Why is 6S front camera 720p?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Aditya_S, May 26, 2016.

  1. Aditya_S macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #1
    I've been wondering about this for a while. The 6s camera is 5MP, but recording video is still only 720p, same since the 5. Isn't 5MP enough for 1080p video? Do you think Apple could increase the resolution with a software update or is it impossible because the hardware only allows for 720p?
     
  2. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

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    Dec 16, 2011
    #2
    When you record a video, you're really just taking a bunch of photos (30 pictures every second, 60 pictures every second, etc.) When taking a picture, if only has to take one shot, period. It takes a lot of processing power to film consistently at 1080p/30fps, and even more at 1080p/60fps, and so on. It's just an easier load on the camera system and the processor. It's why even 20something MP cameras don't go past 1080p or 4K.
     
  3. Aditya_S thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #3
    But the rear camera can do 4K video, which requires way more processing power than 720p. If the 6s can do 4K on the rear camera, why can't it do 1080p on the front camera?
     
  4. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 3, 2004
    #4
    Because the CCD is only a certain resolution.
     
  5. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    Rio Grande Valley in South Texas
    #5
    So that Apple can market as many "new" features as possible for the iPhone 7, including 1080p video for the FaceTime camera.

    It's sad, but we all know it's true.
     
  6. akash.nu macrumors 68030

    akash.nu

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    May 26, 2016
    #6
    It's business and the sensor is not good enough as well.
     
  7. Aditya_S thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #7
    How is it not good enough? 1080p is a little over 2MP. So 5MP is more than enough for 1080p.
     
  8. akash.nu macrumors 68030

    akash.nu

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    May 26, 2016
    #8
    Yeah but what's the point of making a 1080p video when the quality is going to be horrible. Don't forget it's just the size of the frame, not actual quality of the video.
     
  9. Applefan4 macrumors 6502

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    May 6, 2013
    #9
    Because 720p camera is enough. Until, of course, Apple releases 1080 front camera
     
  10. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

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    Dec 16, 2011
    #10
    The camera sensor itself does MOST of the processing, and that includes video. The simple answer is just that the front facing camera's hardware isn't powerful enough to process 1080p video, while the rear sensors is.
     
  11. Aditya_S thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #11
    Oh, I wasn't aware of that fact. I thought the phone's hardware, in this case the A9 chip, processed the video.
     
  12. TommyA6 macrumors 65816

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    May 15, 2013
    #12
    Hmm, I don't think so... ISP on the SoC does most of the work:

    "Like the iPhone 6s, the iPhone SE has a 12MP 1/3" camera sensor, and a lens with an f/2.2 aperture. With the A9 SoC also comes the same image signal processor (ISP), and so in theory photos should be identical between the two phones. This represents an enormous improvement from the iPhone 5s, which used Apple's first 1/3" sensor with a resolution of 8MP. Moving to a higher resolution sensor has enabled UHD video recording, and the new ISP built into A9 allows for 1080p120 slow motion video as well as Apple's Live Photos feature."
     
  13. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #13
    I agree. Otherwise, how would Apple explain how Android phones have been able to record 1080p in the front-facing camera for years?
     
  14. Aditya_S thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #14
    So I was right in my previous assumption that the A9 chip processed the video. I remember before the 6s came out with 4k video recording, there was an app for the iPhone 6 and 5s that allowed them to record video in 1440p. Could there be an app for 1080p front facing camera recording?
     
  15. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

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    Dec 16, 2011
    #15
    From what I understand with photography, the ISP is just how the phone takes the photo (i.e. white balance, noise reduction, stabilization, etc.), whereas the camera module itself has to have the hardware to support filming at high resolutions. The camera sensor itself isn't able to support it like the rear one can.

    It just simply upscaled the content, since (AFAIK...I could be wrong), there's no API to allow other apps to record native 4K.
     
  16. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    Feb 13, 2012
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    Perth, Western Australia
    #16
    Because it is intended for video chat (FaceTime), not filming 4k movies.

    Facetime/video chat is bandwidth limited anyway, so wasting the development budget on a higher spec camera (or compression engine) is not really worth it.
     
  17. cynics macrumors G4

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    Jan 8, 2012
    #17
    There is likely a hardware bottleneck somewhere, mostly likely around the camera itself.

    Think of all the dedicated cameras available that have higher than 4k resolution (~9 megapixel) stills, but can't even shoot 1080p video.

    Everything on a smartphone needs to have compromises between cost, size, quality, etc etc. The front camera is no exception and designed for selfies and video calling. For its design it does well. It can take a decent selfie, and at 720p it has a good compromise between quality of video and data usage.

    I use about 1 gb per 1 hour of video calling from the front camera, any higher and you can start hitting bandwidth limits of connections (stuttery video) and/or use up cellular data plans.

    If you need to be curious about the quality of a camera then ask why the Macs have such mediocre cameras. I WISH that my iMac had from front facing camera of my iPhone.
     
  18. bushido Suspended

    bushido

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    Mar 26, 2008
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    Germany
    #18
    do you really have to ask? it's the same company that put a 420p camera in their 1.400€ laptop in 2016 lol
     
  19. dangerfish macrumors 6502

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    Aug 28, 2007
    #19
    The camera is CMOS not CCD.
     
  20. chrf097 macrumors 68040

    chrf097

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    Dec 16, 2011
    #20
    That's true for the rear facing camera, but I think the front facing camera is CCD.
     

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