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Apple vs the world: just how big are the 1.5-micron pixels on the iPhone 5s' camera

0. phoneArena 13 Sep 2013, 09:49 posted on

With the initial buzz around Apple's iPhone 5s introduction, things are finally settling in place, and everyone has had some time to soak everything that transpired right in...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 14:37

98. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)


That's about 1/8 of a stop. Hardly a 'huge' increase, but not to be ignored. The inherrent sensitively of the sensor will have a much larger impact on this scale however.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 11:27 1

70. Stoli89 (Posts: 333; Member since: 28 Jun 2010)


The author curiously fails to mention the PureView camera's on the 808 and 1020 use a proprietary method of oversampling that generates VIRTUAL pixels. On the Nokia 808, at default 5MP resolution, the oversampling with no Zoom is 8x, resulting in a virtual pixel of 4.01 microns. That's 2x the size of the pixels on the HTC One. For the Lumia 1020, the same oversampling yields virtual pixels of 3.2 microns, still substantially larger than those on the HTC One. The difference is the author is only looking at the physical pixels without understanding the true advantages of each technology. This is why the 808 PureView does incredibly well in low light, even though it doesn't possess the OIS tech found on the Lumia 1020 or the HTC One.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 12:06

81. picassimo (Posts: 14; Member since: 31 Oct 2012)


Did some rough calculations for my aging, but still working well Fuji F31fd:

7.44 x 5.58 mm
2848 x 2136 pixels

1.465 micron pixels = 1.5 (if you round up) to match the iPhone 5.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 12:14

83. maketas (Posts: 6; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


You cant really compare the HTC approach to their camera and Apple's approach. HTC has reduced by half the pixel count to supposedly get more picture quality improving the pixel size to 2.0. Apple has increased the pixel size slightly AND improved the lens, while maintaining the megapixel count. If HTC could have kept the megapixels, probably he would have needed much much better lenses, software and hardware to process the images. Apple will not reduce the megapixels of the camera (the tradeoff of the HTC's ultrapixels is very evident: less quality than even iPhone 5 or Lumia 920, but better than S4), nor the war in cameras is in the megapixels, but the software that has to process the images and the lenses, and Apple and HTC knows that.

But they both uses the same principle of "more pixels does not mean more quality". And they are right.

ANYWAY we have to wait until the iphone 5s is put on sale next 20th for the first reviews to pop up in websites like this one.

AND ALSO i would wait for the next ultrapixel camera. If HTC evolves that technology, they could easily put on sale a phone next year with more "ultrapixels", and that would mean improved photos. And the camera software of the HTC One also requires some loving.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 15:45 1

99. BaritoneGuy (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


OMFG people, why does everything have to descend into an iSh33p vs fandroid war. The post was about the "physical" aspects of the camera.

Just to set things straight. Pixel size DOES matter, however it is only part of a larger picture. In front of the pixels are something called micro lenses, these are what focus the light onto the pixel. If they aren't good then they would negate the larger pixels.

In front of the micro pixels is the actual camera lens. Again, if this is bad then nothing else matters. The gold standard for a lens is made by Zeiss. I may be wrong but I think only Nokia is using a Zeiss lens.

So while the 5S may have a 33% larger pixel size than the 1020, the nokia has 5 times as many pixels which equates to a much larger sensor than in the iPhone. Coupled with the Zeiss optics there is no question that the Nokia should win this contest.

This is also why my 8 megapixel DSLR will also kick the iPhone or Galaxy in the ass when it comes to image quality even though they both have the same megapixel count. Look at an old 35mm negative. This is what they call a "full frame" DSLR. Then look at a Chiclet. The Chiclet is the sensor in the smartphone. You could fit several Chiclets into one full frame or 35mm negative from a film camera.

Physics are physics regardless of operating system. And all pixels are not created equal.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 17:56 1

106. jiezel91 (Posts: 56; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)


Hey there Phonearena! You forgot to list the Nokia N8 which has 1.75 microns.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 19:34

111. theaztech (Posts: 49; Member since: 13 Sep 2013)


at the end of the day apple hasnt been inovative since the release of the iphone 4.
Look at what there doing with there os system, everything added has been on android since the original G1. Not to mention there phone still doesnt have an hd scree, AN HD SCREEN FOR GOODNESS SAKE.
Look at the nexus 4.
250 bucks and its hardware is ten times better then anything apple has ever brought out to market. Yet apple wants to charge 600 dollars plus for old hardware? no thank you.
Apple is just a status symbol. It symbolises how ignorant some people can be.

posted on 13 Sep 2013, 23:47

118. dexter_jdr (Posts: 1120; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


LOL. even nokia N8 has larger pixel size than 5s. n8 is 1.75 i think

posted on 14 Sep 2013, 01:11

120. YangWu (Posts: 8; Member since: 11 Sep 2013)


I like orange I don't like Apple

posted on 14 Sep 2013, 22:35

126. luigi0824 (Posts: 42; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)


nokia n8 has 1.75-micron pixels lol

posted on 15 Sep 2013, 11:13

129. eldood (Posts: 2; Member since: 15 Sep 2013)


mikey, mikey, mikey

Calm down dood, find a beer. You act like anybody can make a 64 bit chip, not so dood, google how many make them now. I had an evo before going to an iphone, it was a very nice phone, no complaints. I miss swipe, I'll say that. However, I love my iPhone. Apple has larger margins by far than the entire droid contingent. If the droid were worth more, people would pay more. Hopefully blackberry comes back, the more competition the better off we all are. This is one of the only markets left where capitalism really shines. So mikey, no need to hate apple or the iPhone, grow up food. I never give a thought to samsung or microsoft.

El dood

posted on 16 Sep 2013, 16:44

130. akishakoi (Posts: 65; Member since: 06 Dec 2011)


a bigger micron-pixel they say??? That's what HTC said with their Ultrapixel technology and they failed big time! I hope apple won't go the same path as HTC. Well, there's only one word to think when it comes to cameras... it's PUREVIEW.

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