move a camera when taking a photo, the resulting image may be blurry. To avoid this, some iPhone models have optical image stabilization (OIS). OIS allows you to take sharp photos even if you accidentally move the camera. With OIS, a gyroscope detects that the camera has moved. To reduce image movement and the resulting blur, the lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope, ”explains the support page.

“In addition, some iPhone models have closed-loop autofocus (AF). Closed-loop AF resists the effects of gravity and vibration to maintain sharp focus in photos, videos and panoramas. With closed-loop AF, on-board magnetic sensors measure the effects of gravity and vibration and determine the position of the lens so that the compensating motion can be fine-tuned.

Why are vibrations harmful to the camera?

Apple explains that “iPhone’s OIS and Closed Loop AF systems are built to last. However, as is the case with many consumer electronics devices that include systems such as OIS, long-term direct exposure to high amplitude vibration in certain frequency ranges can degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos.

The two features also don’t go with magnetic accessories, which may interfere and temporarily disable the sensors. The effects of vibration can be minimized by using an anti-vibration mount for your phone, but for long-term safety, it is best not to mount your iPhone on your motorcycle at all.

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