Chris Pirillo iPod touch Camera vs. iPhone 4 Still Photography iPhoneography

If you haven’t seen it yet, Chris Pirillo has posted to his blog an excellent video, comparing the cameras of the two latest Apple iDevices.

I haven’t purchased or tested an iPod Touch 4th Gen yet. That’s the sexy new iPod Touch with the back camera. While able to take still pictures, the camera on the new iPod Touch seems better suited for shooting HD video. It captures stills at 960x720px — that’s less than one megapixel and smaller than the 720p that the camera captures with video.

The video is a head-to-head comparison of the new iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4th Gen cameras taking still photographs. The difference is very striking. Chris sums it up like this:

Pictures taken with the 4th gen iPod Touch are just… uhm… pictures. The saved resolution is absolute crap. You’d get a better quality image by taking a video and then capturing an image from the video.

The video is 7:34 long and is not only entertaining, but informative as well. Click here for the complete blog post and video.

My thoughts on the new iPod Touch camera … every still I’ve seen from the device is very lo-fi. Overall, it’s not a great camera for taking still pictures. It takes mobile phone still photography back several years. Even a second-generation RAZR had greater resolution. With all of the improvements that have been made with Apple cameras, the iPT camera is definitely more a throwback to the first iPhone 2G cameras, which were kind of gray and noisy.

Hipstamatic iPod Touch Test Time...

On the other hand, when a photographer embraces the limitations of the camera, I’ve seen some really nice digital lo-fi still photos from the new iPT. In particular, the blurriness and noise add back some really nice digital lo-fi to Hipstamatic photos that’s missing from the newer, improved cameras. While certainly not intended, it’s almost refreshing to have a camera in the product line that degrades images so much for digital lo-fi.

If you don’t need sexy shiny new, for shooting digital lo-fi a better alternative may just be picking up an old iPhone 2G from eBay and using it without a SIM card. The images are still grayish and a little noisy, but you’ll be shooting with 2MP resolution and have all the functionality of the the new iPod Touch minus the HD Video camera.



Photo credits: “Time…” by Popo Pty, Yellow dog, by Kieran Durcan