What it is: One of the strongest features of the iPhone is its built-in camera for taking still images and video.
Although there are plenty of cheaper smartphones on the market and even more expensive smartphones that rival the iPhone in build quality, one feature that rivals have strived to equal has been the iPhone’s camera. Usually rivals focus on increasing the megapixel resolution of a camera, but increasing megapixels doesn’t always result in better quality images.
Since smartphone cameras lack the ability to attach a physical lens without additional equipment, most people simply aim and shoot with their smartphone cameras. That means smartphone cameras can never be as good as dedicated, high-end cameras. However, the real advantage of a smartphone camera is its availability.
Although dedicated high-end cameras take better pictures, the trade off is having to lug around so much equipment at all times, which is something even professional photographers have trouble doing. The average person will not carry a bag full of extra lenses and camera equipment just to take pictures.
So the camera in most smartphones is good enough for most people, but Apple strives to make the camera in the iPhone better with each new model. If you look at images captured by the latest iPhone, it’s nearly as good (or even better) than the quality of images captured by dedicated, high-end cameras of the past.
For casual users, any improvement in camera quality is just an additional bonus, but for professional photographers, that means you may not get the ultra-high resolution of dedicated high-end cameras of today, but you can capture great images with quality equal to dedicated high-end cameras of the recent past. For both professionals and casual users, the camera in the iPhone isn’t just a compromise but actually good enough to use on a daily basis.
During filming of a French talk show, the power shut off, turning off the dedicated cameras used to record the show. To keep the show filming going, the crew simply used iPhones. While the iPhone videos aren’t the same quality as the video images captured by dedicated video cameras, it was good enough.
In the early days, professional photographers rightly avoided smartphone cameras because the quality was too low. Now as the quality has improved and the convenience of carrying a smartphone makes lugging dedicated, high-end cameras less and less appealing, the iPhone camera has gotten to the point where it’s acceptable for the vast majority of uses.
Dedicated, high-end cameras will always exceed the iPhone’s camera, but beyond specialized needs, the iPhone camera is good enough and continually getting better. Many professional photographers have captured images with the iPhone camera and even filmmakers have shot and edited video on the iPhone camera.
While a handful of other smartphones offer quality, built-in cameras like the iPhone, not all of them do. Imagine the disappointment of someone buying a smartphone only to find that it captures poor images. When you buy an iPhone, you may not need a camera, but when you do use it, it will always capture high quality images.
The iPhone camera isn’t the main appeal of the iPhone, but just part of the quality that Apple strives for in most of their products. The camera is there when you need it but out of the way when you don’t need it. When you do need it, it offers high quality, and that’s what makes Apple products so appealing to so many people.
Quality is something you can only appreciate after you’ve been frustrated using cheaper products that compromise on details just to squeeze out a little more profit for the manufacturer at the expense of customer satisfaction. Would your other support a company that tries to make products that will delight you? Or would you rather save a little money buying a product from a company that puts your interests behind their own?