The iPhone 5S and its Promise for Better Images

The iPhone 5S and its Promise for Better Images

Well first off, I am not positive anyone actually retained what the specs on the new iPhone 5S are going to be. Mostly because I'm sure the only thing running through their minds was 'I love goldddddd' from Austin Powers Goldmember. But lets push aside the fact that you can rock a phone that will glisten in the sunlight like a shiny olympic medal and talk about some of the much needed upgrades on the new 5S.

With the upgraded 64 bit A7 chip, the new processor will allow some new fangled features and upgrades to the camera. Most of the new features will please iPhone photographers everywhere whether they're taking photos of their kids or shooting fashion photography. The new camera will come complete with a 1.5-micron pixels on sensor. Which means while it will still be 8 megapixels, the sensor is 15 percent larger than its younger model iPhone 5 as well as carrying 33% more light sensitivity. The new 5-element lens will have a f2.2 maximum aperture, while the iPhone 5 was a measly f2.4. For those action photographers hoping to catch that missed field goal at their next football game, the 10fps burst mode lets you capture multiple shots. It starts by snapping 10 photos per second then it will then have real-time analysis that suggests individual shots that you might like best. You can also shoot 120fps Slo-Mo video in 720HD for instant replay to really make those friends with their non-upgraded iPhone feel inferior, or to recreate those Baywatch scenes while you're at the beach.

A major aspect of the previous versions of the iPhone was the flash. It's been upgraded with almost every model, so it was only warranted that it still needed to be improved. The true-tone flash will white balance after the flash, rather than  pre-flash like previous models as well as taking into account both the flash light color as well as the ambient light. What this does is hopefully provide better color and white balance control when shooting with the flash enabled. iPhone5s-Promo-photoIt will also have increased image stabilization for stills, you know for when you're sliding down the mountainside on your snowboard and really need to take a selfie. The dynamic tone mapping will automatically analyze the scene and do local adjustments, allowing more definition in the highlights and shadows. As for a few extra editing features, you now will have the ability to shoot in square mode and apply filters in case you're too lazy to go into your instagram.

Last but not least it comes in GOLD. All kidding aside, the upgraded features on the new iPhone 5s are solid. The change between the 5 and 5S is a bigger leap than the 4 to 4S in which most people were disappointed. However, in typical Apple fashion, full specs come off more as fluff than solid data, so we'll have to wait to see how it performs with a hands on before we can really say if these upgrades are significant.

Even though their photos don't test the camera's new capabilities like some professional photographers could, check out some of the photos via Apple.

[Via CNET]

Sarah Williams's picture

Sarah Williams is a award winning photographer in San Diego, CA. She specializes in photography for rad people and brands such as Airstream U.S.A. She has a deep love for flamingos and tattoos. If you want to know more, she's pretty honest on instagram, so check her out.

Log in or register to post comments

Yawn. I'll pass on the iPhone 5S. I'd rather have the Lumia 1020 with a bigger sensor, lossless zoom, larger aperture, proper optical image stabilization, and a xenon flash. Apple needs to do better to keep up. I think that new gold color looks tacky anyway.

cite : "lossless zoom,"
It's not more lossless than any other cropping mode on any other camera.

Right, but try zooming in a decent amount with 8 megapixels, the photo becomes pixelated with the remaining 1 megapixel. The Nokia 1020 would still have 5 megapixels at the same crop/zoom factor.

Let's say you have a 16 MP Nikon D7000 and your final picture needs to only be 2 MP. If you just take your picture with a wider lens and crop the 16 MP picture to get the 2 MP picture you need, and compare it with a picture that was zoomed in optically with a lens and then down sampled to 2 MP, there would be a WORLD of difference in the quality. It would be even worse with a tiny sensor like that on the Lumia.

There is no magic. Not saying you can't take good pictures with either phone if that's all you have, but some people think Lumia is this magical device that can do things it really can't do.

A 41mp Jpeg is still a 41mp Jpeg. Its not a raw image. Thus, a 41mp image of a concert (lets face it, thats what people do), will still look like crap.

Worse with a Lumia sensor..? if your still comparing to a DSLR. What a pointless scenario.

Optically zoomed 2MP image vs. cropped 16MP image... both DSLR.
Yea, there's a difference.

but we're talking cellphone cameras here.

Digitally-zoomed/OPTICALLY-stabilized 41MP image vs. digitally-zoomed/digitally-stabilized 8MP image... both cell phones.

there's your WORLD of difference.

With 41Mpx cellphone camera and the cropping zoom there will be no more pixelation. Noise will make pics unusable long before you reach max zoom (crop) level.

Have you seen the zoom examples..??? Noise is not an issue.

And be stuck using Windows Phone... yeah no thanks.

what's wrong with Windows Phone exactly..?
Have you used Windows Phone 8?

Serious question?

It doesn't have the apps I want. That's only one issue and it's the biggest one you can have. I've got more issues with Windows too, but if they can't solve that first one why bother listing the rest.

yea, which apps..? Long or short list??
What other issues you could have, I'm not sure. Not many I'm sure -- it's a top-knotch OS, much smoother running than Android or iOS on their respective premium hardware.

The gold version is target toward the Asian Market, were that color has significant meaning, of course like all Americans you assume you are the only country that buys phones.

Two things I don't understand:
What's the point of the $199 iPhone 5C?
Why doesn't the 5S start at 32GB?

Not $199. $99 with a 2 year contract or about $590 without contract.

There is a 199 5c. My point is why not get a 5s for the same price?

Isn't the more expensive 5C 32gb while the 5S is 16gb?

He makes some great valid points but I highly doubt the 199 5c will be the best seller.

The new flash system is the most promising attempt at P&S photography for many years. Hopefully gone are the days of pale white faces in front of a reddish background.
That feature might be a true innovation if implemented deftly.
Actually it puts to shame Nokia quite a bit. Nokia the company bragging so loudly about taking smartphone snapping one step further falls short of such a simple but wonderful idea.

The variable color temperature of the flash might be the only truly interesting feature on the 5S camera, but I really don't think Nokia is being shamed by Apple here. High end Nokias use a xenon flash that is warmer and brighter than LED. I'm interested to see this new flash in action, but LEDs usually can't keep warm colors as bright as cooler colors. The 5S may be sacrificing brightness for color temperature.

With regard to your last sentence. I'm pretty fine with that. In a dimly lit bar the cam must crank up ISO quite a bit to get something of the moody background. At the same time high ISO doesn't require for an excessively strong LED flash to brighten up the person in the foreground. Distance probably less than 3 feet.

720p 120fps. That is just great. I think I'm going to mount this phone on my DSLR with a Glidecam. Lets see what its capable of.

Apple haters in 3........2.........1..........

not apple haters,just new iphone haters. ;-) i love apple but honestly the new iphone sucks... nothing new

Every time apple unveils a new product, people expect it to be a game changer.... It just doesn't work that way in the corporate world.
The fact is that the products keep getting better every year and that is all that matters. No one forces customers to buy the latest product and toss the old one. It's up to the customer to decide to but or not to buy the latest model.

And why does the new iPhone suck? Just because it isn't a game changer doesn't mean it sucks... Camera wise - wider aperture, slightly bigger sensor, burst mode and more - maybe not the first phone to include these parameters, but hey, aren't they welcome?

BTW I'm an android user, just to clear things out....

From what I've seen with the iPhone family is that iphone does a better quality low light photo, faster camera start up (for those moments you have to capture quickly), and unparalleled touch screen responsiveness. I am an apple loyal and likely will be upgrading from the 4S to the 5S.

I sincerely hope the flash is a significant improvement. My husband & I have the 4s, and his shots with flash work fine, but I can stand next to him & take the same shot & mine has a white haze. I can only think it is the reflection from the phones cover which in my case is white.
It's a real shame they haven't improved the zoom tho.

The world's greatest zoom. Your feet.
Get a better case.

Anyone who's had much experience with LED lighting knows that its trueness of color rendering ability (CRI) is a challenge that has yet to be trumped. A CTO gel on a speedlight is quality replication of warmer lighting because the source of light (Xenon) retains virtually a CRI of 100. Tungsten does the same.

But even the best of LEDs have trouble reaching the mid-90s CRI.
Just take a look at the example photo Apple gave in their keynote, of the 2 girls -- the tungsten light color SHIFTED because of the white balance compensation the iPhone now had to sneak in. For the undiscerning eye, it's a nice cheap trick.

Lumia 1020 is twice beyond the competition with their Xenon flash -- better output and 100 CRI.

Am I only speaking for myself when I say 'Where is the manual control?!' Manual control is coming pretty much stock on all other camera phones now but not with apple, in fact apple's API prohibits people to even make apps that give you real manual control over the camera, can somebody please explain?

The iPhone is SO last decade. We're in the Android age now kiddies...

what we really need is a camera that enables us to manually control settings; fstop, shutter speed, iso etc.

Yep. It's called a camera. ;-) I always carry a compact for that reason.


This should excite any photographer looking for these manual controls in a top-knotch smartphone camera:

Give it raw output and an Android OS and it's a wrap!

there are plenty apps that offer manual control.

Its fu***g phone... not at camera