Why does the iPhone take such crappy photos?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by laomingliu, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. laomingliu

    laomingliu Guest

    I have an iPhone 4s and it could not be a bigger disappointment as far as using as a camera. The only time that I ever got decent photos from it was one time when I had just landed in Istanbul in a snow storm and was being transported to our hotel. Driving along the JFK highway (along the Sea of Marmara), the scenery was of the new fallen snow was spectacular so I held my iPhone 4s up against the window (to hold it still) and took several photos. Thus, on the time I least expected the photos to turn out, they were nearly perfect.

    Now, you might say that the trick to getting great photos is to hold the iPhone still. But shouldn't that also be true with my Canon which is nearly the same size? Is it just Apple trying to keep costs down and thereby giving us a crappy camera?

    I've also enabled HDR but that hasn't improved photos at all.

    Sorry for the rant and hope someone has figured out how to get unblurry/hires photos with their iPhone and is willing to share their secrets.
    laomingliu, Jul 4, 2013
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  2. You'll probably get more and possibly better answers if you pose this
    question at <misc.phone.mobile.iphone>
    Michelle Steiner, Jul 5, 2013
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  3. laomingliu

    Mitch Bujard Guest

    The iPhone camera is not crappy at all. But it does not have electronic
    stabilization that Canon uses. Hence you MUST hold it very still and
    better use it in good light conditions. The more light the better,
    because shutter speed will be increased, and it will minimize movement

    Try to train holding the camera still, and better use the volume key to
    take pictures. Its position is far natural than the screen trigger.
    Mitch Bujard, Jul 5, 2013
  4. Only when holding the camera in landscape orientation. In portrait
    orientation, the screen trigger is more natural.
    Michelle Steiner, Jul 5, 2013
  5. laomingliu

    JF Mezei Guest

    When you consider the thickness of the iPhone, the laws of physics
    (which Steve Jobs was not able to repeal :) make it very hard to make
    great pictures no matter the quality of the optics.

    But for smartphone form factor, the iPhone takes the better pictures
    compared to others based on many articles I read.

    Real digital cameras have more sensitive sensors which can take pictures
    with adequate shutter speeds in darker situations. I Believe the
    iPhone5's sensor's sensitibility was improved.

    HDR works wonders in some bright sunny situations. But only one non
    moving objects/scenes. And remember that it takes 2 pictures in
    sequence, so you have to hold the phone still for a longer period.

    The 4s and above have image stabilisation, but not sure it it applies
    only to movies or if it also helps with still pictures.

    Sometimes, the iPhone takes great pictures, sometimes not.
    JF Mezei, Jul 5, 2013
  6. laomingliu

    Davoud Guest

    In the right hands and under the right conditions the iPhone can take
    pretty fair snapshots. Perhaps yours aren't the right hands, or you
    haven't found the right conditions--generally meaning knowledgable use
    of lighting. Many professionals have taken high quality studio and
    location photos with the iPhone just to prove that they could.

    That said, the cameras that are built into telephones are not intended
    as replacements for high-res cameras with zoom-lenses, manual settings,
    and other bells and whistles. The iPhone is a much better camera than
    your Canon is a hand-held computer, I would wager.
    Davoud, Jul 5, 2013
  7. laomingliu

    JF Mezei Guest

    I think that "right conditions" is more important here. While each
    generation of iPhone makes improvements to the camera, there is still a
    limited range of situations where it will take a great photograph, and
    many more where you would expect it to take a good photograph but it
    gets insufficient lighting when you would thing there was enough and you
    get blurry image due to lengthy shutter opening.

    Note that cleaning the lens area of the phone with real cleaner is
    important to get all grease off there.
    JF Mezei, Jul 5, 2013
  8. laomingliu

    George Kerby Guest

    WRONG newsgroup. Try <rec.photo.digital> if you are serious and not on a
    fishing expedition.
    George Kerby, Jul 5, 2013
  9. laomingliu

    George Kerby Guest

    When he said that he held it up against the window of a moving vehicle to
    "hold it still" I figured it might be a troll. No one that I know would try
    such a thing, LOL!
    George Kerby, Jul 5, 2013
  10. laomingliu

    Howard Guest

    FFS ... I had an iPhone 3, then a 4 and now a 5. I have never had a
    day's problems I have fantastic photos all through my collection.

    You appear to have more problems than your iPhone.
    Howard, Jul 5, 2013
  11. laomingliu

    Guest Guest

    Only when holding the camera in landscape orientation. In portrait
    orientation, the screen trigger is more natural.[/QUOTE]

    it's just as natural as a traditional camera in portrait orientation.

    or just use the headset button and it makes no difference what
    orientation it is.
    Guest, Jul 5, 2013
  12. laomingliu

    Bob Harris Guest

    Camera+ has a stabilization option. It will not take the picture
    until you stop shaking the camera.

    While this is not the same as image stabilization, it does work
    for non-action pictures where you can take your time when taking
    the picture

    Chances are there are other photo apps that will offer the same
    style stabilization service.
    Bob Harris, Jul 5, 2013
  13. laomingliu

    Mitch Bujard Guest

    it's just as natural as a traditional camera in portrait orientation.

    or just use the headset button and it makes no difference what
    orientation it is.[/QUOTE]

    Ah ! This is a GREAT idea ! For years I complained that digital cameras
    did not have shutter cord or remote trigger, and you gave me the
    neatest trick in ages !

    I have already perfected a DIY tripod attachment for the iPhone, but
    now, with a convenient remote control, it becomes possible to obtain
    really good, stable pictures and movies, without having to play feather

    I shall forever be in your debt. Thank you !
    Mitch Bujard, Jul 5, 2013
  14. laomingliu

    dorayme Guest

    You can also use virtual remote control. With almost any digital
    camera you can set it firmly somewhere (like on a tripod) and use the
    timer to allow yourself to get off it and be far enough away to not
    affect it.

    This has been proven in university trials using camera carrying jack
    hammers. With the camera mounted on the working hammer, the pictures
    are often quite blurred but if the jack hammer is trained to put the
    camera down and set it on a timer, and if the jack hammer uses this
    time to go to another suburb, the 'same' picture will often be as
    sharp as a pin.
    dorayme, Jul 6, 2013
  15. laomingliu

    Lewis Guest

    In message <51d6385b$0$20998$c3e8da3$>
    And yet, it takes quite decent photos.
    Even ones with "MORE MAGAPIXELS!" Apple ahs very very good software in
    the camera.
    If it helps with photos, I've not noticed it.
    Lewis, Jul 6, 2013
  16. laomingliu

    Wes Groleau Guest

    Doc says three.

    If I were a professional photographer preparing stuff for print,
    the iPhone would not be adequate. It's more than good enough for
    websites and computer screens.

    Wes Groleau

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible
    will make violent revolution inevitable.
    — John F. Kennedy
    Wes Groleau, Jul 6, 2013
  17. laomingliu

    Alan Browne Guest

    Holding something against the window might be worse if there is a lot of
    Any camera has to be held still. The issue with the iPhone is it is
    small and it's awkward to trip the shutter which leads to movement and
    of course in low light, the shutter speed tends to get pretty long.

    In the end you have to recognize and shoot withing the limitations of
    the iPhone camera - then you will get nice results. Your Canon is
    likely a larger sensor area (more sensitive) resulting in faster shutter
    speeds for a given light. It is easier to hold and easier to trip the
    shutter. It's not as limited as the iPhone camera - better results in
    more conditions.
    Alan Browne, Jul 6, 2013
  18. laomingliu

    M-M Guest

    Look at the size of the camera lens. How can you expect great photos
    from a lens with a diameter of 1/8 inch?
    M-M, Jul 6, 2013
  19. laomingliu

    George Kerby Guest

    Interesting that, after the original initial troll, the whiner has never
    returned for any discussion of the 'problem'.
    George Kerby, Jul 6, 2013
  20. laomingliu

    JF Mezei Guest

    Because Apple marketing tells me to expect great photos worthy of an
    Ansell Adams exposition from my fancy iPhone :) :) :) :)
    JF Mezei, Jul 6, 2013
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