Optical image stabilization systems use moving image sensors or lens elements to counteract camera shake and can make a real difference when shooting at slow shutter speeds. The problem is that they require space which makes them less suitable for very small cameras like the ones used in smartphones and other mobile devices. We've seen a few smartphones with optical image stabilization, for example the LG G2/G3 and some models in the Nokia/Microsoft Lumia range, but the thinnest and sleekest devices usually have to make do without an anti-shake system.

The iPhone 6 Plus phablet is the first Apple smartphone to feature optical image stabilization but the smaller and thinner iPhone 6 is limited to less efficient digital stabilization. Now it seems Apple is looking for ways to fit optical image stabilization even into the thinnest smartphones. The guys at AppleInsider have discovered a patent that was filed by Apple and details a way of making optical image stabilization systems more compact by using mirrors and a "folded optics arrangement". The filing is entitled "Mirror Tilt Actuation" and describes a solution that uses an image sensor, a zoom lens, movable lens elements and a mirror assembly.

Captured light would pass through a first lens, then hit the mirror and be redirected at a 90 degree angle towards another array of movable lens elements. The system uses a magnet-powered actuator for titling the mirror and compensating for camera shake caused by the photographer. For more detail you can have a look at the full document here.

Via: AppleInsider