The New iPhone Camera's Flash Illuminates Photos Without Ruining Them

By Mario Aguilar on at

Today, we got a look at the the future of the iPhone camera. Apple's doubling down on its imaging tech in hopes that it can catch the eye of the people who really care about the quality of their images. At the centre of the new push is a flash system that'll keep the blast of a strobe from ruining your photos.

Take a look at all of Apple's iPhone 5S and 5C announcements here

Apple's solution to the flash problem is to use dual-LED lights of slightly different colour—one amber and one cool and white— rather than a single bulb. The idea is that the LEDs can fire in concert or individually to help balance out the light that's thrown on a scene so it looks more natural. The variations can happen in over 1000 variations.

The new camera can shoot up to 10 frames per second in continuous mode. It can shoot 1280 x 720 video at 120 fps for slow-motion. The camera also features a new 28-megapixel panorama mode.

So where does that leave us? Flash is tricky no matter what and the little LEDs on our phones are particularly bad for lighting up a scene. Usually, camera manufacturers use xenon-based flash because the light gives photos a more natural look. The trouble is that it's hard to make a xenon flash small enough for a phone. Nokia started using them in its top phones recently, but if your priority is making the slimmest phone of them all, it's not going to work. Here, Apple's doing the best it can to improve the flash without affecting the iPhones lovely slender profile.

A year ago, Apple made the best camera we had ever seen on a smartphone people would actually buy. But Apple's got some real competition from the hot imaging tech in the Nokia's Lumia 928 and 1020 phones, the latter of which happens to be the best phone camera we've ever used. And let's not forget that HTC put out its own impressive little shooter earlier this year.

From the looks of it, Apple's new camera might help it catch up with some of the impressive cameras out there, but only a real world shootout will settle the matter for sure.