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Old Sep 15, 2010, 11:18 PM   #1
LoneRider
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Gen4 vs. Gen 3 screen, side by side comparison *WARNING* large files, 56k fuggedabout

My son has a Gen 3 purchased recently with the rebate deal and I recently picked up a Gen 4. I put them side by side, evened out the brightness and took a picture with them showing the exact same thing. "Apples to Apples" comparison so to speak.

While I can't say if the 4th gen Touch 's screen is as good as the iPhone 4 since I don't have an iPhone, I can say it is considerable improvement over the 3rd gen.

Here is a reduced size file at 100ppi:


And here is full resolution, 100% crop: (4.5 Meg file, be patient)
http://www.wilsonvilleusa.com/photos/g4-vs-g3.jpg

Last edited by LoneRider; Sep 16, 2010 at 12:34 AM.
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Old Sep 15, 2010, 11:31 PM   #2
classie787
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If this accurately represents the differences in display quality between the 4th and 3rd generations, then I will feel much better about buying a 4th if I cannot find a cheap iPhone 4. My cousin has a 2nd generation and although the display is nice, among my first impressions was, "darn, I wish it had better resolution."

Thanks very much for posting this comparison
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Old Sep 15, 2010, 11:35 PM   #3
gdkid2010
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Cool!

On a side note, could those pictures load any slower? My goodness. And I have a fast download speed and those took FOREVER
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 12:30 AM   #4
LoneRider
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Originally Posted by gdkid2010 View Post
Cool!

On a side note, could those pictures load any slower? My goodness. And I have a fast download speed and those took FOREVER

Sorry about that, I didn't want to make too many adjustments to accurately show the difference. The larger one is over 4 Meg. I have edited the title to warn folks now, and just show the link for the hi res image.

And yes, the difference side by side is impressive.

Last edited by LoneRider; Sep 16, 2010 at 12:37 AM.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 01:36 AM   #5
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The resolution is arguably the best part of the iPhone 4's display. Since the display on the touch is also the same resolution, it will also have the beautiful text rendition and overall "crisp" quality that the iPhone 4 has. the thing is, after you get past the resolution, you can't help but be impressed with the black levels an color reproduction. 800:1 contrast makes a huge difference over 200:1. If you were to use the iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4 side-by-side, I'm sure you'd end up preferring the iPhone display

That's not to say the iPod touch has a bad display. 326ppi is great no matter what you say.

On a side note, IMO it's kind of funny that the iPod touch display exhibits the same characteristics that many here were using to discredit the importance of megapixels for pictures. (The display is highres with poor image reproduction rather than a very accurate low-res display).
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 01:48 AM   #6
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Looks good, very useful to compare the resolution difference!

I'm trying to determine if the 4th gen's screen can go dimmer than the 3rd gen. Would you mind posting a comparison picture using the following rules?
-Room in darkness
-iPod auto brightness off
-iPod brightness at absolute minimum
-Same white or lightly colored background on both iPods (for example, an empty Notes entry)

T.I.A.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 01:52 AM   #7
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Hmm. I can see a difference. But honestly, if I can get a 3G touch at a really good [reduced] price, especially at Costco (in Canada we still have the 3G) I would be content.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 02:02 AM   #8
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Hmm. I can see a difference. But honestly, if I can get a 3G touch at a really good [reduced] price, especially at Costco (in Canada we still have the 3G) I would be content.
This is true...
But the diff between the 3g and the 4g in use is noticeable. Besides the 4g in my use has been somewhat faster.

Now is it worth it to upgrade is is up to the end user
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 02:10 AM   #9
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Good to know. Do you notice it in games? My area of interest is in voip. I am not even sure if the iPhone 4 can do well as the few apps I have used over wifi over voip on the 3G and it was less than stellar.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 02:17 AM   #10
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Good to know. Do you notice it in games? My area of interest is in voip. I am not even sure if the iPhone 4 can do well as the few apps I have used over wifi over voip on the 3G and it was less than stellar.
I do not have an iPhone so I can not compare to an Iphone. In VOIP I look at it this way you see them they see you. good enough. In games the IPT 4G is a little better graphics/ sharpness wise than the the IPT3G
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 05:51 PM   #11
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I could instantly notice the pixels on the iPod touch 3g.
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 06:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by gdkid2010 View Post
Cool!

On a side note, could those pictures load any slower? My goodness. And I have a fast download speed and those took FOREVER
My bet is that you've never used 56K internet.

THAT was forever. I remember having waited over half an hour to download a QTVR of the then new PowerMac G4 Cube It was something like 10MB...
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 06:39 PM   #13
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Hmm. I can see a difference. But honestly, if I can get a 3G touch at a really good [reduced] price, especially at Costco (in Canada we still have the 3G) I would be content.
yeah I thought about doing this at the time of my 4g purchase since everyone and they mommas was getting rid of their 3G's (Craigslist and retail clearance). But I thought about my needs or wants from the device and aside from my dedicated music player - I wanted it as a secondary READING device for grad school and believe it or not, the retina screen has done wonders - I couldn't have done it on my GF's Touch2G. Power point slides look great on it, I do not feel like they're too small, text is sharp etc. I have two textbooks in PDFs (science ones) so they're like 200MB+ and even that's not that bad for quick easy reference.

I knew I wanted to use it as a fun ereader too and it hasn't failed. Plus as a comic book reader, Scott pilgrim reads great on it! No need to zoom and scroll, although some other comics I tried needed some (Watchmen).
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Old Sep 16, 2010, 08:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lewis82 View Post
My bet is that you've never used 56K internet.

THAT was forever. I remember having waited over half an hour to download a QTVR of the then new PowerMac G4 Cube It was something like 10MB...
my first modem was 2,400 (IIRC). that, or 300. LOL! I know I had a 14.4 in 94 and a 33.6 in 96. I used dial-up for Compuserve, and also for many years until comcast put in HSI in our neighborhood not all that long ago.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 05:50 AM   #15
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Hmm. I can see a difference. But honestly, if I can get a 3G touch at a really good [reduced] price, especially at Costco (in Canada we still have the 3G) I would be content.
Exactly! Huge difference is only visible on macro mode picture shots, like the ones in this thread Seriously, the differnce is not that big when comparing them in real life conditions - looking at screen from 10-15cm distance. Of course touch4gen resolution is much higher but it's not that different as on the pictures above. Besides, if you don't read tiny little texts on 3,5'' device (which is already mistake, but if someone wants to read on such a tiny screen then so be it...), then you really don't need retina resolution. It does provide almost non vivisible difference in anything exept texts. Games, applications, movies, pictures - it's gonna be almost identical experience when watching from normal distance, not some macro distance.

So to me retina it's not really that much of a hype (not on 3,5'' screen at least), but hey everyone have different needs!
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 07:44 AM   #16
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My bet is that you've never used 56K internet.
Not directly, but I used to download from FTP sites on the Internet over a 2400 bps modem through BIX, which ISTR proudly advertised its 56 Kbps connection, which was shared by its subscribers. Then there was the joy of accessing Compuserve with a 300 baud modem.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 08:31 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gdkid2010 View Post
Cool!

On a side note, could those pictures load any slower? My goodness. And I have a fast download speed and those took FOREVER
Worth it though. Thank you for posting this! I think I'll get one soon.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 08:45 AM   #18
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The increased fingerprint magnetism of the iPod's screen over the iPhone's screen bothers me way more than the viewing angle thing.

That said, I LOVE this new resolution on the iPod touch screen.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 11:08 AM   #19
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Exactly! Huge difference is only visible on macro mode picture shots, like the ones in this thread Seriously, the differnce is not that big when comparing them in real life conditions - looking at screen from 10-15cm distance. Of course touch4gen resolution is much higher but it's not that different as on the pictures above. Besides, if you don't read tiny little texts on 3,5'' device (which is already mistake, but if someone wants to read on such a tiny screen then so be it...), then you really don't need retina resolution. It does provide almost non vivisible difference in anything exept texts. Games, applications, movies, pictures - it's gonna be almost identical experience when watching from normal distance, not some macro distance.

So to me retina it's not really that much of a hype (not on 3,5'' screen at least), but hey everyone have different needs!
I'll disagree with you on this. While the picture was taken close, it was not macro. It was cropped without changing size or resolution the hi-res file to show the screens and not the bathroom counter. Lens was about 10" from the screens.

While the difference in the picture is obvious, to the eye the difference is even more impressive as the camera picked up a pixel pattern that you don't see with your eye. For those familiar with old school graphics apps, it is almost a "dithering" effect in the picture, that your eye doesn't register. It may have something to do with the refresh rate on the screen.

Playing with them side by side, at arms length you absolutely CAN see the difference between the screens. If you are using it just as a music player, then no, there isn't much point in the different screen. If using it for ANYTHING visually based such as pictures, streaming video, games, etc. I see a very clear improvement in quality and sharpness. It is the difference between crisp and clear vs. grainy.

Now if there were two current models, one with and one without the new screen and you had a choice to pay a higher price, it may not be important to some. Considering though that that is not the case, that they have made the improved screen as well as the other features they added (cameras, increased battery capacity, etc. ) AND kept the price point the same, to me it is a pretty good deal and an impressive improvement in the screen appearance.

At the point I am ready to drop $300 on a gadget, I would rather pay the extra $50 for the current model than buying a used 3G or a new one on clearance. In fact anyone who is really tight on their nickles, my son would gladly sell his 3 week old 32GB Gen 3 for $240 so he can get a Gen 4.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 12:08 PM   #20
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Ok, everyone's entitled to have own opinions. But please don't say your shots aren't macro. They're 4 the size of actual iPod's 3,5'' screen + you wouldn't be able to focus your camera from such a tiny distance. The size of your pics is so big that normally nobody see the screen like this.

I'm not trying to argue about the difference - it is sure obvious, but in real life conditions it's not that noticable like shown on your pics. That's how I see it and that's my own opinion.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 12:16 PM   #21
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My bet is that you've never used 56K internet.

THAT was forever. I remember having waited over half an hour to download a QTVR of the then new PowerMac G4 Cube It was something like 10MB...
56k internet was blazes.... I remember logging in from home with a 600 baud modem.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 02:01 PM   #22
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@LoneRider
Ok, everyone's entitled to have own opinions. But please don't say your shots aren't macro. They're 4 the size of actual iPod's 3,5'' screen + you wouldn't be able to focus your camera from such a tiny distance. The size of your pics is so big that normally nobody see the screen like this.

I'm not trying to argue about the difference - it is sure obvious, but in real life conditions it's not that noticable like shown on your pics. That's how I see it and that's my own opinion.
Agreed, we all are entitled to our opinions. I just don't like when people state their opinions as fact.

In your post you dismissed the difference as "Huge difference is only visible on macro mode picture shots". You made an absolute statement that is false. You did not present this as opinion ("I think/don't think..." or "As far as I am concerned..."). On top of that, you inserted a false assumption of the photos being macro shots.

In the above post you now make a relative statement ("it's not that noticable..") instead of an absolute and express what is clearly opinion ("That is how I see it"). You've changed from "Only visible with macro" to "It's obvious, but in real life not as noticable as the picture".

As to "macro", the size of a print (whether paper or digital) has nothing to do with whether or not it is macro. A reproduction size larger than life is magnification. The definition of macro is that the image captured on the film (negative or a digital sensor) is the same physical size (1:1)or larger (2:1) as the subject. To do macro of an iPod Touch I'd have to have a large format camera instead of my APS sensor sized Nikon. The best I could do is macro on a portion of the ipod screen (a rectangle of about 15mm x 23 mm).

The picture I took was using a Nikon 16-85mm zoom at about 62mm. 50mm (or 35mm on APS sensor) has long been considered the equivalent of the human eye "perspective", so yes there is about a 1.8x magnification of the perspective in addition to any magnification of the image based on the display screen showing the image. The 10" distance stated was a guess (hence being referred to as "about 10") and I may have been a little farther away. I am not sure what the minimum focus distance of that lens is off the top of my head, but I do know that it is not capable of macro photography.

As to magnification due to screen size, this is relative to the screen used for viewing the image. On my ipod touch for example, compared to actual size the image is actually reduced. Even still the difference between the screens in the image is readily descernible to the eye at normal viewing distance. Also, contrary to your earlier post, to me the clarity is more apparent on the images than on the text (though I can still see a difference in the text). You stated "It does provide almost non vivisible difference in anything exept texts. Games, applications, movies, pictures - it's gonna be almost identical experience". This reads to me more of a conclusion rather than an opinion. The fact is that statement is your purely subjective opinion.

Text (in any format) is generally clearly defined with good contrast between text and background. The higher resolution makes the text crisper but, with the inherent contrast of text I don't see a lot of improvement as to the readability for me. Images on the other hand don't always have such clear borders, demarkations, etc. that along with the addition of colors and graduations, I think the higher resolution helps present a smoother, clearer presentation of those images. Admittedly it comes own to personal preference but clearly there IS a difference.


All of the above may be a little more specific (or anal ) than necessary, but I am one of those folks who prefers to be specific, literal, and accurate as I toss out words to describe things.

If I have time tonight I will try to post up a no-magnification perspective at "normal" use distance and an actual macro shot of a screen portion to try and show a more "accurate" representation.

Last edited by LoneRider; Sep 17, 2010 at 02:27 PM.
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Old Sep 18, 2010, 04:37 AM   #23
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On my 17'' monitor, your pictures are at least 4 times the size of actual 3,5'' iPod screen. This is just the one example that it's nothing to do with real life experience. When I see iPod's screen in such a zoom sure there is a lot of pixelation and blurriness, but I wouldn't buy my iPod touch 3rd gen, if the screen would look like this. So of course the not-retina screen looks a lot better in hands, than on this pictures. This is out of the question for me. When I see my not-retina display from 10-15cm distance, there is absolutely no pixeletation and distortions to be seen like on the pictures - it's to be seen only if you start to look real close like 5cm of something. When you zoom retina display even more it becomes super easy to spot individual pixels too. In fact I can even see them looking at your photo. So really no, this is nice comparison in terms of pixel density between screens, but it doesn't actually show a normal usage conditions.

And for the matter - everything I say is my own opinion, so really thanks for the advice, but I don't need to state it in every sentence I make

Last edited by GoodBoy; Sep 18, 2010 at 04:51 AM.
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