iPhone Camera: Image Quality

Anyone considering buying an iPhone will probably want to find out about the iPhone camera and whether or not it is capable of taking high quality photographs. There have been three major versions of the iPhone to date, the Original iPhone, the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS.

iPhone and iPhone 3G

Both the iPhone and iPhone 3G featured the same 2 Megapixel digital camera which produced interior quality photographs. It was almost like the camera was added as an afterthought as it didn't even support auto-focus. The original iPhone had a fixed lens rather than any support for auto-focus, this meant that the digital camera was more of a toy than a serious tool for taking digital photographs.

iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3GS concentrated on upgrading the camera to a much better and higher quality system. With the 3GS a much higher 3 Megapixel camera is used, while there still isn't a flash the camera does support auto-focus. The auto focus system is very useful because you can point the camera at something and it will automatically focus on the subject.

The camera will adjust the exposure, focus and white balance so that the photographs which are taken are completely in focus. The auto-focus is very quick and ensures that the photographs are comparable to those taken with a digital camera.


It's also possible to focus on a specific area of the image by simply telling the camera that you want to focus there. In the Camera application you can press on the screen wherever you want to lock the focus, this makes it possible to ensure that wherever you are taking a photo of is perfectly in focus. This will also make sure that the camera doesn't get confused about what you are photographing.

The ability to set the focus in this way is very simple and makes it possible to take very good photographs. It's even easier than most other compact digital cameras. It's also possible to take the same photo focusing in different parts of the image and then compile them all together to create a HDR photograph.

Image Quality

The image quality from the original iPhone was lacking and obviously from a camera phone. However, the photographs taken by an iPhone 3GS are of a much higher quality. This means that the photos can easily be compared to those taken with a compact digital camera.

The image quality of the iPhone 3GS is much better than most other camera phones of the same age. However, when compared to a standalone digital camera the results might still be a little disappointing. There are also a few newer camera phones which are capable of taking much higher quality photos including the Nexus one which has a 5 Megapixel camera with a flash.

If you just want a camera phone to take occasional photos, then the iPhone 3GS will produce adequate results. If however you want a better camera then you will need to invest in a standalone digital camera as even a basic camera will often produce better photos than even the newest camera phone.

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