iPhone 6 Has a 16x9 Camera Sensor! Why No 16x9 Camera Mode Then?

macUser2007

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Original poster
May 30, 2007
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Wow! Then the lack of native "widescreen" mode in the Camera app is still more puzzling!

"While Apple's sensor is a 1/3" sensor (in terms of its diagonal) it's a 16:9 aspect ratio, which allows it to be slightly larger (26% larger) than Samsung's 4.01 x 5.79 mm (23.22 mm2) 4:3 ratio sensor in the GS5."

http://www.dailytech.com/iPhone+6s+Focus+Pixels+Are+Already+Used+in+Galaxy+S5/article36587c.htm

Why on earth would Apple chose to not provide a 16x9 mode on the camera?

If the above is true, it would appear that the existing modes available in the Camera app are cropping pixels out on the sides, which makes no sense to me.

A 16x9 mode would provide a better fit for modern monitors and TV, and have a slightly higher pixel count.
 
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GoSh4rks

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
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Wow! Then the lack of native "widescreen" mode in the Camera app is still more puzzling!

"While Apple's sensor is a 1/3" sensor (in terms of its diagonal) it's a 16:9 aspect ratio, which allows it to be slightly larger (26% larger) than Samsung's 4.01 x 5.79 mm (23.22 mm2) 4:3 ratio sensor in the GS5."

http://www.dailytech.com/iPhone+6s+Focus+Pixels+Are+Already+Used+in+Galaxy+S5/article36587c.htm

Why on earth would Apple chose to not provide a 16x9 mode on the camera?

If the above is true, it would appear that the existing modes available in the Camera app are cropping pixels out on the sides, which makes no sense to me.

A 16x9 mode would provide a better fit for modern monitors and TV, and have a slightly higher pixel count.
I think it is a mistake in the article. This is definitely not 16:9:
http://images.dailytech.com/nimage/iPhone_6_Chipworks_Camera_Module_Stripped_Wide.jpg
 

GoSh4rks

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
310
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The whole premise of the section is that it's a 16x9 sensor....

Not sure it's so easy to dismiss as a "mistake."
When you consider that the actual outputted pictures are 4:3, images of the sensor show it to be 4:3, and every other source has the camera as 4:3, it's pretty easy to dismiss it as a mistake.
 

macUser2007

macrumors 65832
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May 30, 2007
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Yes if that's actually a picture of the sensor then it clearly isn't 16:9
Yeah.... I got excited, since the article expounded on it quite a bit and made a point of the larger surface area compared to the GS5, because of the sensor's aspect ratio. I thought maybe the shape of the sensor die doesn't have to be 16x9, depending on the pixel area.

I was trying to verify on the chipworks.com page, but it returns a blank right now:

http://www.chipworks.com/en/technic...s/blog/inside-the-iphone-6-and-iphone-6-plus/

Bummer!
 

thekb

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2010
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Whatever the ratio of the sensor, it is inexplicable that Apple does not provide a 16x9 option for photo taking, even if it simply crops to that ratio.
 

thekb

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May 8, 2010
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You mean for video, right? Still photographers don't shoot in 16x9.

I know 16x9 is not a traditional ratio for cameras, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valid option. I don't think there's any rules that only 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1 are allowed for photography. For normal prints, 8x10's are 1:1.25, 5x7's are 1:1.4, 3x5's are 1:1.67. All of these require cropping to some extent from traditional cameras. Most, if not all, non-DSLR cameras offer a 16x9 mode these days.

Photography has changed radically in the last 10-15 years. Many people never make prints and only view on their phones or computers. Most displays are 16x9 now so why should the pictures display with black bars? I know you can manually crop photos (it's a standard aspect ratio in the photo edit function), but one of the greatest features of Apple TV is the ease of displaying photos on your 16x9 TV's directly from your idevices. Who has time to go back and crop all 300 pictures from your vacation manually just so they will look good on TV? I am sure adding a selection of ratios would be child's play from a programming perspective, so there's no reason not to offer the option.
 
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Surf Monkey

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I know 16x9 is not a traditional ratio for cameras, but that doesn't mean it isn't a valid option. I don't think there's any rules that only 4:3, 3:2 and 1:1 are allowed for photography. For normal prints, 8x10's are 1:1.25, 5x7's are 1:1.4, 3x5's are 1:1.67. All of these require cropping to some extent from traditional cameras. Most, if not all, non-DSLR cameras offer a 16x9 mode these days.

Photography has changed radically in the last 10-15 years. Many people never make prints and only view on their phones or computers. Most displays are 16x9 now so why should the pictures display with black bars? I know you can manually crop photos (it's a standard aspect ratio in the photo edit function), but one of the greatest features of Apple TV is the ease of displaying photos on your 16x9 TV's directly from your idevices. Who has time to go back and crop all 300 pictures from your vacation manually just so they will look good on TV? I am sure adding a selection of ratios would be child's play from a programming perspective, so there's no reason not to offer the option.
Most photographers shoot with print as the end goal so 16x9 remains a primarily video focused aspect ratio. I'd say that if it's what you need you're probably best off framing wide in landscape and then cropping to 16x9, because I think it's highly unlikely that Apple or anyone is about to offer a native 16x9 mode for stills any time soon. One of the obvious reasons being how those images look when composed in portrait.
 

HiRez

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Jan 6, 2004
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Even if the sensor isn't 16:9, I would still like an option to set the default image aspect cropping. Preferably independently for landscape or portrait because I don't think 16:9 works very well for portrait (I like 3:2 or 5:4 for portrait).
 
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thekb

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Even if the sensor isn't 16:9, I would still like an option to set the default image aspect cropping. Preferably independently for landscape or portrait because I don't think 16:9 works very well for portrait (I like 3:2 or 5:4 for portrait).

I agree, even if the sensor remains 4:3, it ought to be an option to automatically crop the photo to 16x9 for best viewing on the iphone, computer or TV, which I would wager is how vast majority of iphone pictures are viewed.

I would really like an option to save both the 4:3 and the 16:9 versions, like it can save the HDR and non-HDR photo automatically. Then you could have a slideshow option to show all, or only the cropped versions for when you are using Airplay.
 
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hipnetic

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Oct 5, 2010
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I came from an iPhone 5 which also lacks an option for taking photos which fill the screen, but for whatever reason, this is one of the first things I noticed and which bugged me about my iPhone 6.

As previously mentioned, I don't care if the image has to get cropped automatically to fill the 16:9 ratio. I have no desire to print photos anymore, and haven't had any desire to do so for more years than I can remember. I want my photos to be optimized for displaying on my iPhone or on my 16:9 TV.
 
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thekb

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May 8, 2010
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Most photographers shoot with print as the end goal so 16x9 remains a primarily video focused aspect ratio. I'd say that if it's what you need you're probably best off framing wide in landscape and then cropping to 16x9, because I think it's highly unlikely that Apple or anyone is about to offer a native 16x9 mode for stills any time soon. One of the obvious reasons being how those images look when composed in portrait.
A photographer shooting with print as the end goal probably would not be using an iPhone. Although the cameras have improved a lot over the years, they are still sorely lacking in some key areas, such as optical zoom, noise control and ability to manually adjust exposure settings. The photos look great on screens, but don't really print so well, in my experience. The vast majority of iPhone pictures are viewed on 16x9 or 16x10 screens and are never printed. So why not add a setting to make it easier to fulfill that need?
 

jwhazel

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Sep 22, 2005
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everyone said:
I wish it shot in 16:9
Is edit > crop (or one of the many many iOS apps that auto resizes photos) not good enough for you? If 16:9 were an option, I can only imagine how many more threads there would be on here of people who changed the setting accidentally and are complaining about how every time they take a photo it's wide/cropped. Great ratio for video, weird (default) ratio for photos.
 

Surf Monkey

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Oct 3, 2010
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A photographer shooting with print as the end goal probably would not be using an iPhone. Although the cameras have improved a lot over the years, they are still sorely lacking in some key areas, such as optical zoom, noise control and ability to manually adjust exposure settings. The photos look great on screens, but don't really print so well, in my experience. The vast majority of iPhone pictures are viewed on 16x9 or 16x10 screens and are never printed. So why not add a setting to make it easier to fulfill that need?
Because the bulk of camera sensors are designed and developed for photographers? Besides, with the exception of optical zoom you can get all the other manual controls with an app. You can shoot or crop to 16x9 if you really want to. The fact that it isn't native to the chip or the phone's software isn't stopping you.

----------

Is edit > crop (or one of the many many iOS apps that auto resizes photos) not good enough for you? If 16:9 were an option, I can only imagine how many more threads there would be on here of people who changed the setting accidentally and are complaining about how every time they take a photo it's wide/cropped. Great ratio for video, weird (default) ratio for photos.
Exactly. 16x9 is more suited to video.
 

thekb

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2010
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Is edit > crop (or one of the many many iOS apps that auto resizes photos) not good enough for you? If 16:9 were an option, I can only imagine how many more threads there would be on here of people who changed the setting accidentally and are complaining about how every time they take a photo it's wide/cropped. Great ratio for video, weird (default) ratio for photos.

So when I get back from vacation, I have to sit down and manually crop all 372 photos, one at a time, for when I want to show them on my television through AppleTV so they will look their best?

I have no way of knowing the real number, but I would guess 90% or more of all iPhone photos live their entire existence on a device with a 16x9 ratio screen (either phone or computer) and that is the only way they are ever viewed. It's a little weird to force the vast majority of users to workaround the problem. If they are concerned with people messing up the setting by accident, like I said, all they need is a setting to crop to 16x9 and save both images, just like they do for HDR. Make it an option and everyone is happy.

Or they could offer a batch editing mode, where you select all photos and apply the same crop to all. That would also be easier, though not as easy as automatic.

----------

Because the bulk of camera sensors are designed and developed for photographers? Besides, with the exception of optical zoom you can get all the other manual controls with an app. You can shoot or crop to 16x9 if you really want to. The fact that it isn't native to the chip or the phone's software isn't stopping you.



Who said anything about changing the sensor? I'm talking about a software setting to crop the image when it is taken using the native camera app.

I do use KitCam that can crop my image to 16x9 when I am taking photos sometimes, but it's just not as convenient as the native camera app that can be opened from the lock screen. There is a workaround to the problem, I just don't understand Apple's reluctance to offer the option as well. Most people would set it on 16x9 and forget there ever was any other choice and live in blissful ignorance. Absolutely no one would complain if they added a widescreen mode to the normal, pano and 1:1 that they already offer.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
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So when I get back from vacation, I have to sit down and manually crop all 372 photos, one at a time, for when I want to show them on my television through AppleTV so they will look their best?
No, you can show your pictures just fine without having to crop them.

And while your next argument might be "but then I have these ugly black bars on my screen!" you can easily zoom in to get rid of them, again without editing your images.


I have no way of knowing the real number, but I would guess 90% or more of all iPhone photos live their entire existence on a device with a 16x9 ratio screen (either phone or computer) and that is the only way they are ever viewed. It's a little weird to force the vast majority of users to workaround the problem.
I'm not so sure that the vast majority of users actually find it to be a problem. Especially considering that vast majority of users, yourself included apparently, are unaware that even if they cropped the full 8 megapixel image to a 16:9 ratio and displayed it on a 1080p screen, more that two thirds of the pixel data is discarded byt he display.

So by your argument, no smartphone needs a 20 megapixel display, nor even an 8 megapixel display, nor even a five megapixel display. A 2 megapixel display, by extension of your logic, is all anyone needs, ever.

I for one, am thankful that Apple doesnt follow that logic.


I do use KitCam that can crop my image to 16x9 when I am taking photos sometimes, but it's just not as convenient as the native camera app that can be opened from the lock screen. There is a workaround to the problem, I just don't understand Apple's reluctance to offer the option as well.
My guess is that the reluctance comes the knowledge that your proprosed "workaround" would result in a lot of poor quality photographs that would leave many photographers who are currently using iPhones and liking them, to use other smartphones instead. By contrast, your KitCam solution, much as peoplelike myself might cringe at it, works for you just fine, save for the fact that you might have to tap an extra icon or two.


Most people would set it on 16x9 and forget there ever was any other choice and live in blissful ignorance.
Most live in "blissful ignorance" right now, because they don't perceive a problem.

Absolutely no one would complain if they added a widescreen mode to the normal, pano and 1:1 that they already offer.
I'd definitely be shaking my head at the cropped 16:9 photos, wondering part of the composition I'm missing.
 

jwhazel

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2005
198
28
I have no way of knowing the real number, but I would guess 90% or more of all iPhone photos live their entire existence on a device with a 16x9 ratio screen (either phone or computer) and that is the only way they are ever viewed. It's a little weird to force the vast majority of users to workaround the problem. If they are concerned with people messing up the setting by accident, like I said, all they need is a setting to crop to 16x9 and save both images, just like they do for HDR. Make it an option and everyone is happy.
You're the first person I've ever run across who has complained about viewing 4x3 photos on a 16x9 screen. I can just as easily guess that 90% of us would like to see the whole photo we shot... the full real estate of the sensor... then decide whether or not we want to crop it down or make any other adjustments rather than having it cropped and later wondering if we should have shot the full frame. HDR is an option at shoot time because you can't effectively get the same results (or reverse them) in post processing. You can easily get the results of a crop at any point in time in post (which is why apple added it as an option in edit mode). It's a little weird to force the vast majority of users to deal with another setting for a camera interface thats already starting to get a little cluttered. Yes, I'd rather users deal with the oh-so cumbersome task of cropping 300 vacation photos which they have the ability to do vs me and others having to deal with yet another menu option for crop size that we can't get hide or get rid of.


Or they could offer a batch editing mode, where you select all photos and apply the same crop to all.
Theres apps that do this.
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/batchresizer-quickly-resize/id642338509?mt=8
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reduce-batch-resize-images/id580474806?mt=8

That would also be easier, though not as easy as automatic.
Then just use an app that natively shoots 16:9 :rolleyes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/camera+/id329670577?mt=8
 

thekb

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2010
629
23
Unless all you print is 4:3 ratio, you are discarding data every time you crop a photo to print a 4x6, 8x10, 11x14, or whatever. Walk through a museum with photographs, they come in all shapes and sizes. Discarding pixels you don't want or need is perfectly normal. If almost all the "serious" camera makers (Canon, Nikon, Olympus) offer the 16x9 photo mode on most of their cameras, there must be some demand for it somewhere.

I'm not worried, I have KitCam to pick up where Apple left off. It'll eventually show up as a newer, better feature upgrade in iOS 9 or 10.
 
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