Why you shouldn’t place all your trust in iPhone camera tests

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Two cameras that excited the world about photography, the iPhone and the Kodak Brownie.
Two cameras that excited the world about photography, the iPhone and the Kodak Brownie.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Miroslav Tichy roamed the streets of his Czech Republic town with a camera made of plywood, a cardboard tube and a plexiglass lens he polished with toothpaste and cigarette ashes. His crude, distorted photographs now hang in museums around the world.

So don’t worry if the camera on that iPhone 7 you just purchased doesn’t score high in some laboratory test that pits its image quality against other cameras.

Your next iPhone may be able to read sign language

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The cameras on the iPhone 6s has a 12-megapixel sensor and 4K video.
Finally, a chance to use 'jazz hands' to unlock our iPhones.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Future iPhone software and cameras could support sign language recognition, alongside a range of other in-air interface gestures, according to a patent application published today.

Titled “Three-Dimensional Hand Tracking Using Depth Sequences,” Apple’s patent application describes how devices would be able to locate and follow the location of hands through three-dimensional space in video streams, similar to the face-tracking technology Apple already employs for its Photo Booth app.

Curved photo sensor could lead to tiny Apple Watch camera

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iphone6pluscameralens
Apple is constantly pushing the boundaries with its cameras.
Photo: iFixit

Apple has invented a camera lens that would yield higher-resolution images and would be even tinier than the cameras used in today’s super-slim iPhones.

How tiny would it be? Imagine a total axial length of just 2 mm or even less, making this potentially perfect for the long-awaited FaceTime camera of the next-gen Apple Watch 2.

iPhone is most popular camera among Flickr’s 112 million photographers

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Flickr photographers love the camera on the iPhone.
Flickr photographers love the camera on the iPhone.
Photo: Flickr

The longtime Kings of the Camera must know their kingdoms are shrinking. If Canon or Nikon need further evidence, Flickr’s 2015 Year in Review shows the popular tool of choice for an engaged and global photography community is not a dedicated camera. It’s first and foremost a phone.

Apple’s iPhone was the popular device used by the Flickr community, according to an analysis of the EXIF data on pictures uploaded to the site. iPhone cameras accounted for 42 percent of the photos on the site, compared to the DSLRs of Canon, 27 percent, and the Nikon, 16 percent.