7/17/09
10:40 am

MacMost Now 267: The iPhone 3GS Camera

Take a close look at the iPhone 3GS camera and compare it to the iPhone 3G. It has many advantages, including the ability to record video. It can act as a replacement for both a compact still camera and a mini camcorder.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now. Let's take a closer look at the camera inside the new iPhone 3GS.
So the camera in the new iPhone 3GS one of its major improvements is a true 3 megapixel camera. That means its 2448 X 1536. That's a big improvement over the less than 2 megapixel camera that was in the iPhone 3G and the first iPhone. In addition to that, it also features some special focusing options. Where you can click on something on the screen, and it will focus on that. Not only will it focus on it, but it will set its exposure for that object. So if you wanted to wanted to focus your exposure to an object that is off to the side,instead of the one exactly in the center, you can do it.
Now here's a comparison between the new iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 3G. The one on the left with more vibrant colors is the iPhone 3GS. And you can definitely see that colors are more vibrant and that actually looked like what I was seeing when I took the photo. Whereas the iPhone 3G it's definitely a duller picture. It may have to do with the fact of course that the camera is more than a year old as compared to the new phone on the iPhone 3GS, but I'd rather think that it's just a better camera on the iPhone 3GS. Of course I've scaled these images so that they are both the same size, but I am getting more detail in the picture taken by the iPhone 3GS then I am with the iPhone 3G, because I'm getting more pixels.
Here's another photo that we can compare how well the cameras do with details. Of course with more megapixels the iPhone 3GS is going to show a much clearer image of detailed items. Like that [shows picture]. Now pair that to the iPhone 3G [shows another picture] and we can tell it's definitely better on the 3GS.
I also did some tests in things that were very far away. And you can see things that were very far away, very clearly. I continue to be very impressed on how well the 3GS and 3G work very well with close up objects. I was able to get up close on these flowers by bringing a camera right up to them and taking a photo.
So when digital cameras first came out, a rule of thumb was that you needed at least 2 megapixels to get decent 4 X 6 prints. Three megapixels was a lot better. In fact, my first digital camera was 3 megapixels. So having this good of a camera in the GS, you can take real pictures and add them to my photo album not just pictures you upload to the web album, just you share with friends.
Now another thing to look at is video. Now 3G didn't do video and 3GS does. It does the video at 640-480, its a standard definition and records the audio at 80kb a sec. Now it really can't compare to anything except a different type of camera. Like the flip camera that the iPhone 3GS really does replace.
So here's a 3GS [shows video of a flower] and here's some similar video with the flip camera [shows different video, same image]
Now I'm comparing it versus the standard definition of the flip camera just to be fair and definitely the 3GS will act as a complete replacement for these little handy cameras. Another great thing about the 3GS which the flip cams cannot match is the new earbuds with the microphone on them [shows the ear buds]. So these earbuds include this little microphone with the volume control on them. So when you plug in these earbuds, it records the audio from this microphone. So you can basically use this as a remote microphone, keeping it close to your mouth while you record something. And you can also buy third-party microphones that will plug into an iPhone 3GS already and give you this functionality. That's a big boost for anyone trying to do some semi serious video production using a simply camera like the iPhone 3GS.
So generally like a lot of people, I have two digital cameras. One high end one that is a little bulky to carry around, and one compact one. Well now the 3GS has a good enough camera that I can replace that compact one. It doesn't have zoom functions and a lot of the extras these compact cameras have, but it's good enough and I know it's always going to be with me. Now I can just go to my one high quality camera and use my iPhone for everything else. And I can also replace my little devices like the flip cam with the iPhone 3GS, since it records pretty decent video.
Another useful thing about the iPhone 3GS is that you can edit. A little bit. You can basically trim the beginning and end of a video off. So you don't have to be afraid to start a video early and end it late and go right in the iPhone to trim off the beginning and end. It will cut that video out so you'll have more room on your drive and you'll have just the video that you want to download into iPhoto
And also let's not forget you can upload your video directly from your iPhone to both YouTube and MobileMe. So you can skip the computer completely and get short video clips up online.
So that's a quick look at the camera inside the 3GS. It's definitely going to mean I'll be taking a lot more pictures and video while on the go. Till next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 267: The iPhone 3GS Camera”

    John R. Nyquist
    7/17/09 @ 2:27 pm

    That was great info, Gary. Thanks!

    BeSweeet
    7/17/09 @ 9:30 pm

    The original iPhone and iPhone 3G can record video at 320×240 15FPS. Isn’t the greatest but it’s definitely decent. Audio is good too. Of course this all requires a jailbreak :).

    PS: Install the WP-Touch plugin please!

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