iPhone 4 Vs. iPod touch – Video Camera Quality

Apple has finally created an iPod touch with a camera built-in! Is it a “Flip” killer? Yes and no.

I received an email today from community geek, David Myers:

You asked in your video “What should I do now?” and I have a suggestion. The camera on the iPhone 4 and the camera on the iPod touch are different in size and amount of megapixels. Although the iPod touch claims 720p HD video recording on the specifications page, it has no reference to megapixels, like the iPhone 4 specifications page.

I want to suggest you do something you’ve done in the past: two side-by-side video recording the same object/s from both the iPod touch and iPhone 4: one in dark lighting conditions, one in bright lighting conditions, as well as a still-image comparison test.

I’ll do a still image comparison test separately, but here are the results from a quick indoor test between the iPhone 4 and iPod touch — and each one of them handled lower lighting conditions admirably (for a pocket camera, mind you).

The biggest differences between the iPod touch and iPhone 4’s video recording capabilities are pretty cut-and-dry:

  • The iPhone 4 produces a sharper video image, overall.
  • The iPod touch camera lens has a noticeably wider field of view (in video recording mode, NOT with stills).
  • The color reproduction in the iPhone 4 seems a bit warmer (and true) compared to that of the iPod touch.
  • The audio recorded on the iPod touch seems to be a bit more rich (with bass).
  • While both do maintain ~24 frames per second in low light (indoor) conditions, the iPhone 4 produces less noisy output.

So, yes, I’d say the iPhone 4 edges out the iPod touch in terms of video recording quality. That said, I’d be more inclined to use an iPod touch in interview situations – with richer sound and the ability to get closer to the subject without sacrificing the composition (with the iPod touch’s slightly wider field of view).

I’ve long believed that the iPhone has been a “Flip” killer, given that I’m more inclined to carry my phone with me than I would a second camera. Still, if I was to carry a second camera with me from this point forward, it will likely be the iPod touch — simply because the controls are familiar, it works well in low light, and I’ll have all the charging accessories with me, anyway.

Don’t take my word for it, though; judge for yourself!

iPod touch 4th Generation

iPhone 4