iPhone 5 Camera: Why 1/20 sec, f/2.4, ISO 50?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by BluePotato, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2011
    I looked at some of my iPhone 5 photos in Lightroom to view the exposure settings and found some of the photos baffling.

    I took a nice photo of my wife at the Jim Thompson house in Bangkok in front of some baskets of colored silk threads and found it blurry.

    You can't get a sharp photo at a 1/20 second exposure time, especially with a small, light camera phone and no tripod. I understand the aperture is fixed, so the only thing the phone can alter is the ISO. So, why would iOS choose an ISO of 50 for an outdoor daylight (albeit in the shade) photo resulting in a shutter speed of 1/20?

    I (and I imagine all other photographers) would prefer iOS to set the ISO at 200 and give me a 1/60 shutter speed. Or ISO 400 for a 1/120 shutter speed. Forgive me if my exposure math is incorrect here.

    It's a great camera, but come on Apple! Only give us an automatic ISO of 50 if we're shooting in the Sahara Desert in direct sunlight.

    Anybody else experience this and have any suggestions for me?
  2. macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2012
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2009
    Croxley, Herts
    I know what you mean, but the actual focal length of the lens is 4.13mm so using the usual rule for hand-held photography, you shouldn't get blur at 1/20sec.
    Are you sure it's hand-held shake or is the blur due to subject movement?
    If it's subject movement, I'm afraid you'll need a camera with shutter priority mode for that amount of control
  4. macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    I don't know if it's a valid solution for you, but Camera+ (about 2 dollars) has a function where you touch the screen with two fingers and separate focus and exposure. Just put exposure on a brighter object than the one you're focusing on and you'll be good :)
  5. macrumors 68000

    Oct 23, 2008
    I still think it'd be great if Apple allowed the SDK to operate the camera manually (shutter speed, focus, exposure, ISO). That way I think the phone would be able to take great night photos using a tripod and I can throw away my compact camera.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    Manual control would be much appreciated.

    That or Apple could include OIS, but it would probably double the thickness of the phone à la Nokia Lumia 920.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2012
    I'd settle for a camera that didn't produce a purple hue at the corners when I took a photo with an out of frame light source. But in the past couple weeks I've learned to temper my expectations.
  8. macrumors 6502

    Dec 8, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Different cameras use different algorithms to set automatic exposure based on the light meter. In relatively good light, base ISO of 50 is used to get as much image quality as possible. The sensor is very small on the iPhone, thus noise is very apparent as the ISO gets higher.

    ISO200 2-fstops faster than ISO50 so you will get a shutter of 1/80. ISO400 would give you 1/160.

    I agree with you. Apple should keep the ISO a little higher in favour of more shutter speed. Especially when people don't know photography and wonder why their photos are so blurry. My digital camera keeps the shutter speed of at least 1/60 in auto mode and keeps increasing the ISO until it cannot anymore before it decreases the shutter speed. Maybe Apple needs to rethink their camera software.

    My suggestion is to use the on screen virtual shutter button instead of the volume button. It take quite a bit of effort to push the button on top which introduces shake. Tap it several times, sometimes the first picture may be blurry but the second one can usually be much better.

    And just a thought - buy a digital camera. It's invaluable for travel and even if you don't want to spend a lot, they are very affordable now and have quite a bit better image quality than mobile phone cameras.
  9. macrumors 65816

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    this is my thought. although the iphone 5 camera is fairly capable for daily use, i would at least take a P&S when i know i'll be snapping some memorable pics. if i'm taking pictures for a life event or i'm someplace abroad, i'm definitely lugging my DSLR.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Dec 8, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Also consider a mirrorless camera for those who are currently using DSLRs but don't professionally need them. They are quite capable and produce very nice shots.
  11. macrumors demi-god


    Apr 20, 2009
    Don't tap it at all!! Press the virtual button and slowly release. That will give much better results. :cool:
  12. macrumors 68020

    Oct 26, 2008
    It's not truly 4.13. There is multiplier effect.
  13. macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    Meanwhile, solid handheld photographic techniques still useful: Brace yourselves, use a timer.
  14. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 5, 2009
    Croxley, Herts
    Just the data I got from Exif Viewer
  15. macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011

    Yes, I know this is an old thread...

    The iPhone always chooses the lowest possible ISO to minimize noise. This can't be overridden. Go for, camera-wise, something better if you need to raise shutter speed. Basically, any Android, Symbian or WP handset allow for setting the ISO.

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