iPhone 5 Review - Cameras Review

iPhone 5 Review – Camera

Upon first impression the iPhone 5’s
camera doesn’t seem to have had much of an upgrade as it sports the same
core specs as the iPhone 4S. It shoots 8MP stills and 1080p video, it
has an f2.4 lens and it doesn’t have any extra clever camera tech like
the phenomenal image stabilisation of the Nokia Lumia 920. But, as well
as managing to make the whole assembly 30 percent slimmer and adding a
harder sapphire glass cover Apple has managed to improve overall image
quality.

Shooting
in as identical situations as possible the iPhone 5 seems to produce
crisper, more detailed results than the 4S. Some of this could be down
to higher use of a sharpening algorithm but regardless, straight out the
camera its shots tend to look better, and the 4S was already the best
phone camera on the markets (Nokia 808 PureView notwithstanding).

iPhone 5 4

The
difference is less noticeable on video but here the iPhone 5 does have
another trick up its sleeve, and it’s one of those real ‘why didn’t they
think of that before?’ moments. The second microphone used for noise
cancelling when making a call has been positioned alongside the rear
camera where it plays double duty for recording audio when shooting
video. The result is less chance of muffled or otherwise peculiar
sounding audio because of your hand covering the other microphone that
sits on the bottom of the phone.

iPhone 5 camera sample
iPhone 5 Camera
The iPhone 5 copes with both dull and bright days, pulling colour out of the former and maintaining highlight and shadow detail in the latter.

Then
of course there’s the Panorama mode. We’ve seen panorama modes on
plenty of other devices before but none anywhere near as impressive as
Apple has managed here.

iPhone 5 camera sample 1

For
a start the process is super easy. You just tap the shutter button and
start panning round – the phone will do the rest. It’s not just easy,
though, it’s also superb quality. Unlike any other equivalent we’ve seen
you get a really high resolution image, and the image processing does
an excellent job of smoothing out the image, keeping exposure changes
gradual. It can slip up, particularly if you go too fast but for the
most part it’s very capable.
iPhone 5 Camera
Indoor shots also look good…
iPhone 5 Camera
…though it can’t cope with focussing properly in the pitch black, even when its LED is bright enough to light the scene.

One issue the iPhone 5 does still struggle with, though, is focussing in the pitch black. Unlike the impressive cameras on the BlackBerry Z10 and Nokia Lumia 920, the iPhone 5 doesn’t take the time to light up the scene with its LED, focus, then take the shot. Instead it just sort of guesses the focussing and shots come out blurry.

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