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iPhone4S: The Low Light Challenge

I recently acquired an iPhone4S. It is a nice phone as is the iPhone4. It has a voice personal assistant which is entertaining and possibly useful, but it was not my motivation for purchasing it. Rather, I take lots of baby photos. I have shot thousands of photos of my baby since she was born 6 months ago. All of that was on the iPhone4.

But I find that as fall deepens, the brilliant daylight of summer fades. In its place I have low-light levels that drive the iPhone4 to be slow on the picture take and poor on the quality. The promise of the iPhone4S is that of quick photos of stunning quality at even low-light levels. Does it deliver?

Before buying, I saw a street light comparison. It made my hopes go up. In the store, I tried picture taking quickly and it was noticeably different even in the brightly lit store. But the real test was at home, with baby.

And in my opinion, it delivers the goods. See my flickr set of iPhone 4S and some corresponding iPhone4 pictures. It is still a little slow to start, but taking multiple pictures is very fast. The coloring is amazingly life-like. And the low-light pictures, while still grainy, are much improved and one can make out the subject clearly. All in all, if the iPhone4 is your primary camera as it is mine, upgrade to the 4S and enjoy!

As a side note, this marks the completion of the Applification of my household: 2 iPhones, 1 iMac, MacBookAir, MacBook, iPad, iPod Touch, iPod Mini. Until now, my wife had a clamshell phone. Now she has my iPhone4. We are also now an AT&T house as we are both on the same phone plan which means we both get data plans and shared minutes, but at the same price as our two plans separately. I also have a discount with my employer which applies to the $25 data plan reducing it to almost the price of the $15 plan which has no discount. So we did that and we now have a lot of data streaming potential.

All in all, I am a very satisfied customer.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Tom | October 17, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Don’t you also have an Airport or Time Machine?

    The camera is the biggest reason I’m glad to be upgrading from 3GS to 4S. Apparently for the 4S, one of the biggest focuses was on optimizing the hell out of the speed, which along with low light performance was my biggest beef.

    Looks like they did a pretty good job:

  2. mythiclogos | October 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Yes, I have two Time Capsules and one Airport Express. I should have included them, but I think they just don’t resonate with me as much.

    They certainly did make it snappy. But I think the time to first picture still seems long.

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