iPhone 5S Camera is Insane – All about The iPhone 5S Camera

The iPhone 5S has just been unveiled (shipping September 20th), and perhaps the most amazing feature (other than the fingerprint scanner) is the camera. Apple put a lot of thought into it, and dramatically increased the quality of photo and video in every way. I’d qualify this as a point-and-shoot camera killer (past phones have severely dented it, but they’ve never crushed the market like this). This photographer says Apple nailed it.

The iPhone 5S beats every smartphone in the camera category – including the Lumia 1020.

iPhone 5S Camera features

Read my full notes on the Apple Event

The iPhone 5S’s highlight is its camera. Here’s why:

  • Larger pixels on 8 MP sensor – The quality of a camera is not about megapixels once it gets to 8 megapixels. It’s about the size and receptiveness of the pixels on the sensor. Apple increased the size of the pixels, meaning
  • Increased low-light performance
  • Better Depth of field
  • F2.2 aperture – helps with the two things above ^
  • Auto White balance – seriously needed
  • improved autofocus
  • Auto image stabilization —  no more shaky selfies and concert photos
  • 28 Megapixel Panoramas
  • Live filters for quickly editing fun photos (instagram-like)
  • Burst Mode! Huge 10 FPS burst. This is actually faster than professional cameras. Great for sports and action photography.
  • 120 FPS Slow Motion HD video (most video is 30 frames per second). Slow motion is a blast, but it’s never been available in HD for such an amazing price before.
  • 2 LED auto-adjusting flash for more balanced photos

Michael Sitver

Michael Sitver is a technology insider who has been blogging about technology since 2011. Along the way, he's interviewed founders of innovative startups, and executives from fortune 500 companies, and he's tried dozens or hundreds of gadgets. Michael has also contributed to works featured in Newsday, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the associated press. Michael also occasionally consults, and writes for Seeking Alpha and Yahoo News.

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11 Responses

  1. linuxfan says:

    Improved in every way… except megapixels. Sony Z1 has a 20 megapixel camera with a huge 1/2.3″ sensor and F2.0 aperture. Sorry to disappoint you, but the iPhone5s camera is way behind. Maybe with the redesigned lens, the iPhone will no longer produce purple pictures though…

    • appstorechronicle says:

      It’s not all about the megapixels. Read this: http://www.logitech.com/en-us/webcam-communications/articles/6027

      • linuxfan says:

        Yes, I remember this Apple tactic. They called it the megahertz myth when they were stuck at 500Mhz G4 processors for two years while Intel raced away into multiple gigahertz. Now it is the megapixel myth? It is disappointing Apple didn’t learn their lesson and went with another slow custom processor. History repeating itself.

        You mentioned the burst mode. iPhone5s takes 10 shots per second? Did you know the Sony Z1 burst mode (called Timeshift) takes 61 shots in two seconds. I will be interested to see how the A7 performs on geekbench to see if it is the processor or the software slowing down Apple’s camera performance. It should be able to take 8MP pictures at a rate faster than that. Even the Xperia Z from spring was capable of 10 shots per second with its 13MP camera.

        • Takeo says:

          Relax, the iPhone 5S can shoot at 120fps in HD. No other phone in the world can do that. Apple just uses it for video, which makes total sense, to achieve slow motion.

          • linuxfan says:

            No other phone in the world? The galaxy note 3 not only shoots HD at 120fps, it also shoots 4K video at 30fps. Personally, I’m waiting for the Nexus 5 before I make any decisions, but iPhone5s is very disappointing. I think most buyers will feel Apple utterly failed by delivering such a poor, low resolution 8MP camera. I cannot imagine how they thought they could deliver anything less than a 13MP sensor at such high prices. Maybe Apple should have tried to brand it “ultrapixel” or some other marketing gibberish that companies use when they deliver such low resolution cameras at high end prices.

    • Takeo says:

      your comment about the amount of megapixels really declassified the entire rant to be done by someone who has no idea about photography nor sensors…
      I would make a bet here and now that the iPhone 5S will take better photos than the Sony Z1.

      • linuxfan says:

        Sony makes the camera used in the iPhone. So you are saying Sony’s 8MP camera is somehow better than Sony’s 20.7MP camera AND Sony decided to use a less capable camera on their own flagship device. I think you will lose your bet.

        • Takeo says:

          Well, first of all let’s see if this camera is made by Sony.
          Second of all, processing of images is more but the sheer number of pixels. The double-flash is a great idea, why does Sony not have that?
          Let’s see how it turns out. I say the iPhone 5S will take better photos.

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  1. September 12

    […] 8 Megapixels is still fairly decent for a phone, and the image quality, above the pixel quantity, puts the iPhone 5S camera above that of the Lumia 1020. Read more about the iPhone 5S camera here. […]

  2. September 20

    […] The camera was the biggest selling point for me. As a hobbyist photographer I was extremely attracted to the improved low-light performance, and other improvements. Is it the only phone with dual flashes? No. Does it have the highest resolution camera? No. But it does have the best camera and image editing software, 120 FPS HD video, and some of the best stabilization out there. Where each feature may not be the best, the combination still produces the best photos and videos out there, and the camera is still cumulatively the best smartphone camera out there. […]

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