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More engineers work on the iPhone camera than on NASA’s Mars missions

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David Cornish
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"We have top men working on it right now... Top... men."

At least, that's the sentiment given by Apple's senior director of camera hardware Graham Townsend.

Speaking to CBS' 60 Minutes, Townsend revealed that he oversees a team of 800 engineers and other specialists in putting together Apple's iPhone camera.

The tiny camera device featured in the iPhone 6 and 6S features over 200 separate parts, including 40-micron wires measuring "less than half a human hair's width" to help counteract the wobble of a human hand.

Townsend's team is able to simulate any form of natural or artificial light from within their labs, fine-tuning the camera's performance in order to capture images in dim and bright conditions: "Believe it or not, to capture one image, 24 billion operations go on," said Townsend.

With 800 people working on the next iteration of the iPhone camera - already rumoured to sport a 21-megapixel "DSLR-quality" lens and camera sensor - that makes Townsend's engineering team larger than that currently working on NASA's Mars missions, and staggeringly large compared to the team of 30 who worked on the first iPod design.

We'll have to wait until September 2016 before Apple gives any official word on the iPhone 7 - but should you enjoy some tech speculation, head here.

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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