Page 4 - Five-megapixel stills
Can't wait for the iPhone 4? Neither could we. Ahead of its official Aussie release, we sourced an iPhone 4 from overseas and gave it the full review treatment
At long last, the iPhone has a camera worth using! Apple has gone all out on the iPhone 4, not only upgrading the resolution to five megapixels, but also equipping it with an LED flash, 720p HD video recording, and a secondary front-facing camera for self-portraits and video calls.
Of course, better image quality relies on more than just a boost in resolution, especially since most cameraphones achieve this by shoehorning more pixels onto the same tiny chip. The iPhone 4’s camera chip has been made bigger to accommodate the extra pixels, with each pixel measuring 1.75 µm (typical compact cameras have a pixel pitch of around 2 µm). The new backside illuminated sensor, which is more sensitive to light than a standard front-illuminated sensor, also gives it a leg up on low-light performance.
The LED flash is less impressive compared to the Xenon flash that we’ve tested on other high-end cameraphones. It illuminates objects that are up to a couple of feet away, but, like other LED flashes, it’s about as subtle as a jackhammer and it'll blow out skin tones and other colours in your shot.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to adjust the colour temperature using white balance settings – as there are none. Nor are there any other camera settings to tinker with like scene modes, red eye reduction, ISO or exposure. Apple has kept things as simple as it did on the iPhone 3GS, with most of these settings automatically set – the only new additions are a flash setting (off, on and auto), a button for switching from the back to the front camera, and a five times digital zoom. As with the 3GS, you can selectively focus on one part of the frame by tapping on it.