iPhone Image Sizes: 2007-2012

iPhone image sizes, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5

Size matters. Especially in iPhoneography. Here’s Life In LoFi’s graphic showing the relative sizes of all iPhone image sizes, from the original iPhone 2G to the latest iPhones, the 5 and the 4S. If you’re still shooting with an old iPhone 3G, this chart may give you pixel envy.

5 megapixel and 8 megapixel iPhone cameras are now the norm due the the unprecedented popularity of the iPhone 4 and 4S. Just the high-res retina displays of the iPhone 4 series have a resolution of 640×960 pixels.

We’re constantly exposed to the numbers of image resolution, but the difference between image sizes can be difficult to visualize. So a while back, I thought it would be interesting to see how the image sizes looked visually when compared to each other. I created the original graphic with the image sizes from all of the iPhone cameras at the time — iPhone 2G, 3G and 3GS.

This latest update includes the 8MP camera of the iPhone 4S and the 5. As you can see, 4 times bigger than the original iPhones looks very different visually. By the way, even the iPhone’s 2MP images can enlarge for prints quite nicely. See how big iPhone photo enlargements can print here. Online photo sharing such as Facebook and Flickr are supporting larger file sizes as well.

There are still new and some popular apps that max out at well below even the 2 MP of the original iPhone 2G. I still find apps that I test that still save at the postage stamp sized, super low 320×480 pixel resolution. When you see visually how small that really is, it emphasizes the importance of image size and number of pixels and why it’s important for photo apps to support the full resolution of the device, or at least high resolution.

Hopefully the low-res apps will get updated or just fade away. Even when the iPhone cameras were only 2 MP, 800×600 and 1024×768 resolution — both less than 1 megapixel — were just barely acceptable. Now, unless you’re trying to create a true digital lo-fi look, there is almost no reason any more to be constrained to this ever-shrinking canvas.



About Marty Yawnick 1830 Articles
Marty is a self-employed graphic designer in the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex. He is an avid Rangers baseball, Chicago Cubs, Packers and Highbury Arsenal fan. In addition to capturing random moments with whatever camera is close by (usually his iPhone), his other interests include coffee, Pink Floyd, film, music, and traveling in seats 5E and 5F with his fiancé.
  • Thanks again for the info.
    Well I'm still shooting with an iPhone2G, and yes i like this device. The only thing is that the various photo apps were improved a lot and so many of them would´t run anymore smooth on this device. But anyway 5.33" x 4"
    (13.5cm x 10.2cm) prints looks already quite acceptable .

    • Ahhh, the original lo-fi iPhone!

      There are still some apps that look best on a 2G. Personally, I think many of Hipstamatic's films and lenses look best on a 2G.


  • Gabrielle

    I use a 3GS and have printed amazing prints up to 30 x 30 cm…(24" x 24") so not sure how that chart above works….you can print very nice using the 3Gs!

    • Hi, Gabrielle,

      The chart above isn't a printing chart per se. It's just a chart to compare the size of the photos each iPhone produces and what you're getting when you use a low-res app on a higher resolution iPhone.


  • I pity my ipodtouch4 XD

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