Apple says that motorcycle vibrations can degrade the iPhone’s camera performance

According to a new post on Apple’s Support forum, exposing iPhones to high-amplitude vibrations, “specifically those generated by high-power motorcycle engines,” could degrade the camera system. The company advises against mounting an iPhone on a motorcycle because vibrations from the bike’s handlebars and chassis may be transmitted.

Apple’s technical explanation is as follows:

If you accidentally move a camera when you take a picture, the resulting image can be blurry. To prevent this, some iPhone models have optical image stabilization (OIS).1 OIS lets you take sharp photos even if you accidentally move the camera. With OIS, a gyroscope senses that the camera moved. To reduce image motion, and the resulting blur, the lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope.

Additionally, some iPhone models have closed-loop autofocus (AF).2 Closed-loop AF resists the effects of gravity and vibration to preserve sharp focus in stills, videos, and panoramas. With closed-loop AF, on-board magnetic sensors measure gravity and vibration effects and determine the lens position so that the compensating motion can be set accurately.

The OIS and closed-loop AF systems in iPhone 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.


Both optical image stabilization and closed-loop autofocus are available on the iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and all iPhones since the iPhone 7. (as noted by MacRumors, the first outlet to spot the Apple support post). Apple warned earlier this year that both features are vulnerable to magnetic interference from some iPhone accessories, but removing the accessories should resolve the issue.

In the new post, Apple also recommends using a vibration-dampening mount if you plan to mount your iPhone to a scooter or a moped to reduce the risk to the phone and its camera system. It’s also a good idea to avoid using an iPhone mounted to a vehicle that produces lower-amplitude vibrations on a regular basis.

Janidu Teshan
Author: Janidu Teshan


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