Size matters. Especially in iPhoneography. Here’s Life In LoFi’s infographic showing the relative sizes of all iPhone photo sizes, from the original iPhone 2G to the latest iPhones, the 6 and the 6 Plus. If you’re still shooting with an old iPhone 3G, this chart may give you pixel envy.
Since the iPhone 5, an 8 megapixel iPhone camera has been the norm. Even the high-res retina displays of the iPhone 4 and 4S series have a resolution of 640 x 960 pixels, the screen of the iPhone 5 and 5S is 640 x 1136 pixels, and the screen of the new iPhone 6 Plus is an HDTV — 1080 x 1920 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 update includes the 8MP camera of the latest iPhones. As you can see, 4 times bigger than the original iPhones looks very different visually. I’ve also included the 12 MP photo size available on some other smartphone cameras. 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.
The original iPad has a rear-camera resolution of 960×720 pixels, which is not shown here due to crowding down at the low end. The original iPod Touch devices have the same rear camera resolution.
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, as well as plenty that only save at an Instagram-friendly 640 x 640 pixels. 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. The new upcoming iPhones are rumored to have a 12 megapixel camera or even larger. Now, unless you’re trying to create a true digital lo-fi look or if you only share your photos on Facebook or Instagram, there is almost no reason any more to be constrained to this ever-shrinking canvas.