Is the 1.2mp front camera on the iPhone SE noticeably bad?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by nelsonammo, May 7, 2017.

  1. nelsonammo macrumors regular

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    Mar 9, 2011
    #1
    I'm thinking of getting an iPhone SE. I like the 4" screen size and don't mind the lack of 3D touch or 2nd gen touch ID. And the rest of the internals are virtually the same as the 6s. However the one thing that is bugging me is the weaker front camera. Only 1.2mp in 2017 seems pretty bad.

    For those of you who use the SE, how has the performance of the front camera been? Has it noticeably impacted your overall usage of the phone?
     
  2. Droidzoid Suspended

    Droidzoid

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    Mar 30, 2014
    #2
    It is pretty bad by todays standards. Almost all pictures in anything remotely not sunny will come out grainy/noisy.
     
  3. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 20, 2009
    #3
    It's not all about MPs. One of these is the 1.2 mp iPhone and the other is a 5 mp Lumia 950 XL ...guess which is which:

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

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    Jul 12, 2016
    #4
    When I owned the SE, I rarely used the front facing camera. However, it's quality was sub-par from my experiences.
     
  5. Droidzoid Suspended

    Droidzoid

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    Mar 30, 2014
    #5
    +1

    It works well in super bright conditions but the moment light drops so does the quality of the camera.
     
  6. Leo90 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 15, 2014
    #6
    I rarely use the front facing camera. The quality is ok I suppose. What really matters is the rear camera and this is one is brilliant!
     
  7. laudern macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 5, 2011
    #7
    What's the answer?!?!?!
     
  8. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 20, 2009
    #8
    Oh no....you've got to guess first. :)
     
  9. peterpayne macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2017
    #9
    Left is the iPhone SE, right?

    Want to see more of this! :)
     
  10. nelsonammo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 9, 2011
    #10
    Thanks for the replies. A bit disappointing about the camera. I'm really hoping it was an engineering issue that prevented them from putting in the better camera, rather than that they wanted to save $3 per unit. :rolleyes:
     
  11. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'm waiting for a few more guesses before revealing....:D
     
  12. UL2RA macrumors 6502a

    UL2RA

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    May 7, 2017
    #12
    It's not bad, but when compared to newer iPhones then yes, it's noticeably worse. It's most noticeable during webcam conversations.
     
  13. peterpayne macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2017
    #13
    I think it's just a business decision... to justify charging more for the 6s... which has bigger screen and better front camera.

    If they were the same people who like/are happy with 4'' screens wouldn't even consider buying an 6s, 7, etc. They couldn't make the SE perfect if they want to keep selling their bigger phones.
     
  14. Zaft macrumors 68040

    Zaft

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    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #14
    The front facing camera has been HD since the iPhone 5 so video quality should not be worse overall.
     
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

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    Washington, DC
    #15
    Left:Lumia; Right: iPhone
     
  16. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Ok, we have one vote each way....need someone to break the tie before I reveal the answer. :cool:
     
  17. UL2RA macrumors 6502a

    UL2RA

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    May 7, 2017
    #17
    I'm not sure what you're trying to say by "worse overall" ... that means absolutely nothing. It has most of the iPhone 6S components except for the front-facing camera, which is literally the same camera from the 5S from two generations prior. So yes, it's worse than it should be. That doesn't mean it's terrible, it's just one of the downsides of the SE. They had to get it down to the price it is somehow, so some sacrifices were made. It's still a great deal for what it is.
     
  18. MikeS.7456 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 26, 2017
    #18
    Is the left the iPhone SE and the right the Lumia Phone ?
     
  19. Zaft macrumors 68040

    Zaft

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    Jun 16, 2009
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #19
    Where did I write its terrible? You misunderstood my post from the beginning. All I was saying was that unlike for pictures which are 1.2mp the video is HD so it should not be much worse than the higher end iPhones.
     
  20. UL2RA macrumors 6502a

    UL2RA

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    May 7, 2017
    #20
    It's noticeably worse than newer phones. I video chat a lot. If you don't think so, that's fine. That's just not been my experience.
     
  21. saintsfan1970 macrumors member

    saintsfan1970

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    Massachusetts
    #21
    My 1st thought was Left: Lumia and Right: iPhone
     
  22. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 20, 2009
    #22
    And the winner is.....Le Big Mac! (and Saintsfan1970). The 1.2 MP face-facing camera even has better detail than the 5 MP Lumia front-facing camera, although the Lumia has better tones.

    There is a huge misconception that more MPs automatically means better pictures. Low-light noise is about sensor size more than anything else....a 1" 1.2 MP sensor will be a ton better in low light than 1/3" 14 MP smartphone camera sensor. Processing also plays a part, which is why lower-MP iPhones have won many head-to head photo reviews with higher-MP Samsungs and others in the past.

    You also have to consider what your selfies are for......are your selfies to be displayed on your cell phone, tablet, or computer monitor, or your 65" 4k TV? Are you printing your selfies at poster size or blowing them up to crop them, then printing them out ?? If your selfies never leave Facebook/Instagram/etc, and you are always displaying them on your cell/tablet/laptop, 5 MP is probably overkill. Now, the selfie sensor could be bigger, but then you give up screen real estate.

    Remember that for YEARS Apple refused to play the spec game, and was even secretive about specs at times, preferring to focus consumers on the end product. But I think that they have succumbed to the same marketing tactics that first PC and now smart phone manufacturers know, that they can get people to buy their products with a simple spec bumps without many consumers thinking about why they need to have the higher specs. I firmly believe that we are reaching the point of diminishing returns.....why do you need a 4k screen in a 5" cell phone display? Yet some are clamoring for them.

    As always, JMHO.
     
  23. nfl46 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    #23
    The iPhone SE front-facing camera reminds me of the 12-inch MacBook front-facing camera. They are both bad.

    But, yes, there's a noticeable difference when you compare to it the iPhone 6S/7 line of iPhones.
     
  24. nelsonammo thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 9, 2011
    #24
    The right one is the iPhone SE? The quality of the two pics looks the same but the colors of the left one are much more vibrant. What a disappointment.
     
  25. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 20, 2009
    #25
    The right one was from an iPhone 6.

    Here's a better comparison for you: an SE vs a 6s, which you would probably prefer since it has a 5 MP front camera.


    IMG_0854.JPG
     

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