Apple iPhone cameras at risk of damage if exposed to high amplitude vibrations

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Apple has issued a warning to iPhone users that powerful vibrations, such as those generated by high-powered motorcycle engines, could harm their devices’ cameras.

The warning, which was published on the consumer electronics manufacturers’ support page, stated that exposing an iPhone to high amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges can degrade the performance of the camera system.

The advanced camera systems included in some iPhone models include optical image stabilization (OIS) and closed-loop autofocus technology (AF) to help users capture clear images, even in difficult conditions. These systems work to automatically counteract movement, vibrations, and the effects of gravity.

In its warning, Apple states, “The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhones are designed for durability. However, as is the case with many consumer electronics that include systems like OIS, long-term direct exposure to high-amplitude vibrations within certain frequency ranges may degrade the performance of these systems and lead to reduced image quality for photos and videos. It is recommended to avoid exposing your iPhone to extended high-amplitude vibrations.”

According to Apple, OIS is available on iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7, and later including iPhone SE (2nd generation). Meanwhile, closed-loop AF is available on iPhone XS and later, including iPhone SE (2nd generation).

Apple recommends that users refrain from attaching their iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate. For attaching the iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds, Apple suggests using a vibration dampening mount to lessen the risk of damage to the camera.