The iPhone 5's camera features panorama photos, simultaneous stills and video, and more

The recently announced iPhone 5 is going to sport new and improved cameras that allow you to take Panorama images be simply panning across a scene, 40% faster photo capture, better low-light performance, improved noise reduction, enhanced 1080p HD video recording, a front-facing camera that can record 720p HD video, and more.

Take better photos with the iPhone 5

Although the iPhone 5's camera did not receive a bump in megapixels over the iPhone 4S, the new camera does have improved HDR capabilities that will produce better color and tone and reduce motion blur. Apple also claims that the quality of photographs taken in low light have improved -- but I'll believe that when I see it.

Shoot panorama photos automagically with the iPhone 5

One of the huge new additions to iOS 6 and the iPhone 5 (and iPhone 4S) camera is the new panorama feature that lets you capture up to 240 degrees of scenery. The gyroscope, new A6 chip, and Camera app all work together to seamlessly create a single shot with a resolution of up to 38 megapixels.

Record better video with the iPhone 5

Just like the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 5 is equipped with the ability to shoot 1080p HD video, but Apple boasts that the iPhone 5 camera will let in more light, creating brighter videos. The auto white balance and noise reduction have also been improved, and image stabilization is still included, of course.

Take photos while recording video with the iPhone 5

One of the great new features of the Camera app that is exclusive to the iPhone 5 is the ability to take still images while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video. I'm personally very excited about this because I often choose not to record video because I don't want to miss the opportunity for a good photo.

Better video compression with the iPhone 5

With the iPhone 5, you'll be able to record the same high-quality 1080p HD video as with the iPhone 4S, but the iPhone 5 is equipped with better compression algorithms making the file sizes 20% smaller. This means it'll be faster to email or send via MMS.

Built from Sapphire Crystal

The surface of the iPhone 5's iSight camera is made out of sapphire crystal making it, well, crystal clear. But in addition to clarity, sapphire crystal offer a hardness level that is second only to diamond on the scale of transparent materials. What does this mean for you? The lens is much less likely to scratch.

iPhone 5 features a FaceTime HD camera

It wasn't only the rear-facing iSight camera on the iPhone 5 that got a boost -- the front-facing FaceTime camera is now finally capable of 720 HD video recording. I've always avoided using the front-facing camera like the plague, but hopefully it won't be too bad, now. Additionally, FaceTime Video calls are also possible over a cellular connection without WiFi, but availability is up to the carriers.

Your thoughts on the iPhone 5's new camera?

So there's a quick recap of the new features of the iPhone 5's camera. What do you think? What are you most excited about? Personally, the ability to automagically take panoramic photos is very exciting to me, but even more exciting is the ability to take photos while recording video.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Leanna Lofte

Former app and photography editor at iMore, Leanna has since moved on to other endeavors. Mother, wife, mathamagician, even though she no longer writes for iMore you can still follow her on Twitter @llofte.

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Reader comments

The iPhone 5's camera features panorama photos, simultaneous stills and video, and more

25 Comments

These additions are nice but let's face it there's nothing too different about this camera vs my 4S which is a bit disappointing to me, I may still get the iP5 but I was hoping for some crazy 13mp upgrade to blow the competition well out of the water and make my decision very easy!

Hum... considering Apple Inc always claim to "innovate" and Japanese phones already have 12 MP cameras, well... I disagree with iSheep philosophy of never question Apple.

Do you also realize that there are a lot more important things in a camera system then megapixel. The higher the mp count doesn't mean its better. I have a 6 year old 8mp Canon DSLR camera that would smoke any 13mp phone camera you can show me.

The phone is just ok. I would have liked a higher resolution camera, a complete redesign, and some innovative, blow my socks off applications. All the leaks have made this launch very anti-climatic.

And that's why some people are underwhelmed because of the leaks being pretty much spot on. Also people expect to be wowed by Apple all the time and that's not gonna happen every year. Good thing there's a massive selection of phones out there if you dont like this.

Good job on the sapphire crystal. Never a bad thing for durability. Also nice to see Apple yet again playing catch up to Android. Android has had instant shutter, panorama mode, and video stills since Ice Cream Sandwich.

Looks like the majority of this phone is about gaining parity with their competitors. Not much innovating here. Maybe Google will sue over the new photo features. They could package it in with a law suit for the notification bar.

Signed,
Disappointed iOS user -

I'd like to see how the camera picture quality compares to the new lumia. And not the faked pictures Nokia put out :).

I was hoping for a little more... The only thing I'm liking is the ability to snap a photo while recording. Panorama, we could do that already with certain apps in the app store. Regardless, still going to buy one because I love Apple products.

It's easy to get caught up in the megapixel wars for mobile phone cameras, but that's really a fools errand. You are simply cutting a tiny lens into smaller and smaller pieces. A lower megapixel count combined with better glass, handling of light, and software will take better pictures every time. In fact, the more megapixels you add to the sensor without increasing its size, the more difficult it is to take a picture that is just as good. It's like CPU speed in a computer. If you don't have enough RAM or your bus speed is slow, or your OS is crapped up and bogging down, then that super fast processor is of no benefit to you. All of the elements have to work together.

All that said, I will believe Apple's hype when I see it. I hope it is better, since much of the rest of the iPhone 5 is pretty pedestrian, but the iPhone 4S camera is so good already, that this doesn't seem like much of a bump. Apple really needs to roll out something innovative, like Nokia's PureView high density sensor that allows for zooming without loss of quality. Mobile phone cameras need something comprabile to an optical zoom to fully replace point-and-shoot cameras. Apple would be wise to deliver something compelling here before Nokia can get their tech to work in a real smartphone.

I currently have a 4s and am curious to know what the 5 can do that the 4s can not. I know it can do a lot of things better but what can it do that the 4 s can't. For example the 4s has siri while the 4 does not. The only thing I know of is that the 5 has a larger screen and the 4s does not. Just trying to figure if upgrading will give me a new feature vs. an upgrade.

That's sure what it looks like. The 4s will have Panorama mode. I dont believe it will have the video stills mode though.

Your paying for approx. .6 inches of screen real estate added to your current 4s. That is about the only noticeable difference. Everything else is a joke. I would suggest sticking with your 4s or going android if you wanted a bigger phone. Just my 2 cents.

What astonishes me is that Apple makes one iPhone not 12 different kinds. The size of the screen, camera, os, and everything else is designed well enough to sell to all types of consumers. They didn't change the camera as much because its a 4inch screen with a 8 mega pixel camera. There are plenty of factors that go into having higher megapixels, it doesn't mean it's going to be a better camera just because it has more mp's.

I am a professional iPhone Photographer. The option to capture faster images is appealing and so is the harder glass to protect the lens, even though I haven't had any issues with the current cover. However unless the pano app can correct for the light range, in an HDR fashion, I find it to be useless for my purpose.
I am also most courteous to how the photo will be viewed on the screen since the perspective already crops the sides off a bit.
I am holding off on this upgrade at the moment anyway awaiting the impression of my fellow photographers.