iPhone 4S camera: 8 MP, f/2.4, face detection, & more

Apple has announced that the new iPhone 4S, set to be released on October 14, is equipped with an 8-megapixel camera - well, that's what people keep referring to it as, anyway. In fact, this camera is so much more than a simple 8 MP camera; Apple sums it up great as:

The you-can’t-believe-it’s-on-a-phone camera.

The biggest thing that wowed me about the iPhone 4S camera is that it is equipped with an f/2.8 lens. This has many great benefits:

  • The aperture will open wider, allowing more light to hit the sensors which means better, brighter photos.
  • The shutter will be able to move faster, ensuring that those action shots are crisp and lacking of blur.
  • Even in dark, low-lit environments, you will be able to capture photos without using a flash.

This lens, combined with the A5 processor chip and it's digital signal processor, will allow you to snap photos with virtually no shutter lag (Apple says 1.1 seconds for the first picture, less for subsequent pictures). With the additional added feature from iOS 5 that gives quick camera access to the lock screen, you can say goodbye to missed moments.

Another great feature of the iPhone 4S camera is face detection. This isn't new to point-and-shoot cameras, so it's definitely a welcomed addition to the iPhone. When taking a portrait or group shot, the camera will focus on the most prominent face and balance exposure across up to 10 faces.

Some other improvements to the camera include a hybrid infrared filter and advanced algorithms in iOS 5 for even more color accuracy, better white balance, and greater dynamic range.

In my opinion, the least exciting thing about this camera is the bump to 8-megapixels. However, it is nice to know that I'll be able to get decent 8"x10" prints from the iPhone 4S camera or crop them down without causing too much damage to the final image.

I hate to say it, but for the average user, the iPhone 4S's camera will, in many ways, be better than most DSLR cameras equipped with a kit lens.

Hit the link below to check out the sample photos on Apple's website. They're stunning.

Source: Apple

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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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iPhone 4S camera: 8 MP, f/2.4, face detection, & more


14 months
Brand new iPhone
And the only think to be excited about is a lousy camera. Thanks Apple. No upgrade for me please.

i really dont know what alot of you are smoking. The camera is not the only thing to be excited about .Siri is awesome and is only going to get better with time. Why would they need to change the form factor? Its already a well designed device. The iphone 4S being available in a 64 GB model is a big deal to me, the fast processor will also have its benefits. The battery life is even better despite the improvements, but the icloud is the big game changer..and yes you can use it with the previous models, but its going to make life much easier.

Siri is actually my go-to application here, and depending on how much I can get for my iPhone4, my sole reason for upgrading. I use Ford's Sync all the time in my car but it doesn't work well with the iPhone. Can't send/read texts. Can't do a lot of things by voice. Plus I have another car that doesn't have Sync (but I desperately want it to).
This is going to change that. I played around with Siri for a bit and it definitely did what they show in the videos.

Depends on the situation, obviously, but my iPhone4 has outshined my DSLR on a few occasions.

Of course! I must not know how to use it! I must've not known how to use it in photographing sports events, catalogs, fashion shots, automotive events, and more! My whole life being a photographer I guess people just paid me for my photographs out of pity!
The iPhone4 does outshine a DSLR in certain situations, deal with it.

So please enlighten me then: You have both your SLR and your iPhone ready to snap a photo. In what scenario would the photo from your iPhone outshine the one taken from your SLR?

Agreed. Digital zoom, no exposure control, an led flash, no white balance settings, no rapid mode, etc., etc. If my $1200 canon DSLR had specs like that it'd still be on the shelf at best uy. The 4s has a nice camera, sure, but I would say it's worse than a low end DSLR.

You get some idiot that buys a DSLR and just starts taking photos with no idea what they are doing, they will look like shit. With the iPhone they don't have to do anything and they will look good. That's what he meant.

You're kidding yourself if you think motion photos are going to be crystal clear. It's going to be just as blurry with normal hand-shaking as it always was. Same with video. Their "stablization" only smooths out smooth video.
It's been a joke in Final Cut Pro and iMovie for a while, and it'll be a joke here too.

soo dissapointed never thought apple would be so ordinary, seems like all the 4s has on its competition are few meager gimmicks like the expected camera upgrade and voice recognition upgrade. Why didnt i just buy an android instead of waiting all this time....get ahead of the curve apple thats why we buy your stuff, none of this ordinary crap....

I am really Disappointed that we didn't get new earbuds. Come on Apple how could you think that those things are comfortable. Anyways can't wait to try out the new phone.

So basically they not selling you a new phone, they just selling you a new chip and camera for $199 and another 2yrs. Eats it up! It's good fa ya.

Make us proud and get a free iPhone 3GS. It'll be your starter iPhone. And if you're a good boy for two years, maybe the iPhone 4 will be free in 2013 too.

3GS to i4
More RAM
New Body
Retina Display
Better Rear Camera
Front Facing Camera
LED Flash
Face Time
i4 to i4S
More RAM
Better Rear Camera
Siri(btw was an app for 3G, 3GS, i4)
Disappointed? YES!
but it just how I feel about the i4S.



I know, very matures of me

Agree with the 4S's camera being overkill for the average smart phone-using consumer. And yes, lens speed (in terms of large apertures / low f-stop numbers) is something we're fanatical about.

Apple is constantly leveraging and improving their existing technology. It's just a small matter of programming to evolve face recognition from iPhoto and the Camera app to biometric login. Pick up your 2012 iPhone, it recognizes you, and automatically unlocks and awaits your commands. Combine the face recognition with a simple voice password and you've got security and convenience.

Isn't Sony the supplier for the camera sensors?
Because I think the camera in the iPhone 4S is the same (or a slightly modified version of the) camera found on the Xperia Arc/Ray/Neo. They also feature an 8MP sensor with f/2.4, video stabilization, and that low-light thing. Their video capture is however capped to 720p. And their photo quality is stunning too.
I have an ancient iPhone 3G and all I wanted was a bigger screen, because all of my friends have monsters of screens on their droids. And it wasn't because of sheer competition among friends. Bigger screen would mean more information on that tiny screen. I use IM a lot and while typing on the landscape keyboard, I can't see anything above the keyboard. Same goes while playing games... I just feel that they should start making bigger screens now.
And that Assistant thing; the iPhone is already super fast in doing things. Why to ask an "assistant" to do things when you can open up the calendar in a zap and take down events in seconds... or search maps for directions... or reply to texts by typing on that wonderful keyboard. I know its technology, but it will take a while for it to gain popularity and get better at what it does. And flaunting THAT as a major feature along with the camera was just a bad sales tactic by Apple.
Sure, the A5 and the extra ram are ticking inside, but till we get iOS6, I don't think that will be put to good use; considering that even the iPhone 3GS can handle iOS5 pretty well.
All in all, I am disappointed. I'm not a hater; I LOVE Apple. But this time, they failed to give me that BOOM.

1.1 seconds isn't shutter lag, it's startup lag and it would be atrocious shutter lag if it were 1.1 seconds - you'd never get a picture of anything moving.

Thanks but no thanks. I think I'll just stick to my samsung galaxy S-II with it's huge screen, thinness, fast processor, android which is customizable in every way and can do pretty much everything ios5 can. Oh and it already has an 8mp camera.

So, yes, for most people, they are better off with the
iPhone 4S camera, than a DSLR with a kit lens.

Not if they care about quality. The performance of a DSLR with kit lens blows the iPhone 4S out of the water. I'm impressed with my 4S but it's performance in low light is terrible. The DSLR lens can gather over 100 times+ more light due to it's much larger diameter and the sensor is in a different league. I'll happily post or tweet you comparison pics if you want to see the difference.