Is the iPhone 4 camera good enough now?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Razeus, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Razeus macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #1
    I'll be getting the iPhone 4 next week. I can't wait. I've been waiting for the camera to get good enough for me to ditch my P&S's. I think the time has come. The 5MP, the auto-focus, tap to focus, the flash, the backlit sensor, the spacing of pixels, bigger chip, and of course the flash.

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/features/camera.html

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/06/sizing-up-the-iphone-4-for-shutterbugs.ars

    I'm not sure if those pictures are legit, but they claim the samples are untouched and straight from the iPhone.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. mgmusicman94 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #2
    Yes, of course they're legit. They're probably taken by a professional photographer (Steve said they were taken by employees) but they are from the iPhone 4 camera and they are untouched.
     
  3. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    Oct 6, 2008
    #3
    What's the alternative? If it's a DLUX4, I know what the answer is.
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    I guess it depends on how you use your P&S. I've been thinking about this too, since I pre-ordered an iPhone 4 and have also been thinking about getting a new P&S to use when I don't feel like using my SLR. But ultimately, no matter how good the picture quality of an iPhone is, it's still a fixed focal length lens. That's gonna seriously limit what you can shoot, or at the very least how you can compose your shots.

    What I'm really holding out for is a waterproof P&S that has picture quality good enough to use as an everyday camera. But that's another discussion.
     
  5. Gold89 macrumors 6502

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    UK
    #5
    A fixed focal length can actually be a positive, better to have a higher quality fixed lens than a poor quality zoom. Many of the greatest photographers only shot with a single focal length.
     
  6. Lurchdubious macrumors 65816

    Lurchdubious

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    Texas
    #6
    It's good enough for me! Now my wife will officially have supreme control of our new Canon Elph ;).
     
  7. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    May 18, 2007
    #7
    Personally I think the new camera is pretty good for a phone, but the images still look like crap. Over saturated, over sharpened, no dynamic range, and still pretty noisy at high sensitivities.
     
  8. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

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    Mar 18, 2006
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    #8
    This is very true. Nowadays, we are spoilt for choice and the majority think that the more bells and whistles they have on their cameras, the better their photos will be!

    No true! I'm old enough to remember the "film" days when, apart from SLR's (which were very expensive and out of the price range of the majority of "non-professionals"), most cameras featured fixed focal length lenses (usually about 50mm on cameras using 35mm film). As you couldn't "zoom" you just got in closer to the subject!

    Generally speaking, the discipline imposed by lens and film limitations resulted in photographs of a high standard, easily compared with results from today's technology.
     
  9. romanaz macrumors regular

    romanaz

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    NJ
    #9
    what do you expect from such a small sensor though? You won't get near a point in shoot in comparison for that, but they look good and all enough for a phone. This will prolly replace many many low end point and shoots for most people.

    And dont forget about all the awesome photo editing apps that will work with this guy... I can't imagine how good hipstamatic will look.
     
  10. danpass macrumors 68020

    danpass

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    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #10
    Any idea on the mm equivalent?

    two things I really disliked about the 3GS camera was the narrow dynamic range and the focal length.

    seemed to be a 40mm type of focal length.

    I wish we could get RAW (maybe JB will provide this option) and prevent the camera from applying that heavy processing (though that looks to be improved with the iP4)
     
  11. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #11
    28mm equal according to my previous links
     
  12. anubis macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 7, 2003
    #12
    Since you look set from dSLR point of view, I see no reason to have a P&S in addition to an iPhone camera for quick shots. That's what I do. 5D for actual photography, 3GS for snaps. Works well enough!
     
  13. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    Oct 14, 2008
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    SLC
    #13
    My sony phone has an 8.1 MP camera, and it is really good. Also, I have camera drivers installed...
     
  14. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #14
    Given there is some zoom functionality in iOS4, it will be interesting to see how well the gen 4. phone does (zoom also valid on 3G/S).

    Without zoom I rate the camera generally good enough to take simple photos say in a store to research stuff later or simple family pics. With zoom it may make the iPhone a potential P&S replacement for some.

    Ultimately it all depends on what you have and what you need. If your only camera will be the iPhone... then a P&S might still be a good investment, if you have a full Canon/Nikon dSLR kit etc etc, then the iPhone might be suitable for a P&S.

    Of course... it also depends on battery life... the more functions one device is asked to do and the more often you ask it to do it the more restricted you become as battery life will eventually be an issue. If you are a crazy snapper then no phone might be appropriate for you :)
     
  15. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

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    #15
    There is an interesting article in today's WSJ about this very issue. 1 in 5 cellphone users take a picture with their phones once a week, which is a pretty compelling statistic for how people tend to use their phones.

    I use my iPhone's camera periodically, but until it can offer me the same features my P&S can (especially zoom, but also handling and feature control), I doubt it will replace it.
     
  16. Davydd macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2008
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    Minnesota
    #16
    I upload a lot of photos (88 to date) from my iPhone 3G to my Facebook wall. Since those photos are reduced in resolution to 604 x 453 from the iPhone's 640 x 480 even the 2 MP camera is adequate as long as you know how to compose a photo, have adequate light, hold steady and take an interesting shot. It appears the 5 MP camera will be a big improvement. I would say the camera is good enough to post to the internet or print 4 x 6 snapshot photos. The camera is only as good as the photographer. For Facebook and Twitter use timeliness is important and the iPhone provides that over P&S cameras. The other area where timeliness is important is if you use GPS tracking software like IMapMyWalk, Everytrail, etc. and record photos along the route.

    What I am most curious about is its low-light capability. I'm one of those that will pull out a camera in a restaurant and flash is not only annoying but not flattering in a food photo.
     
  17. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #17
    Have IOS4 on my 3G S, first impressions, zoom seems to be pretty useless, I would be inclined to say it is more of a crop of the image than zoom, ie pretty crappy resolution.

    On an new 4th gen phone it should be a lot more useful with the upgraded hardware.
     
  18. macrumormonger macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2009
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #18
    A few times as part of my field inspections, I have used my Iphone to take pics. Very poor quality even in sunlight. I just want quality, resolution and detail that is high enough that is doesn't 'look' like a cell-phone pic.
     
  19. JAQ macrumors 6502

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    May 13, 2008
    Location:
    Purgatory MI
    #19
    That is true of any "digital zoom". You cannot enlarge a digital image to show more detail; you can only make the already-visible details larger. If you want zoom capability that actually improves your long-distance photos, buy a camera with optical zoom (i.e. pieces of glass that move). Period.
     
  20. jbernie macrumors 6502a

    jbernie

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    #20
    I fully understand that, but in comparison to the Samsung A737 (no where near a smart phone or a phoen any significant cost) I had been using prior to the 3GS the zoom on the iPhone is a toy of no use where as on the Samsung it was actually usable.
     
  21. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #21
  22. Davydd macrumors regular

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    Dec 5, 2008
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    Minnesota
    #22
    The iPhone 4 camera is good enough for probably 95% of intended use if that intended use is sending photos to other phones, posting on the internet, viewing slideshows on computers, iPads, digital frames or TVs, or printing 4 x 6 snapshot photos. Few people do much more than that with point and shoot cameras. The photos posted here in the iPhone forum are very encouraging. Since I don't have an iPhone 4 yet I do not fully understand how its digital zoom works (crop or interpolate) but if you limit your photos to post processing for the internet to a final 640 x 480 size you could effectively crop a no zoom 2592 x 1936 resolution photo down to 640 x 480 and get an equivalent 4X zoom without losing any quality.
     

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