Apple’s mobile phones have tremendously good cameras, so it is no wonder that iPhone users are constantly snapping away at anything that looks interesting. But for some, simple still-life images aren’t enough.
People have gone to extreme lengths, whether it is getting the perfect shot or getting more thumbs-up on Instagram. With some deadly consequences. But while less severe, there are certain things that you shouldn’t do with your iPhone.
Depending on the shot you want to get, it can be dangerous to hold onto your device while inside or on top of a moving vehicle. But Apple has now issued a warning that the vibrations from certain vehicles can damage the camera inside iPhones.
Here’s the backstory
iPhone cameras use sophisticated sensors, closed-loop autofocus (AF), and optical image stabilization (OIS). These all help to keep your footage in focus and free of shaking. But the technology is only good up to a point. If shaking gets too much, the actual camera unit or lens can start to shift.
This is obviously not good, and the “intense high-amplitude vibrations” from motorcycles can cause these fragile systems to malfunction. iPhones are most at risk when mounted to the front of motorcycles or attached to handlebars.
After prolonged use in those conditions, it could permanently damage the camera or the image stabilizing capabilities.
The company has specifically singled out “high-power or high-volume motorcycle engines,” as the vibrations are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. This is different from four-wheeled cars, as their design isn’t as rigid. Here’s Apple’s statement on the issue:
“High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines generate intense high-amplitude vibrations, which are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate.
‘Attaching your iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds and scooters, may lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but if you do so a vibration dampening mount is recommended to lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone and its OIS and AF systems. It is also recommended to avoid regular use for prolonged periods to further lessen the risk of damage.”
What you can do about it
Caution should always be taken when capturing footage from a moving vehicle. And if the iPhone must be mounted to the motorcycle, Apple suggests that you use a vibration dampening mount.
But capturing amazing video from a motorcycle isn’t the only thing that iPhones can be used for. Many use the built-in navigation capabilities to get around town. To see the iPhone clearly while following directions, the phone would need to be visible.
If that is the case, we recommend that you use the TomTom Rider 550 Motorcycle GPS. It is specifically built for motorcycles. It’s also weatherproof and features a 4.3-inch touchscreen.
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