Apple iPhone 5S Unveiled: Cameras Get An Upgrade With New 120 FPS Slo-Mo Feature

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Apple 5s 10Sept2013
Craig Federighi, Senior VP of Software Engineering at Apple Inc talks about the camera in the new iPhone 5S during Apple Inc's media event in Cupertino, California September 10, 2013.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced the iPhone 5S at its Cupertino, Calif., campus on Tuesday morning and among the device’s updated features are improvements to its camera.

For the next generation Apple mobile camera, we see a five-element lens with a F2.2 aperture and a sensor, which is 15 percent larger than that on the iPhone 5. With a larger lens, we should see improvements in low-light sensitivity as well as more control over photo quality.

For the new camera Apple introduces a new "true tone" dual-LED flash, which provides better lighting and also adds more accurate color saturation and brightness to photos. The LED flashes feature warm and cool color temperatures, which aid in balancing color, especially for skin tones.

We also see auto image stabilization introduced on the iPhone 5S. With burst mode the camera shoots 10 frames per second and combines light levels and selects the best photos. For video recording the iPhone 5S camera introduces Slo-Mo mode, which captures HD video at 720p and 120 frames per second. The fast and precise frame rate of 120FPS not only provides crisp and beautiful video, it also presents video in a slow-motion state during playback. We have previously seen these features on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Apple appears to be catering to the artistic point and shoot market with its new camera features, while many competitors have aimed to stylize their mobile cameras with lots of features that ultimately turn out to be novelty at best.

We expect features like burst mode and Slo-Mo will serve the iPhone 5S similarly to how the Panorama camera option served the iPhone 5: providing a few main, high- quality camera features as opposed to a host of lesser features. This is the first major camera upgrade we’ve seen since the iPhone 4S.

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