On the heels of the debut of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, Apple has just announced a cadre of new camera features that should keep the iPhone 5S as king of the hill for months to come.
The new iPhone 5S camera packs a five-element custom Apple lens with an aperture of f/2.2—an improvement over the iPhone 5’s already impressive f/2.4 glass. The camera will feature a sensor that is 15% larger than that of its predecessor. When it comes to cameras, Apple gets image quality: improving sensor size and aperture is the real way to evolve a camera—not megapixels. Apple will also introduce auto image stabilization, which is a boon for those of us with not quite steady hands. And Apple claims that the speedy new A7 chip will yields autofocus that’s twice as fast.
On the video side, the iPhone 5S can capture 720p HD at 120 frames per second. The new “slo-mo” feature can slow that footage down to a 120 frames-per-second crawl. While it’s no Phantom—the ultra high end video cameras famous for their slow motion skills—it’s a fun addition for anyone who shoots and shares video.
The new iPhone camera features span both the hardware and software side of things, but the hardware is the real prize here, since we had a preview of the new photography software when iOS 7 was announced earlier this year.
In iOS 7, mobile photogs can put the iPhone 5S’s hardware specs through their paces with some nifty new features. Beyond a flatter visual redesign to match the overall Ive-vibe, iOS 7 features an Instagram-inspired photo filters and even a mode to shoot square shots from the get-go. The totally overhauled iOS 7 camera app offers 15-zone autofocus matrix metering, “True Tone” flash for color correcting blown-out flash shots and a 10 frames-per-second burst mode, activated by holding down the shutter button.
The iOS 7 camera can also take multiple images and choose the best of them or combine them for a better-balanced shot, similar to the idea of HDR or image bracketing. With the multiple image burst mode, the device actually decides which image it thinks is best—not unlike the “Highlights” feature in Google+, which picks your best image for you (and is often right).
Won’t be gunning for the iPhone 5S in that delightful champagne gold? Don’t worry—the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S will all share in the photography software upgrades baked into iOS 7.