The Next iPhone's Latest Feature: 720p Video

Illustration for article titled The Next iPhones Latest Feature: 720p Video

With a few lines of code, it seems, at least one of the specs of the next iPhone is settled. According to video capture presets tucked away in the iPhone SDK, 720p recording is in the cards.

The evidence is fairly clear:

AVCaptureSessionPreset640x480
AVCaptureSessionPreset1280x720

These presets, buried in the iPhone SDK, don't guarantee HD video capture. But the iPhone ecosystem is contained enough that any reference to HD video anywhere is significant. I mean, why would there be a stray reference? What would it once have referred to?

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More to the point, this is something that's been talked about before. The next iPhone is suspected to have an upgraded camera—we know it will have a flash—and 720p has been explicitly mentioned in rumors before. Also, it's currently on the market in a handful of other phones, so it'd be kind of a disappointment if the next iPhone didn't ship with it. [Macrumors]

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DISCUSSION

I'll restrain myself until the thing is actually out but I wonder how useful 720p recording is with a crappy little phone camera and lens.

Contrary to popular belief, the thing that differentiates high-end SLRs and Video Cameras (Which can sometimes be one and the same these days) is not the pixel density of the sensor but the actual physical size of the sensor (which in turn determines the actual sensor pixel size) The bigger the pixels, the better the sensor will be at gathering light.

See those little boxes in the middle of the chart? Those are the Camera Phone sensors. Not very large.

Add to this the fact that the form factor of the iPhone does not leave a whole lot of room for a decent lens, 720p may just be there for bragging rights.

On the other hand, if its an improvement on the current version, why would I complain :)