Your smartphone’s camera is very important and phone manufactures knows this. Long gone are the days where you need to carry around a point and shoot with you to capture special moments since your smartphone now doubles as your primary shooter (and video recorder). And no one knows this better than Apple, who has added some enhancements for their iPhone 5S camera. Here’s a summary of what to expect with the latest version of the iPhone from a photographer’s view, as seen here.
12. Bigger Micron Pixel Size
Apple decided to keep the iPhone 5S’s sensor at 8 megapixels even though other phones boast higher pixels, but more isn’t always better. It’s the quality of those pixels that count more, and Apple knows this. Individual photo receptors in a “pixel” have been enlarged to 1.5 microns to present more surface area for photos to strike. This translates to the phone having a featured a 1.4-micron pixel size.
11. Apple-designed Image Signal Processor
Since Apple designs its own ISP (image signal processor) and fine tunes it to work with its hardware, the iPhone’s pictures are subtler and more accurate in color than the competing HTC One that has 2.0-micron pixels and an f2 aperture, but has a sensor with half the resolution at only 4 megapixels. It color corrects images, converts formats, applies color and tone adjustments and more.
10. More Functions for ISP
Besides doing standard functions like white balance and auto-exposure, it can now do dynamic tone mapping that allows images to be adjusted independently in various areas for brightness, contrast and color like in HDR images.
9. Increased Autofoucs Matrix
The new iPhone 5S will have an autofocus matrix metering with 15 focus zones, which is something common on DLSRs and high-end compact cameras. The feature allows for the camera to split the scene into various zones so that it determines what the subject of focus is and adjusts metering to where it focuses. This is supposed to increase the speed and accuracy of focus and helps to reduce errors and auto-exposure.
8. New Multi-shot Feature
With the new multi-shot feature, the camera takes many exposures and then will choose the sharpest one, which happens without your input.
7. Increase In Light Sensitivity
The active surface area of the sensor is now 15% bigger than before to accommodate the larger pixel size, which translates to more light-sensitive pixel that adds up to 33% more light sensitivity.
6. New 5-Element Lens
The new 5-element lens is a result of the increase in sensor size since it has to project a larger light circle onto the sensor itself.
5. Larger Aperture
The iPhone 5 had an aperture size of f2.4 but the iPhone 5S has a 1/4 stop improvement, coming in at f2.2, which should result in a .5 factor gain in light gathering ability . This means the new iPhone, the iPhone 5s to be more specific, will boast better low-light abilities than the iPhone 5.
4. True Tone Flash
Even though some might not use the flash, the new dual-LED flash won’t just be about giving more light, but will provide light of a more accurate color. The new flash has both an amber and a white LED to produce two tones of light that can balance the foreground ‘faces’ with the background ambient light. If the two tones of the image are the identicial, then the iPhone’s ISP can color-correct the image and produce at least something decent since indoor images should be more balanced in their color, using more natural skin tones and a balanced foreground and background.
3. Auto Image Stabilization
This will be useful when using it in bright light. It’ll use technology that’s similar to what’s used in the current HDR feature. So instead of taking lots of shots and picking a sharp one, it’ll now take multiple shots and then use the best bits of each one to create a final image based on exposure and sharpness.
2. Better Burst Mode
Apple says that its burst mode can capture “hundreds of images in a row without stopping.” Firing off lots of images is great, but going through them can be tedious so the iPhone 5 ISP will weed through all those photos to find the best one using factors, such as exposure, sharpness, face detection, subject smiling and more. It then picks the best one for you to take action on, but all the images shot will remain in the roll.
1. Slow Motion
The new slow motion feature says a lot about the camera’s light-gathering capability of the new sensor since its ISP is able to do up to 120fps at 720p, which is more than most DSLRs. So once you shoot a video, you can easily pick out a segment you’d like to see in slow motion.
Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.