iPhoneographers rejoice. Apple has announced a new 12 MP chip to it’s latest iPhone, the new 4 inch iPhone SE. The new iPhone features Focus Pixel technology for fast focusing, an Apple-designed image signal processor, advanced noise reduction, third-generation local tone mapping and better face detection, all resulting in sharper, more detailed photos like the ones shot on an iPhone 6s. The iPhone SE also adds the Live Photos feature. The new handset adds features a
5-megapixel 1.2 megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera with a True Tone Retina Flash feature that lights up the display of the iPhone significantly more than usual, just before a photo is captured. The new iPhone SE also features 4K video resolution.
The new phone will start at $399 for a 16 MB version. It’s the least expensive iPhone Apple has offered, and it gets feature and camera parity with it’s newer iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. The iPhone SE will be available to order from March 24 and begin shipping on March 31.
Apple also announced a 12 MP camera on its new iPad Pro in a 9.7 inch screen version. It’s clear a 12 MP camera is going to b basic equipment going forward for Apple mobile products, so expect all new Apple products to offer 12 P sensors, until Apple offers something more in the future. Samsung is already offering some 16 MP cameras. For Apple, those extra megapixels will be great for ultra-large panoramas, and to give photographers more flexibility in cropping.
Apple has been a bit behind the power curve in the camera chip wars, although many reviewers always felt that photos from iPhones usually looked better than photos from competitive phones. Chip size isn’t everything, and noise, color accuracy and other factors are equally important areas where Apple has always done well.
I’ll look forward to seeing how the new camera sensor performs so watch this space.