iPhone 4S Camera Exceeds My Expectations

iPhone 4S Camera

As I mentioned yesterday, Apple announced my next camera during their special event today. I had a good feeling that they were going to put some muscle into this upgrade. And in all honesty, they exceeded my expectations.

Let's start with the lens. The 4S has five optical elements with a maximum aperture of f/2.4. Glass is so important to picture quality, and I'm happy to see this type of attention paid to a "camera phone." Plus, having the wider aperture helps in low light situations.

They've also beefed up the infrared filter to help improve color. Then Apple added the A5 chip with an image signal processor that's fairly robust for a camera of this nature. The picture taking experience is also improved. You can now activate the camera directly from the Home button, and it is more responsive once you do, including less shutter lag. It might actually feel like a real camera. Use the volume button to trip the shutter if you wish.

The backside illuminated sensor now supports 8 megapixels of resolution. This gives you a bit more latitude for cropping, especially since you're working with a fixed lens that has a moderately wide 35mm focal length.

Other goodies include face detection, HDR, 1080p video (at 30 fps), and a nifty editing app for basic adjustments. And of course this all works with the 3rd party apps that have been delighting us to this point.

I'll write a full review of the iPhone 4S camera as soon as I get my hands on it. But based on the specs I see, I think it will be an excellent photographic tool.

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Derrick, I'd love to see your take on the creative control and use of depth of field with the iPhone. I know it has a really nice wide/fast aperture, but what about those instances you want to "step down".



I totally agree with your early assessment. I was considering an S100 since I recently sold my point and shoot. I'm glad I waited as I'm using an iPhone 3G now.
This clearly looks like one device for both needs. Nimbleosity reigns!

If we weren't going to be in MT for the next two weeks I'd be ordering one Fri.....but the day we get back I sure will. But any time we can spend a few weeks in MT is a good trade off.


Will be looking forward to your full review. I am planning on pre ordering on the 7th. Hopefully pre ordering will go smooth. I know the last time it was a mess. Maybe we will all have them on Oct 14th which is release date. With a maximum aperture of f2.4 along with 8MB pixels this should be pretty cool camera. Of course the 1080P video is another neat added feature. Have also been reading that down loading even though it is still 3G will be just as fast as the current 4G. Will be interesting to do some real testing.



Concerning depth of field, a small sensor is still a small sensor. And you're not going to be able to drop out the background like you could with a 5D Mark II. That being said, there are very helpful apps, such as TiltShiftGen that let you add that effect in post (right on your iPhone). This isn't a camera for every situation, clearly. But for a camera you always have in your pocket... it's looking good!


Ed, Montana, you dog!


Stu, I'm ordering on the 7th also. I'll cross my fingers for both of us...