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Apple iPhone 6 camera said to focus on image quality, not megapixel count

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Apple iPhone 6 camera said to focus on image quality, not megapixel count
Apple has been using the same 8 MP camera resolution for its flagships, since the iPhone 4s introduction in 2011. Granted, we got larger pixels, and better optics with the iPhone 5s last year, but there are still 8 million of them inside the camera unit. Compare that to Android phones, where the Xperia Z2 goes up to 20 MP, or Windows Phone handset, as the Nokia Lumia 1020, which flaunts a huge 41 MP sensor.

Regardless of the camera resolution, however, Apple's iPhones have consistently scored towards the top in our camera comparisons, so the latest report that Apple still won't be chasing the megapixel count with the iPhone 6, doesn't surprise one bit. Industry insiders claim that Apple won't be jumping to 20 MP heights with the iPhone 6. However, they don't specify whether the 8 MP resolution will remain standard, or if it will be bumped to 10+ MP, with swappable resin lenses, as a previous rumor suggested. The team from Cupertino will allegedly be focusing on further improving things on the optics side, as well as the overall image quality. Whether or not this means an optical image stabilization will be in place, as speculated, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, wrote a note to clients, advising that this year we are going to witness an explosion in higher megapixel count, with 13 MP unit shipments growing at a much faster rate than any other resolution. As you can see from the charts and tables below, Sony's sensors are taking the mobile industry by storm, and are projected to account for 65% of all shipments this year, with Samsung a distant second. 

What we also found interesting, is that Sony is expected to release a new 21 MP sensor in the fourth quarter, which will be dedicated for a Sony device. Does this mean an Xperia Z3 is in the works for the holiday season? Given Sony's new six-month flagship upgrade cycle, we wouldn't rule out the possibility.

source: AppleInsider

69 Comments
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posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:19 4

1. zuckerboy (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


mp isnt important so much but we cant say anything about new camera bfore try it

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:54 1

12. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1302; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)


mp is only important when you are viewing the pictures in larger display or when you want to print them out.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:12 5

19. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2692; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


Quality is also more important along with MP.

Most of the S4 / Note 3 / G2 pics were much better than Z1.

Nokia is still the king.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 10:09 3

40. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5860; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


OIS is part of the total photographic package that Nokia brings to the party. No OIS in the iP6 = FAIL for iP6.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 10:48

43. Astoni (Posts: 529; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


I've never needed OIS, it feels a little bit gimmicky (to me) since its supposed to reduce shaking when i'm filming and help against blurr right?. well if i want to take a still pic i usually use my knee or a tripod and i'm not a very shaky person :p.

this is more of my opinion, but i understand why people wants it.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 14:47 3

58. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5860; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


OIS becomes more of a benefit as available light drops (slower shutter speeds are more susceptible to camera shake). Sometimes it is not possible to brace the camera. Tripods are clunky (even the compact ones). Then OIS can become compelling. For Apple to not include OIS is just chickens*t.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 19:04

60. Astoni (Posts: 529; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Good point. +1

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 10:59 1

44. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 127; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


"Most of the S4 / Note 3 / G2 pics were much better than Z1"

Your comment makes me scratching my head. Better in terms of what? Have you done any comparisons yourself?

S4/G2/ Note 3 can't even beat Xperia Z in indoors and night shots at the same ISO, WB, and EV settings, but Xperia Z did lose in outdoor daylight situations though.

So if those 3 phones can't beat Xperia Z, what makes you think that they can beat Xperia Z1 which has larger sensor and higher pixel count? For the love of God, please..

And for your final reference, why don't you check phonearena.com camera shootouts that featured Z1 and Z1 compact? The conclusion said Xperia Z1/Z1 C pretty much beat any phone except lumia 1020

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 11:22 5

46. Astoni (Posts: 529; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Dude, as a z1 owner, the Z1 loses to my older gs3 indoors.. its f*cking horrible indoors.. Z1 outdoors with 50 ISO is really nice and crisp but auto mode is totalt sh*t. i think i've said this on the forum before about 10 times or so. The camera on the z1 is a BIG hit or miss, but indoors its SH*T aswell as nightime shots since sony dosen't know how to program camera software..

For a high-end smartphone the camera was a big Minus for me. I've gotten some amazing shots ture but its like 1/20 is really good while 3/10 is okay.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 21:01 1

61. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 127; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


Auto mode is sh*t is true because it has a habit of cranking ISO too bloody damn high in indoors and night shots, hence producing noisy photos.

Btw, have you tried shooting indoors using manual mode with the Z1?

My mom owned S3 for a year and I often compared its camera to my xperia z's. And S3 lost more often than not, Xperia Z has more details, and less noise. The colour accuracy goes to S3 but sometimes, its images are a bit oversharpened. So, Z1 losing to S3 indoors makes me a bit bewildered if you ask me

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 13:43 2

50. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Hey, I am a guy who constantly visiting mobile markets and keep testing many phones... note 3 produce better results then your beloved Z1 given that Z1 has 20mp vs note3 13mp... I hardly ever noticed that Z1 is taking better shots. Either it is equal to note 3 or lesser..

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 13:51 1

51. Astoni (Posts: 529; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


What the hell do you mean xD? i said the Z1's camera is pretty much sh*t without outsidelighting and iso 50

Try to read the posts before replying..

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 13:56 1

53. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Hahaha... Not you Astoni... my reply is to post #44 which is faisalwibowo or dingpingching or whatever he is... ;)

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 14:44 1

57. Astoni (Posts: 529; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


lololol

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:05 4

18. akki20892 (Posts: 3555; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


Mp is important, And quality is important too, but there is a quality(pixels) limit in mp, so you can't go more than that. If you want to go more than that then increase mp. Apple is stupid.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:50 6

21. iushnt (Posts: 666; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


My dslr is only 16 mp..will beat 1020 easily..your point?

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 09:04 3

36. akki20892 (Posts: 3555; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


DSLR is totally different story , you can't fit DSLR lens in phone.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:15 9

27. zuckerboy (Posts: 898; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)


yeah all apple engineers are stupid , only you genius

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 09:02 2

35. akki20892 (Posts: 3555; Member since: 04 Feb 2013)


You can't fit dlsr lens in your phone.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 10:13 1

41. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5860; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


You also can't fit a DSLR sensor in a phone. Sensor size is a large part of the image quality of DSLRs - best ones are pushing 35mm diagonal measurement. Try fitting that size sensor inside even a Phablet.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 11:40

47. geordie8t1 (Posts: 113; Member since: 18 Feb 2014)


megapixels only count for about 5% maximum of the overall picture quality, and thats a simple fact.
the remaining 95% is made up more about the sensor, the software, the lens mm and a whole raft of other things, higher MP count equals more introduced noise, but allows for print size to be increased, meaning the average 8mp produces in a 4:3 ratio gives a resolution of 3200x2400, and allows for printed photographs, depending on your crop you could be looking at a DPI of between 500-600 which is huge compare to the average pictures 300DPI, it does not matter at the end of the day if you ave a 100mp camera, if your sensor is still the size of a pin head you are crippling your cameras full potential.

People think MP counts simply becuase with every new phone that has been released they increase the count, but what you dont often see is the fact that the sensor has ever so slightly increased, or the software has been improved , these go hand in hand and to the normal person who only sees
"New XXMP Camera" on board, it would make them believe that its the increase in MP which has improved the quality when in facts its actually everything but this, its the background stuff that is making the improvements, of course as new modules become more reliable this will also help but the MP is not the factor in improving photos.
companies are now looking for new ways to improve their shots as they are still limited by the size of the lens and sensors on the back, oversampling, HDR, dual camera tech, multishot stitching, and much more is designed to combat flaws in cameraphone tech, which is simply size.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 13:37

49. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Quite reasonable decision from apple... I will prefer better image quality over mp count...

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 18:48

59. fzacek (Posts: 1880; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)


Not to us, but most of the general public only really looks at the megapixel count, so Apple would be at quite a disadvantage if it stayed with 8MP.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:24 10

2. FriendsOfSamsung (unregistered)


Apple always hibernate when it comes to spec, release same old garbage everyday and call itself revolutionary, 13mp note 3 and 16mp s5 just crush the crap out
DOA

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:47 8

10. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


You're getting annoying now...

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:59 8

15. ankiipankii (Posts: 35; Member since: 21 Jun 2013)


friends of plasic ??

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:15 4

20. Genza (Posts: 225; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


iPhone 5s camera is better than S4 and Note 3 almost in every way and i'm pretty sure iPhone 5s camera still good enough to compete or even outperform S5 in low light.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:53 6

22. iushnt (Posts: 666; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


5s cannot outperform s5. it is in par with note 3 in still shots but note 3 will be far better in videos..

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:00 5

24. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4184; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Yes the iPhone 5s camera is definitely on par with the Note 3, but it's NOT better than the S5. Genza is just an iPhone fan boy... Well one of the last ones anyways...

+1

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:34 1

30. Genza (Posts: 225; Member since: 12 Mar 2014)


In bright light yes 5s is about on par with note 3, but 5s performs better in low light thanks to 1.5 micron.

From some of the early S5 reviews it seems there is nothing groundbreaking about isocell sensor, with the combination of F2.2 lens and 1.5 micron i'm pretty sure 5s can take better than S5 in low light.

When it comes to video in bright light both of them is great but 5s has better Image stabilization and performs better in low light.
4K video is the best thing about note 3.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 09:34 3

37. The13thKing (banned) (Posts: 849; Member since: 26 Feb 2014)


go see gsmarena the camera shoutout and judge if it beats note 3, actually the note 3 was ranked higher ... and the S5 is now even better so better get a life sis

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 10:59

45. Astoni (Posts: 529; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


terms of Video recording the note 3 outpreforms the 5s but other than that their even :p

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 14:08

54. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Well, you need to correct yourself... iphone's camera is noway better than s4 or note 3... indeed iphone's camera is better than many out there keeping its 8mp count in mind... sammy is doing great job in camera department

posted on 22 Mar 2014, 09:38

67. iushnt (Posts: 666; Member since: 06 Feb 2013)


5s cannot outperform s5. it is in par with note 3 in still shots but note 3 will be far better in videos..

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 13:53 1

52. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


You are right in some aspects, apple do sell same garbage to ifouls due to their great marketing and brand image but this is also true that they keep improving their camera results by optimizing camera software with same mega pixel count, which is infact a good work...

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:24 2

3. SAYED-EJAZ (Posts: 224; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)


MP is important but what more important is quality .

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:28 9

4. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3418; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Galaxy s5 as well as xperia z2's camera will dump this crap 6 in the bin.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:39 7

7. power_x (Posts: 237; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


Talking about a device that have not been released yet is insanity at its best

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:48 7

11. PapaSmurf (Posts: 8614; Member since: 14 May 2012)


He's trolling like usual. Bashing a product before it's even announced...

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:31 5

28. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2956; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Like you did with Z2. So if I were you I would shut my mouth.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:35 5

31. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3418; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


Yeah he is just a die hard sony hater. I guess fanboy of nothing. Just blind hating is what he does.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:55 5

33. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2956; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


Exactly. He likes many companies, so he isn't a fanboy. But a blind hater of Sony for sure

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 14:31 2

56. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Sony has many downsides which can easily be criticized... I dont know what z2 is going to offer but if talking about smurf's critism of sony, most of his points are valid which he expressed in different posts...

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 22:30

62. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 3418; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


What?! that sony ui is uglier than crapwiz lol that is his worst joke. He's just blind. Htc is perfect in no ways but he could be found praising it. There are small annoyances of sony but this type of hate is just too much.

posted on 22 Mar 2014, 11:28

69. Ashoaib (Posts: 2283; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)


Lets put the ui aside... sony had a legendary ugly displays, z2 reportly fixed it atlast... sony was always expensive then the competition... camera results of sony were not on the top in the competition... these were the facts which can make sony under fire from many commentors... hopefully ambitious z2 fixed all this

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:29

5. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


8MP? Die-hard only. No, thanks.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:31

6. mayur007 (Posts: 440; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


its good they are going after image quality but mp should be imp aswell

seems like they still want to cut cost .. apple have at least 13mp not more than that

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:43 2

9. joey_sfb (Posts: 3003; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Spot on! Apple is all about cost and profit margins. With over 60% of global smartphone profits of $215 billion in 2013 and market share in smartphones that has declined from 18.7 per cent in 2012 to 15.2 per cent in 2013.

They really need either sell the phone at a much higher price, e.g premium priced phablet or lower the cost of the components e.g. using back 2013 hardware spec. in order to beat 2013 earning.

A few more months the truth will reveal itself.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:42 4

8. Lt.Green (Posts: 386; Member since: 13 Mar 2014)


Unless you intend to make a big a$$ poster of your selfie, 8 MP is more than enough. I like where Apple is going with this.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:55

13. darkskoliro (Posts: 990; Member since: 07 May 2012)


Smart move. A lot of cameras have smaller megapixel counts than the one on smartphones but provide much better quality. Theres no need to increase the size, just increase the quality.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:32 1

29. bossmt_2 (Posts: 435; Member since: 13 Oct 2009)


Megapixel count isn't the sole performance indicator. Personally I think a bigger exclusion from Apple would be no OIS. As someone with shaky hands the OIS on my G2 is a lifesaver. And judging by others photos online, they could use it too.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 06:56 2

14. darkkjedii (Posts: 11911; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


As long as the pics/vids look stunning who cares? When it comes to the camera, the jedster is more concerned with the ability to auto edit/compress and share. iPhone cameras are jedster approved.

posted on 22 Mar 2014, 08:04

64. reckless562 (Posts: 851; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


only the software optimization/ programing, without it iphone wouldnt be where it is today. sony messed up by giving them their code guy lol

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:00 3

16. frydaexiii (Posts: 1236; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


AKA we ain't changin s***, you're getting the same camera.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 11:50

48. darkkjedii (Posts: 11911; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Which is an amazing camera. You seem to have conveniently left that part out.

posted on 22 Mar 2014, 08:04

65. reckless562 (Posts: 851; Member since: 09 Sep 2013)


again, only the software is amazing

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:02

17. pwnarena (Posts: 933; Member since: 15 Feb 2013)


apple can show something better without upping the mp count.

http://news. discovery. com/tech/gear-and-gadgets/night-vision-cell-phone-​eyeglasses.htm

how about bringing night vision to your camera, apple? you just have to refine the tech

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 07:54 1

23. Slammer (Posts: 1063; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)


As someone who loves to snap pics, there is more to great pics than just MP count. However, MP count is still very important. Classic Apple is to employ the least expensive route in thier products to bolster profits. Upping the aperture fstop and sensors is great. But, most manufacturers have discovered the importance and are already in the midst of incorporating these things in their handsets as well as increasing the MP.

While Apple has a winning formula for their phone camera, I really think it would be a mistake this time around to ignore the MP count just to make a profit. If Apple really wants to put the money where its mouth is for giving its customers the best, spend a little more and actually give them the best.

John B.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:57 1

34. iampayne (Posts: 243; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


I agree with you completely. I will add however the real reason they need to up the MP count is consumer IQ. The average smartphone buyer has actually begun to check specs before they buy a phone. Leaving the MP count at 8 I think could hurt Apple in the long run when people start looking at MP count and not quailty.

posted on 21 Mar 2014, 08:08

25. redmd (Posts: 896; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


MP and image quality does count if you want to zoom in on details.

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