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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:45 PM   #1
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Photography Pros Review the iPhone 5's Camera




Photography site dpreview.com has published a lengthy review of the iPhone 5's camera. Last year, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz called the iPhone "the snapshot camera of today", and the iPhone has been the most popular camera on Flickr for years.




The full review is worth a read, but this excerpt looks at interesting questions about the future of casual photography and how the simple "camera phone" has revolutionized both the mobile phone and camera industries.
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This is great news for people like us who write about digital photography, because it signals a paradigm shift. This doesn't happen often, and it's very exciting when it does. Already, we're seeing mainstream camera manufacturers scrabbling to add connectivity to their products, and it's not just desperation that's making them do it. If the iPhone, and devices like it, have had a transformative effect on the industry it's because they've had a transformative effect on peoples' expectations of cameras, and photography. And the industry is doing what it always does - moving to fulfill a need.

The iPhone 5 is a fine mobile device, with an excellent camera. In qualititative terms it's not the best camera out there, and nor is it the best camera on a smartphone (the Nokia 808 has that honor, for now) but it offers satisfying image quality, some neat functions like auto panorama and HDR mode, and - crucially - it is supremely easy to use. It isn't much better than the iPhone 4S, as far as its photographic performance is concerned, but it isn't any worse (notwithstanding a somewhat more noticeable propensity towards lens flare). When manufacturers employ pixel-binning to achieve higher ISO settings we don't normally celebrate the fact, but in the case of the iPhone 5, it gives you greater flexibility in poor light (i.e., you might actually get a picture now, where you just wouldn't with the iPhone 4S) and the drop in quality is unnoticeable when the images are used for sharing/web display.
Article Link: Photography Pros Review the iPhone 5's Camera
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:49 PM   #2
jrfive0
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Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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I've been a reader of dpreview for years. They publish very credible info.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
True but lots of people who bought a 3GS or 4 are up for renewal, so it would be more of an upgrade for them.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:58 PM   #5
nsfw
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
no not from the 4S.. but if you had a 4 and its gone through two years of home button mashing, then you probably want to upgrade.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:00 PM   #6
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Given the "purple" issue if I had not sold my 4S I would have gone back to it. It is not a matter of simply avoiding pointing directly at the sun, etc. Go try to take photos at a football game at an indoor stadium and try not to have purple all over your photos.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by canadianpj View Post
Given the "purple" issue if I had not sold my 4S I would have gone back to it. It is not a matter of simply avoiding pointing directly at the sun, etc. Go try to take photos at a football game at an indoor stadium and try not to have purple all over your photos.
Is that a problem with every iPhone 5 or just those with a purple sapphire lens? I suspect that the sapphire lens may get dropped next year or even earlier if it's the cause of the purple flare near bright light sources. I'm surprised Apple didn't pick this up earlier. I mean, people do take photos of sunsets, cars with headlights on at night, indoor stadiums with strong lights, outdoors with the sun just out of frame, etc.

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Originally Posted by porky View Post
I have a 4s and ordered the iPhone 5 for the better camera ... Especially in low light.
The next iPhone will probably get Sony's recently announced 13MP Exmor RS sensor. You'll probably have an even better reason to upgrade a year from now if the camera is your main concern...that and the purple lens flare if it irritates you.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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\
The next iPhone will probably get Sony's recently announced 13MP Exmor RS sensor. You'll probably have an even better reason to upgrade a year from now if the camera is your main concern.
YEAHHHH 13MP!!!! That will fix everything!!!!! Sigh...... Increasing the MP count will almost certainly make the image quality worse as if you don't know what noise is now, you certainly will then. Squeezing even current MP counts on tiny sensors is pointless... I doubt the level of detail at 13mp can even be resolved given many cell camera today use extremely cheap optics, such as plastic instead of glass parts.
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Old Oct 5, 2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by canadianpj View Post
Given the "purple" issue if I had not sold my 4S I would have gone back to it. It is not a matter of simply avoiding pointing directly at the sun, etc. Go try to take photos at a football game at an indoor stadium and try not to have purple all over your photos.
Not seeing any purple in this pix from the weekend
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Old Oct 6, 2012, 12:10 AM   #10
canadianpj
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Not seeing any purple in this pix from the weekend
And you wouldn't in a shot like that no, there are no direct lights. The stadium I am going to has a lot of lights pointed all over the place.

On a side note, took 10 photos today of Halloween decorations. 3 of which have a nice purple haze to them.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
Pretty sure that was not the purpose.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 03:44 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
youre not supposed to. durrr. normal people dont upgrade iOS devices annually. get it thru your head.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 04:31 PM   #13
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Maps reason to upgrade

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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
If you are a driver, MAPS alone is reason enough to upgrade. The old Google mapping was unusable for a driver- limited screen info and no voice or turn by turn. Maps has all that - Siri integration, great turn-by[turn voice instructions and easily readable directions for drivers.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 03:14 PM   #14
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If you are a driver, MAPS alone is reason enough to upgrade. The old Google mapping was unusable for a driver- limited screen info and no voice or turn by turn. Maps has all that - Siri integration, great turn-by[turn voice instructions and easily readable directions for drivers.
Is that not an iOS update rather than Phone upgrade?
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Old Oct 3, 2012, 12:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
Oh dude. If I was stuck using big clunk iPhone 4S I would die. No comparison



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Old Oct 3, 2012, 12:39 AM   #16
Michael Scrip
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post

Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
Very true.

Canon and Nikon release a dozen new cameras every year... but you don't have to buy those either.

Hell... Ford makes new cars every year too.

Perhaps you don't have to buy new stuff every time a new model is released?
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 11:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by jrfive0 View Post
Still doesn't seem reason enough to upgrade from the 4s.....
If you plan to upgrade every single iphone version, there never has been a compelling reason to upgrade.

skip a version each time (which coincidentally happens to line up with typical carrier contract life) and the upgrade is much more attractive.



And as to the camera - the best camera is the one you have with you to capture the moment. For that sort of thing, mobile phones rock. Sure they'll never match a DSLR but that's not the point.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 04:36 PM   #18
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If you plan to upgrade every single iphone version, there never has been a compelling reason to upgrade.
We're drifting off-topic now, but I assert that gaining LTE in the 4S->5 transition was absolutely worth it even if it were the only thing that changed (which, obviously, isn't true).

LTE where I am is like a cable modem with no wires. It's astonishing. In fact, the same carrier is presently offering LTE home broadband in our market.
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Old Oct 10, 2012, 08:37 PM   #19
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I rarely get good pictures with my 4s, it's never more apparent when I go to print them out and they look awful. Lighting has to be absolutely perfect, or they have to be outdoor shots to look halfway decent, if at all when printing a large print.

Still, it's true that a crappy picture is much better than no picture. I don't ever carry my camera so if it wasn't for my phone I'd have no pictures.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:51 PM   #20
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For this one reason alone? Clearly not. For everything combined? Easy worth an upgrade.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:53 PM   #21
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But lens flares are awesome
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:55 PM   #22
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But lens flares are awesome
Not if you're a photographer :/
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 01:57 PM   #23
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For the photography snobs: The best camera is the one you have with you, and any shot you take is better than one you didn't.

For the phone camera supporters: A phone camera will never compare to a same-gen DSLR. Period, end of story.

The iPhone is simply a different tool than a traditional camera. It's nice that the iPhone 5 camera is solid, but I don't see how this is a paradigm shift any more than the previous iPhone cameras.

I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:01 PM   #24
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I WILL say that the iPhone has totally replaced a point-n-shoot for my purposes.
That's the paradigm shift, IMO. Sometime in the last couple of years I stopped even bothering to bring my point-and-shoot with me to events. When I first got an iPhone (the 4 was my first smartphone) I'd make sure to bring the "real camera" with me to important events. I don't do that anymore and at this point will probably not be purchasing any more point-and-shoot cameras.

The iPhone camera (and other smartphone cameras) certainly won't replace DSLRs, but they will replace the basic low-to-mid-range point-and-shoots that a lot of people used to consider their primary camera.
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Old Oct 2, 2012, 02:36 PM   #25
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The iPhone camera (and other smartphone cameras) certainly won't replace DSLRs, but they will replace the basic low-to-mid-range point-and-shoots that a lot of people used to consider their primary camera.
Absolutely.

When I bought my iPhone 4S, it replaced three devices: dumbphone, iPod touch (4th generation with its lousy camera), and a solid Canon point-and-shoot camera.

I still keep my Canon PowerShot around, just in case I'm in a sketchy photo situation (like taking pictures from a kayak) or the few situations when I really need to use optical zoom.
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