11:52am (lunch time!) by Tosha. Shot with an iPhone 5? (photo courtesy of ars technica)


ars technica blog recently posted a photo of sushi allegedly shot with an iPhone by an Apple engineer and posted to his Flickr account. What’s special about this iPhone photo is that according to the photo’s EXIF data, it was cropped down from an original size of 3264 x 2448 pixels — 8 megapixels, the rumored resolution of the next generation iPhone camera.

An 8MP iPhone camera has been the subject of speculation for some time now. The news isn’t much of a surprise. The other goodies uncovered in the ars technica post are.

The ars technica post, “”Leaked” photo suggests the iPhone 5 camera won’t be much of an upgrade” by Chris Foresman does an excellent job of breaking down the EXIF data as well as analyzing the two possible sensor units that could have produced the image.

The EXIF data I found particularly interesting. If the data is genuine, the new camera will have a maximum aperture of f/2.4. The current iPhone 4 has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. Foresman suggests that the improvement in aperture was necessary to compensate for a decrease in the light sensitivity of the new sensor. The iPhone 4 currently has a nice dynamic range with good sensitivity in low light. Despite the improved aperture, the smaller pixels of the new sensor may mean slightly more noisier images than the iPhone 4. That’s good for digital lo-fi — a step back for iPhoneographers wanting to improve the quality of their images. I like the larger aperture. It means that the camera can capture more light. But it’s like shooting with slower film if the new, physically smaller sensors lack the sensitivity to record it.

The post also mentions that the new camera has a longer focal length. This means that iPhoneographers will no longer enjoy as wide a field of view as they currently do on an iPhone 4. You can read my previous post on the iPhone 4’s wider field of view here. If the post is accurate, the new camera will frame images a little tighter — closer to the tighter crop of the iPhone 2G and 3G cameras.

The post has much much more is an excellent and detailed read on the possible new camera. To me, Chris Foresman’s research is sound and I think this story is very solid speculation. We find out for certain in about a month.

Read the entire post, ““Leaked” photo suggests the iPhone 5 camera won’t be much of an upgrade” by Chris Foresman on the ars technica blog.