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  • Apple Releases iPhone 4 Camera Images


    The inclusion of a 5 megapixel camera on the new iPhone 4 remedies a long-lamented shortcoming: Apple's phone cams have far underperformed the competitors in its class. If the first batch of images off the device are any indication, Cupertino has more than made up for lost time. Apple posted what it claims are unretouched photos on its website, and the quality is, frankly, stunning.

    The iPhone's rear-facing camera is reportedly manufactured by Korea's LG Innotek, and - as Steve Jobs said from the stage at Moscone Center yesterday - they didn't just cram more pixels onto the same sized chip, but instead made the whole chip bigger. As a result, the camera achieves a pixel pitch (space between sensing elements) of 1.75 microns, which brings it to about the level of a decent point and shoot camera. A higher pixel pitch gives better signal-to-noise ratio, dynamic range, and low-light performance. So while the iPhone 4's cam is not about to replace your DSLR, it might be good enough to take the place of a pocket camera.

    Some evidence in this regard is in the photos Apple is showing off on its website. These are obviously pictures that were specifically chosen to show the camera's imaging qualities under ideal conditions, so what you mostly have are shots taken in broad daylight with good contrast. Even given those caveats, however, the camera performs very well. Apple is saying that the photos on its website are unedited images straight from an iPhone 4, and Gizmodo (who as you may recall has no reason to love Apple) has taken a look at the EXIF metadata. The one photo they analyzed appears to have been taken in full-automatic mode, and is slightly over-saturated and over-exposed, which Giz notes is similar to the way Nikon cameras process their images.

    However, the mystery remains of how these cameras will perform in darker conditions. The low-light images on Apple's website are not specifically noted as being unretouched, and you would think they'd make a big deal out of them if they were. The back camera has (finally!) a built-in flash and backside illumination for better low-light imaging. The back-illuminated structure of the sensor means that incoming light doesn't have to pass through circuitry before reaching the light-sensitive components. The sensors used on the current iPhone, for example, have wires and components in from of the collection layer, which blocks some photos from getting through, making a darker and noisier image. So backside illumination - on paper at least - should make iPhone 4 images brighter and cleaner.

    We're just going to have to wait and see how the camera does in the dark. Even so, the quality of the images under optimal conditions means that at least some of your camera pics - and videos - will be comparable to those taken by dedicated point-and-shoot or flip cameras. Which is pretty good for something that fits in your front pocket.

    Take a look at Apple's gallery here.

    image via Apple
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Releases iPhone 4 Camera Images started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 59 Comments
    1. mvhurlburt's Avatar
      mvhurlburt -
      Wow that really does look amazing. Not being someone overly concerned with cameras I am quite happy with this long needed update...the above picture is just stunning! I hope the improved quality along with a faster processor we'll be able to have some more complex and better OCR software natively.
    1. SupaMonkey's Avatar
      SupaMonkey -
      I wont go as far as to say it looking amazing - but looks good. I'd love to see 'unedited' night shot images though - like something you would do in a dark room / dark club / outside shots at night.
    1. Bluprint's Avatar
      Bluprint -
      Adp those pictures were not taken by a iPhone camera. According to those pics, not only do the lens not match but the detail is far beyond what a 5 megalpixel can deliver especially with the image already blown up.
    1. dogdaysunrise's Avatar
      dogdaysunrise -
      What is so stunning about that!?
      It's a freaking 5MP camera and those images are what 5MP images should look like.
      Geee!
      Yes the iphone4 is amazing and I can't wait either, but there's nothing stunning about these pictures considering the Megapixel.
      Stay objective!
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Bluprint View Post
      Adp those pictures were not taken by a iPhone camera. According to those pics, not only do the lens not match but the detail is far beyond what a 5 megalpixel can deliver especially with the image already blown up.
      Per the Apple website:

      View a collection of unretouched photographs taken using iPhone 4. Click an image to see it larger.
      Apple - iPhone 4 - Learn about the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
    1. EliteApple's Avatar
      EliteApple -
      they lied! iphone photos save the location in the exif data: Jeffrey's Exif viewer
    1. taz1981m's Avatar
      taz1981m -
      what is the info for the front facing camera? i looked on apple but couldn't find anything
    1. clarky8's Avatar
      clarky8 -
      I'm glad to see they improved the camera
    1. rocky5's Avatar
      rocky5 -
      if these images were taken from the new iphone why do they have adobe in the header of the files?

      Code:
      ......JFIF.....d.d......Ducky.......d......Adobe.d................................................................................................................................................... ........................................................................................
      if these were taken from an iphone which they weren't the header would be like so.

      Code:
      .... .Exif..II*.......................................................(...........1...........2.......................i...................................................Apple.iPhone 3GS..H.......H.......3.1.3.2010:06:09 17:50:50...........................".........3.'.......F...........0221..
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by taz1981m View Post
      what is the info for the front facing camera? i looked on apple but couldn't find anything
      It's VGA - basically a very low resolution (640x480 I believe). Good enough to get shots of your face, but that's about it.
    1. metatrox's Avatar
      metatrox -
      what are the horizontal lines in the photos? when you view them enlarged there are white lines through all of them
    1. fabo82's Avatar
      fabo82 -
      man i am so itching for the iphone 4 to come out. June 24th i agree is 2 long. They should be ready by the end of the week if u ask me. Also eager to try out that ios4 on my 3gs. 21 and 24 th of june needs to come in haste!!!!!
    1. EliteApple's Avatar
      EliteApple -
      Quote Originally Posted by metatrox View Post
      what are the horizontal lines in the photos? when you view them enlarged there are white lines through all of them
      you just have a horrible computer or browser. lrn2chrome
    1. baabaa's Avatar
      baabaa -
      Well I love the pictures but I can almost guarantee most users that got their hands on the iPhone 4 won't be able to take those quality pictures. They will come and whine about it.

      For one, you either need a tripod or VERY steady hands. Secondly, all those pictures are taken under bright light or where light was focus on the object. Lastly, objects were not moving.

      I can't wait for the iPhone 4 but I hope people don't expect it to replace a real camera. Ha ha.
    1. jabregousmc's Avatar
      jabregousmc -
      i would like to see some pics while using the digital zoom and see how it handles that. i know digital zoom isnt going to be as good since it basically enlarges the pixels, curious to see though
    1. mobay's Avatar
      mobay -
      can't wait
    1. modem's Avatar
      modem -
      gorgeous!
    1. Riviera's Avatar
      Riviera -
      I'm very impressed, but this won't replace my SLR.
    1. Spudski's Avatar
      Spudski -
      Those pics look killer.