Apple affectionados were disappointed that the new iPhone announced last week was the iPhone 4S and not the much anticipated iPhone 5, but the upgrade to the iPhone 4 included some interesting changes to the internal camera.
The improved camera in the iPhone 4S has an 8-megapixel sensor, up from the 5-megapixel in the 4, along with an improved f/2.4 aperture lens for better low-light performance. The lens also has an advanced hybrid infrared filter promising more accurate color rendition.
Backing up the camera is the new A5 chip and iOS 5, and Apple brags that the image processing is just as good as those found in bigger DSLRs. Unlikely, though it does give the iPhone 4S features like tap focus and from-the-screen focus control. Apple also claims virtually zero shutter lag and the camera app accessible right from the lock screen.
We’ll wait to see more pictures before commenting on their boasts about the comparison to DSLRs, but the sample photos on Apple’s UK site are impressive.
The iPhone also borrowed face detection capability from digital cameras which detects whether you’re shooting a portrait or group shot and can automatically balance exposure for up to 10 faces.
Like the 4, the 4S also has the LED flash, which kicks in automatically in low light situations.
Despite Apple’s boast on the image quality, the iPhone 4S is not going to threaten DSLR shooters, but it may impact sales of compact cameras. As cell phone cameras improve, there is less incentive to carry a point-and-shoot. The more often those stay at home, the less likely consumers will be to replace them.