Deep trench isolation. Retina flash. 4K video. These aren’t just fancy terms used by Apple to market its new cameras — though, they are that, too. At this point, these are expectations. With smartphone makers offering increasingly advanced cameras to consumers, it’s almost easy to forget that when Apple first launched the iPhone eight years ago, the original smartphone’s two-megapixel camera was basically … functional. The oft-repeated cliché that the best camera is the one in your pocket wasn’t true yet, because in many ways, the best cameras were still the ones we slung around our necks.
Given Apple’s dominance in this space, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the cameras in the new iPhone 6s models are as much about Apple’s internal philosophy as they are about technical prowess and manufacturing partners. In other words: Apple’s smartphone cameras are not technically unachievable.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.