Why the iPhone's megapixelage alone won't matter

Size isn't everything


Don't go getting all excited by reports that the camera in Apple's upcoming, new iPhone will be of the 3.2-megapixel variety.

Merely pumping up megapixelage doesn't make a camera better. A 3.2-megapixel camera with the same sub-optimal optics and image-processing circuitry as is in the current iPhone will produce equally crappy photos - just bigger ones.

Other camera-phone makers realize this, and have added such niceties as the 3.2-megapixel LG Dare's quality Schneider Kreuznach optics, and the top-notch image correction from DxO labs supporting the 3.2 megapixel camera in the upcoming Palm Pre.

And if you really want to get serious about camera-phone quality, check out the more-camera-than-phone five-megapixel Motorola MotoZine ZN5, with its Xenon flash, auto-focus, low-light setting, editing effects, panorama-stitching, and shutter speeds of up to 1/1000 seconds.

The same DigiTimes report that broke the 3.2-megapixel rumor mentioned that OmniVision will also supply Apple with a five-megapixel CMOS image sensor for "another Apple product expected to be launched later in the year."

What that might be is anyone's guess.

Here at The Reg, we've speculated that the iPhone line will grow beyond its current one-size-fits-all (except for capacity) model, so possibly a five-megapixel camera might find its way into an iPhone Pro - or some such.

We're certain that the smart folks at Apple know that merely adding a few pixels and video capability to the iPhone won't make it a great camera phone. What we don't yet know is how much they care. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Apple’s M2 chip isn’t a slam dunk, but it does point to the future
    The chip’s GPU and neural engine could overshadow Apple’s concession on CPU performance

    Analysis For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding Apple's move to homegrown silicon for Macs, the tech giant has admitted that the new M2 chip isn't quite the slam dunk that its predecessor was when compared to the latest from Apple's former CPU supplier, Intel.

    During its WWDC 2022 keynote Monday, Apple focused its high-level sales pitch for the M2 on claims that the chip is much more power efficient than Intel's latest laptop CPUs. But while doing so, the iPhone maker admitted that Intel has it beat, at least for now, when it comes to CPU performance.

    Apple laid this out clearly during the presentation when Johny Srouji, Apple's senior vice president of hardware technologies, said the M2's eight-core CPU will provide 87 percent of the peak performance of Intel's 12-core Core i7-1260P while using just a quarter of the rival chip's power.

    Continue reading
  • Workers win vote to form first-ever US Apple Store union
    Results set to be ratified by labor board by end of the week

    Workers at an Apple Store in Towson, Maryland have voted to form a union, making them the first of the iGiant's retail staff to do so in the United States.

    Out of 110 eligible voters, 65 employees voted in support of unionization versus 33 who voted against it. The organizing committee, known as the Coalition of Organized Retail Employees (CORE), has now filed to certify the results with America's National Labor Relations Board. Members joining this first-ever US Apple Store union will be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

    "I applaud the courage displayed by CORE members at the Apple store in Towson for achieving this historic victory," IAM's international president Robert Martinez Jr said in a statement on Saturday. "They made a huge sacrifice for thousands of Apple employees across the nation who had all eyes on this election."

    Continue reading
  • We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to
    M2 chip teased plus MacBooks, iOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9 and more

    WWDC Apple opened its 33rd annual Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday with a preview of upcoming hardware and planned changes in its mobile, desktop, and wrist accessory operating systems.

    The confab consists primarily of streamed video, as it did in 2020 and 2021, though there is a limited in-person component for the favored few. Apart from the preview of Apple's homegrown Arm-compatible M2 chip – coming next month in a redesigned MacBook Air and 13" MacBook Pro – there was not much meaningful innovation. The M2 Air has a full-size touch ID button, apparently.

    Apple's software-oriented enhancements consist mainly of worthy but not particularly thrilling interface and workflow improvements, alongside a handful of useful APIs and personalization capabilities. Company video performers made no mention of Apple's anticipated AR/VR headset.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022