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History of the iPhone Camera

iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and by extension, and the world's most popular digital camera. Being Apple the brand most used by photographers on Flickr. Today, you can take some impressive high-quality shots with the iPhone 12’s multi-camera system. But all of this incredible technology has a surprisingly modest history. The original iPhone sports a smaller 2-megapixel lens and photos of it left much to be desired. So how did the iPhone's camera system end today?

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ 2007 Original iPhone

It featured a 2MP camera lens that performed fairly well, although low-light photos left a lot to be desired. There was no front camera for selfies, no video recording, and no software features like autofocus. Although it did have geotagging so you could see where photos were taken.

➤ iPhone 3gs 2009

The iPhone 3G didn’t add any new camera updates, but the following 3GS did. With an improved 3MP lens, VGA-quality video recording, and software features like auto-focus, auto-white balance, and auto-macro.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone 4 2010

The 3GS was replaced by the iPhone 4, which features an even bigger camera upgrade. Like a front-facing selfie camera for the first time, although it was only zero-point-three megapixels. A 5-megapixel rear camera capable of recording 720p HD video in 30 frames per second complete with LED flash. Both cameras featured tap-to-focus while the rear lens allowed for 5x digital zoom.

➤ iPhone 4s 2011

The following 4s model had an 8MP rear camera which allowed for 1080p HD video recording. And thanks to an additional optic lens, a wider f/2.4 aperture, and the A5’s image signal processor, the rear camera had 30% better clarity, 26% better white balance, and 26% better color accuracy.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone 5 2012

The iPhone 5 marked the first upgrade to the device’s front-facing camera. At 1.2MP, it could record 720p HD video, and take much higher quality photos. The rear camera featured improved low-light performance, 40% faster photo capture, and a sapphire glass lens cover that was harder and more scratch-resistant. Although it did cause a purple hue when taking photos with a strong light source.

➤ iPhone 5s 2013

The 5s brought a larger f/2.2 aperture and larger image sensor to the rear camera which improved low-light photos even further, and a dual true tone flash that combines a white and amber LED to improve color balance in flash photographs. Burst mode at 10 frames per second and slow-motion video at 120 frames per second was also added with the 5s.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone 6 2014

The iPhone 6 allowed users to shoot 1080p video at 60 frames per second, 720p slow-motion video at 240 frames per second while allowing still photos to be captured during a recording.

➤ iPhone 6 plus 2014

The 6 Plus included all those features in addition to optical image stabilization for the first time. While its front camera received a larger sensor and f/2.2 aperture for better low-light selfies.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone 6s & 6s plus 2015

The 6s and 6s Plus brought a more significant upgrade to the iPhone’s camera system. And both models received the same features. Like a 12MP rear camera capable of recording 4K video or 1080p slow-motion video at 120 frames per second. And a 5MP front camera that took much higher resolution photos.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone 7 2016

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus both had a brighter quad-LED flash on the rear lens, a larger f/1.8 aperture for even better low light photos, and optical image stabilization. Which was a first for the base iPhone model.

➤ iPhone 7 plus 2016

While the pricier 7 Plus had exclusive features like a 12MP telephoto lens that provided 2x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom, and a feature called Portrait mode. Which allowed users to take photos of others with a bokeh effect normally only seen in high-end DSLR cameras.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone X 2017

The iPhone X featured a radical new design, but its cameras were largely the same. With the addition of 1080p slow-motion video at 240 frames per second. And the front-facing TrueDepth camera system, which allowed for Face ID and a new software feature called portrait lighting.

➤ iPhone XS 2018

The XS saw an even less impressive upgrade. With a larger rear sensor, a new software feature called depth control, and support for stereo audio.

History of the iPhone Camera

➤ iPhone 11 pro-2019

But the 11 Pro was the huge camera upgrade that customers had been waiting for. It was the first model to feature three lenses on the back. The standard wide-angle and telephoto lenses, with the addition of an ultra-wide-angle lens with a 120-degree field of view. Night Mode was added which automatically applied a longer exposure to low light photos to capture more detail.

And Apple created a new software feature called Deep Fusion, which utilized machine learning to optimize every pixel in a photo. Multi-camera recording becomes possible thanks to the powerful A13 Bionic chip, although the native camera app didn’t support the feature. Finally, 1080p slow-mo was added to the front camera, which Apple marketed as “slofies.” A term that, thankfully, never caught on.

➤ iPhone 12 pro-2020

The 12 Pro added a LiDAR Scanner for improved augmented reality, support for night mode video on all four cameras, and the ability to record HDR Dolby Vision 4K footage up to 60 frames per second. The 12 Pro Max included all those features plus a sensor-shift image stabilization system. So compared to 2007, the iPhone’s photo quality went from this to this. With even more features on the way this fall when Apple introduces the next-generation model.

That’s the history of the iPhone’s camera. if you found this informative let me know in the comments below and share it with your friends.

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