The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



New iPhone cameras: looks or function?

| Friday, September 13, 2019

This past Tuesday was Apple’s annual September event, where the tech company revealed new cloud services, Apple Watches, iPads and, of course, iPhones. It was the new iPhone 11 and 11 Pro that got the most attention from people. It wasn’t because of a new design, nor was it because of new software. The new iPhones still have a design that is very similar to the previous iPhones, with an operating system that was showcased in the WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference) back in June.

It was the new cameras. 

People on Reddit and Twitter quickly went about joking about the setup, from saying it looks like a fidget spinner to comparing it to a stovetop. The new camera layout is very different from other competitors who would lay their cameras either in vertical or horizontal layout. But people also began to poke fun at the numbers of cameras. The iPhone 11, which is the successor to the iPhone Xr, has two cameras, and the iPhone 11 Pro (and its Max version) now has three. People online have posted Photoshopped pictures of the phones with many camera lenses and call it the iPhone 100.

There’s no doubt that Apple and many other smartphone manufacturers are trying to bring DSLR-level quality photos to users by including telephoto lenses to wide-angle lenses, and it is unfair that Apple is getting heat in their attempt to do so. Despite the weird layout, the cameras perform far better than competitors. While others tried to quickly implement three cameras, they have not perfected it as Apple has. For example, Huawei released P30 Pro, which comes with magnificent zoom capability. However, it wasn’t able to calibrate the three cameras perfectly. Apple, on the other hand, made the color science on their three cameras better. It also raises a question: how many cameras is enough? Will they include another camera in the next model of the iPhone? It isn’t necessary, but it sure will be useful if they do.

People also criticize Apple for the lack of innovation. That is easy to assume. The company hasn’t changed the style of the iPhones in awhile. It still sticks to the same rounded corner screen with a notch on the top. However, some people would say innovation lies within the phone. The new processor has improved the speed and capabilities of the phone while improving battery life. Apple has adopted to using a neural engine system that would be beneficial to machine learning processes. People also have to give Apple credit for their software, it is reliable and support far more older devices than Android. Most Android phones have to wait a while until they receive the next big OS update. Apple seems to have a speedy update process.

They also made the software for the camera app better. It allows users to seamlessly zoom farther into the view as well as included small features like wide angle selfie shots that is helpful for group settings. 

So yes, the camera layout is really hideous, but once you use it, you will find out it is a powerful tool.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Tags: , , ,

About Joseph Han

Contact Joseph