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iPhone 5s Camera Improvements: Slo-Mo Mode, 'True Tone' Flash and Better Low-Light Performance

Apple today announced its next-generation flagship phone, the iPhone 5s. As with all of Apple's iPhone updates, the iPhone 5s will come equipped with several impressive camera improvements, both hardware and software-based.

While the iPhone 5s still uses an 8-megapixel camera, it utilizes a sensor that has a 15 percent larger surface area, which means it will produce higher quality photos in low-light conditions. It also has a 5-element lens with an aperture of f/2.2, an improvement over the iPhone 5's f/2.4 aperture and the pixels are larger, at 1.5 microns, for better light absorption. All in all, the iPhone 5s has a 33 percent increase in light sensitivity.
The new iSight camera on iPhone 5s builds on the iPhone 5 camera in ways that make a real difference to your photos. It captures beautiful images at 8 megapixels. What makes them beautiful is a redesigned camera sensor that allows for bigger pixels. Bigger pixels equal better photos. And better photos are precisely what inspired the advancements we made with the new iSight camera on iPhone 5s.
Most smartphones, Apple's iPhone included, are known for having a notoriously bad flash that washes out pictures, but that is no longer the case with the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s uses a "True Tone" dual-LED flash that supports two different cool white/warm amber color temperatures for improved white balance and more than 1,000 different color temperatures. The phone’s app captures exposure and creates what Apple calls a "dynamic local tone map" to create pictures that are properly hued.

flash
Autofocus has been improved as well, using 15-zone matrix metering for speedier focusing times, and software-based image stabilization has been built-in too. As with the iPhone 5, the iPhone 5s has a sapphire-crystal covered lens designed to withstand scratches and other damage.

For capturing action shots, the iPhone 5s utilizes a new Burst Mode. This mode captures 10 photos per second, combines them to get an accurate light level, and then automatically chooses the best of the bunch.

burstmode
There's also a new "Slo-Mo" mode, designed to capture 720p video at up to 120 frames per second with 3x live video zoom. Slo-Mo video and regular video can be combined to create all new video effects. In Panorama mode, the iPhone 5s can capture 30 frames per second, which is a 50 percent improvement over the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5s will ship with iOS 7, which brings several camera improvements itself. iOS 7 includes eight Apple-designed live filters and a redesigned photos app that groups pictures based on time and location.

Apple’s iPhone 5s will be released on September 20, and iOS 7 will be available to the public on September 18. Apple also plans to release the iPhone 5c on September 20, with preorders beginning on September 13.

Related roundups: iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago
I'm glad to see them keep the megapixels the same as they try and improve the quality of photos. f/2.2, bigger pixels and a color adjusting flash should make a lot of pictures much better.
Rating: 23 Positives
8 months ago
Who cares about all of this? If I want to be shooting movies or putting together photo albums, I'll get a videocam or SLR.

This is a phone. It's a communication device. Where's HD voice? Improved speakers so I can hear speakers on the other end? What about improvements in antenna and reception? Speakerphone? WiFi hotspot ease of use?

How about wifi-calling across all wireless carriers? Where was additional presentation about ios7 improvements and how they work with the new iPhone. Any improvements in Mail, instant messaging, voicemail, anything at all that improves the iPhone as a communications device?

Presentation sucked, all I saw was junk about video games and dual flash for photos that no one cares about. Candy for people who like to waste time. This is a phone.
Rating: 22 Positives
8 months ago
See this is where Apple shines. For all the hate I see in these forums Apple will continue to do very well because they release products that are consistent, appeal to the masses, and are reliable. I am underwhelmed by today as far as huge gimmicks go, but that's when I stop and realize I don't want gimmicks. I want to pick up my phone and have it shine in the categories of typical use. After having a 4s, GSIII, HTC One, and now iPhone 5 I am "educatedly" convinced Apple makes the best phone and will continue to do so.

Keep it up Apple, way to not try releasing crap like Galaxy Gear just cause the market clamors for useless devices.

__________________

Braggadocious Apple Products Here
Rating: 22 Positives
8 months ago
The camera looks impressive and nice to see they avoided the typical mega pixel bump and realised 8mp is satisfactory.
Rating: 16 Positives
8 months ago

Who cares about all of this? If I want to be shooting movies or putting together photo albums, I'll get a videocam or SLR.


the best camera is the one you have with you.

I shoot a lot with my SLR, but most times I'm just out with friends i'm not gonna lug it around, but I will have my phone with me and if it captures a better photo than all the better
Rating: 15 Positives
8 months ago

Where's HD voice?


My iPhone 5 has HD voice so I would think the iPhone 5S would have it also.
Rating: 14 Positives
8 months ago

Gunna replace my canon S90 with this!


I'm pretty sure the S90 produces better images. After all, while it's a LOT older model, it still has a much-much larger sensor, RAW, manual modes etc. The latter two are completely missing from iOS and the sensor size is still around 1/3" (even after the 17% increase in size).
Rating: 12 Positives
8 months ago
Also note that the high-speed video modes may be suffering from pixel binning. That is, the 720p120 mode may, in reality, only capture at half the resolution in both directions; that is, 640*360.

At least that's the case with the iPhone 5 running on iOS7 (see http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1602171 for some precise resolution measurements.)

All in all, the photo-related improvements are indeed minimal, even if you take the, compared to the iPhone 5, double-Megapixel panorama mode, the somewhat (not much - the difference is WAY smaller than, say, between 1/3" and 1/2.3" or 1/2.3" and 1/1.7") larger sensor and brighter lens into account:

- still no double capturing (which would HIGHLY be useful when you'd like to include the image of the person taking the shot in the final video / pic too), unlike in LG G2

- no OIS (see LG G2 and Lumia 1020 - or, if you're looking for something cheaper, the Lumia 92x or the HTC One)

- no stereo audio recording (at least they didn't mention this) - come on Apple, it's late 2013 and every single other flagship smartphome records audio in stereo while shooting video!

- still not any kind of manual modes, not even via third-party apps (via API calls) - come on Apple! Stock Android / WinPhone have been having some of these (WB / proper exposure compensation / ISO setting) since their inception

- still a not very wide lens (most other flagship smartphones have 28mm lens; the 5S still seems to have 33mm)

- no 1080p60 video recording (the LG G2 does support it); neither 4K recording (the Note 3 and another phone I can't recall the name of do support)


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I am looking forward to the slow motion!!!!!!!


I REALLY hope it's not pixel binned (see my above intro)...
Rating: 11 Positives
8 months ago
I am looking forward to the slow motion!!!!!!!
Rating: 8 Positives
8 months ago
Resolutionary!!!m
Rating: 8 Positives

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