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November 5th 2012 6:20 pm

The camera on the 5th generation iPod touch has truly impressed me. (image heavy post)


I know almost nothing about photography. You can talk to me about F-Stops and Aperture settings, but it will go in one ear and out the other ear. That is why I was the perfect person to test this out.

On a spontaneous trip to the mountains yesterday, I was without a good camera. (By good camera i mean a decent point and shoot, because I have never used a d-SLR) What I did have was my relatively new 5th gen iPod touch. This thing has a 5mp camera with a panorama mode, and an HDR option.

So first things first. Digital zoom. I do know the difference between digital zoom and optical zoom. The latter being much better,

I imagine to see the full resolution pictures you can click on the image, but they are pretty big and you will have to find the 'x" to bring it back to normal size

This is a picture of a bridge in front of a mountain at no zoom

I zoomed in to the max and took a picture of the detail of the bridge. Standing from the same spot.

Not bad at all. There is some pixellation for sure. But this seems to be fairly acceptable.

Indoors had some pretty good shots too, however depending on the light source (in my case the sun coming in through a window) the colours were sometimes washed out. There is a bit of grain in the darker areas

And here is one that demonstrates more washing out

So now for panoramas. The mountains lend themselves beautifully to this. My somewhat shaky hands do not. If you shake too much your panorama will have a black gap at the top or the bottom. If you look really closely you can see a bit of banding where images are put together, but for the most part it looks great.

Note the hole in the bottom right of this one (shaky hands) and on the arm of the bench you can see the banding/stitching

But if you get it right, you can really get a stunning picture out of it.

Okay. HDR. I don't actually know 100% what HDR is or does, but it is supposed to make some cool pics.

So this is a shot without HDR.

And this is the same shot with HDR enabled in the camera. I feel like the sky is better in it

Now a quick word about placement of the camera. The camera is right in the corner of the iPod touch and that led me to take a LOT of pictures that turned out like this:

So you have to actively think to not position your finger in the way.

Finally, the front camera got a bit of use. I think it is only 1.3MP (i'll fact check this later), but the colour reproduction and focus were great for close ups of my ugly mug, and those cute couple shots everyone seems to be after.

Anyways! That is an example of my real life usage. No controlled lighting, no expert photographer.

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8 replies

Thanks a lot for excellent CONSUMER review. I care more for these than those super pro users that are never impressed by anything less than what they have. Tbh, this looks pretty impressive to me as an everyday consumer camera.

Digital zoom vs optical zoom: Digital zoom is kind of like taking a picture, zooming in with your computer and then cropping it. Optical zoom is the camera lens actually zooming, so theoretically no quality loss. Somebody correct me if any of this is wrong, but I think it's all correct.
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You are correct :)
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Oh fail! I misread your post and read it as "I don't know the difference between digital zoom and optical zoom." >.<
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That is a pretty amazing camera. Is it the same one in the iPhone 4, 4s or 5?
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From my understanding, it is not directly taken from other Apple devices.

The 5mp sensor is the same resolution as the iPhone 4 I believe, however the iPod uses newer optics and allows for panoramas and HDR (which the iPhone 4 does not)
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I think it's interesting that Apple didn't use the same camera from the iPhone. I thought they used similar components for similar devices.
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But the iPod Touch is thinner than any iPhone and the camera is usually one of the thickest components in a phone.
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Those are some great photos.

And I too am pretty impressed by the iPod Touch's camera, so much so that I've been taking just as many photos on there as I do with my Galaxy S III lately.
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