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Vibrations from motorcycle engines can permanently damage cameras: Apple


Exposure to high-power motorcycles which generate tremendous levels of vibrations can have an adverse impact on the iPhone cameras, according to Apple. Here are additional details the company wants to be aware of.

iPhone Cameras With OIS Are Susceptible to These Vibrations

Apple says your iPhone camera lenses equipped with OIS and closed-loop autofocus (AF) features are more prone to damage as they use gyroscopes, or magnetic sensors to help minimize shake when capturing images and video. Apple has also explained what to avoid doing in order to protect the iPhone camera from harm.

“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.”


Apple has also included a list of iPhones that support OIS and closed-loop AF.

  1. OIS is available on iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s Plus, and iPhone 7 and later including iPhone SE (2nd generation). Note that the Ultra Wide camera on iPhone 11 and later doesn’t have OIS, nor does the Telephoto camera on iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.
  2. Closed-loop AF is available on iPhone XS and later, including iPhone SE (2nd generation).

There have been a number of reports pointed out by MacRumors where iPhone owners complained about the damage caused to their iPhone cameras in situations where they were riding mountain bikes.

We are not sure if this particular scenario affects Android smartphones with OIS, but for now, we recommend being a little careful when carrying your iPhone in the aforementioned situation.


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