iPhone 3GS: Camera & Video Quality Rocks Your Socks

For two straight days now, you’ve seen my posts regarding the sheer, raw power of the iPhone 3GS. Boot up times are faster along with overall system speed, network, and 3D performance. Today I’m going to review the iPhone 3GS camera and its video capabilities, something that I feel should be talked about more.

The iPhone 3GS Camera is 3MP vs 2MP in the iPhone 3G

All this talk about “OMFG, the camera only increased by 1MP? It must suck!” is a fair assumption since we have been brainwashed to believe that the higher the megapixel count, the better quality photos on your cellphone camera. The iPhone 3GS proves that it’s not all about the megapixel race, but more about using quality optics.

This Little Camera Packs a Punch: Autofocus Helps Bring Out Better Photos

The new autofocus feature lets you pick any area of the screen to focus in on. The camera does this very effectively and can result in some pretty nice pictures with decent bokeh for a camera phone. It also helps when shooting up close for macro photos.

The downside is that there is still no flash for the camera. I am not really a big fan of flash photography anyways, so I don’t mind not having flash. If I’m in a situation that is really low light, I most likely would have my dSLR and a prime lens. Even in low light, pictures are still distinguishable. It’s a CAMERA on your cellphone folks, if I wanted to take real pictures I’d bring my digital camera!

Here are some sample pictures I took using the autofocus feature:

Focus point is in the middle on the budding flowers, notice the background slightly blurred (click for a larger size):




These pics were taken by users at MacRumors and clearly show the autofocus feature:

iPhoneUpload-5 iphone3gspic

The iPhone Camera Now Has Macro Capabilities

This was a problem the previous iPhone cameras had–anything remotely up close would be blurry and indistinguishable. Well, that has all changed because the 3GS macro shots are pretty cool. Check out the following pics of my MacBook keyboard…the pictures are literally night and day!

iPhone3G_macro iphone_3GSmacro

How Does the iPhone 3GS Video Perform?

Take a look at the following video that was taken with my iPhone 3GS, and uploaded directly to YouTube from the phone itself. During the upload process the video is compressed, after which you then fill out the video description details and away you go. While you’re uploading a video, you can still multitask as it will upload in the background!

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When I mentioned it was easy to upload, YouTube reported that uploads went up 400%:

In the last six months, we’ve seen uploads from mobile phones to YouTube jump 1700%; just since last Friday, when the iPhone 3GS came out, uploads increased by 400% a day.


So there you have it. The improved camera on the iPhone 3GS and video capabilities work hand in hand with the hardware upgrade. Publishing videos directly to YouTube has never been easier from a cellphone! The quality is pretty decent and frame rates are excellent. The 3GS is going to take “local reporting” to another level, just wait!