One area in which the iPhone 4S has gotten a major update is its camera. All-new specs have led Apple to dub the upgraded snapper the “you-can’t-believe-it’s-on-a-phone-camera.”
This improved camera, which has yet to be independently tested, could be big news. As Apple stated in its 4S presentation, the iPhone 4 is now the most popular camera for uploading pictures on Flickr with over 16,179,186 items uploaded. Apple is hoping the iPhone 4S will encourage even more people to leave their point-and-shoot cameras at home.
While Apple has been a little vague on the exact technical changes (which we won’t know before a tear-down report), and real-life results have yet to be seen, the new specs appear to promise compact camera quality from a phone.
Take a look through the gallery of Apple’s unedited sample iPhone 4S shots below in which we highlight the major changes. Let us know in the comments if you’re excited by the photographic abilities of the 4S — or, if you’re using an older iPhone, whether you’re already satisfied.
1. Access to the Camera App Is Faster
One huge improvement to the iPhone photography experience is a simple one -- the 4S offers instant access to the camera from the lock screen.
In addition you will also use be able to use the volume "up" button to capture a photo faster.
2. The Camera Is Faster
As well as faster access to the camera app, the camera itself boasts improved speeds. Thanks to the dual-core A5 chip and the new DSLR-quality image signal processor (which also enables face detection and 26% better white balance), the camera will capture images up to a third faster than the iPhone 4.
The 4S claims that snapping a first photo will take 1.1 seconds, and the time in which the camera "recovers" and is ready to take another shot has been reduced to 0.5 seconds.
3. It Boasts 8 Megapixels and a New Sensor
Image quality isn't all about megapixels, but the boost from five to eight on the 4S should make a noticeable difference, especially in conjunction with the next-gen backside illuminated CMOS sensor.
Apple says this sensor "is engineered with increased sensitivity and a shorter exposure time to achieve the same scene brightness." The results? "Colors are less saturated and you’ll see more details."
The claim is that the 4S' photos are "rendered pixel for pixel in prints as large as 8-inches by 10-inches," which means almost A4-sized prints from your phone.
4. It's Got a New Lens
The quality of optics is a huge factor in photography. A cheap plastic lens is like looking through a dirty porthole, a correctly shaped quality glass lens will appear more like a sparkling clean window.
The iPhone 4S' new lens is made from five seperate "precision" elements. It's said to be 30% sharper than the lens on the iPhone 4. That kind of percentage means you should be able to see the difference.
5. It Boasts a Larger Aperture
The camera also gets an aperture upgrade -- f/2.8 -- which lets in more light. This is where the "advanced hybrid infrared filter" comes into play, keeping harmful IR light away from the sensor for more accurate and uniform colors.
In practical terms a larger aperture means improved depth of field, leading to better images.
6. There's Improved Pinch-to-Zoom
The existing iPhone camera's bar zoom feature may seem counter-intuitive to those used to pinching to zoom elsewhere on the device.
Apple has finally addressed this with the 4S -- you will be able to pinch and zoom. Aided by the new (optional) grid lines, you also can tap to lock the focus, as before.
7. It's Got Better Native Editing and Sharing
The new iOS 5 Photos app offers some basic in-camera edits such as crop, rotate, enhance and remove red-eye. There's also improved organization within albums.
As well as the existing abilities to email and MMS your photos, the 4S will also allow you to instantly share them via iMessage and the built-in Twitter integration (as well as stream them via iCloud.)
8. There's 1080p Video Recording
The 4S goes more high-res with the ability to record 1080p quality. Thankfully, there's also video image stabilization, as shooting that res on a small handheld device could make you a little dizzy.