After publishing my iPhone 4 vs iPod touch video test, I decided to take the still photo capabilities of each device for a spin. The differences were astonishing.
Despite comparing favorably to one another in the 720p video test, the same lenses produced substantially disparate still images – and I can’t say that I was anything but disappointed with the iPod touch 4th generation’s photo quality.
- The iPhone 4’s photos, much like its videos, came out far more crisp. Even with ample light (outdoors or indoors) and proper focusing techniques, I could not produce a sharp image with the iPod touch.
- The iPod touch is only capable of capturing 960×720 still images – inexplicably lower than its 1280×720 video resolution!
- There is no flash on the iPod touch 4th generation devices.
- The default camera app on the iPod touch 4th gen does not have an HDR feature.
Here are my original, untouched image samples (obviously, NOT at their native resolution). You’ll want to click through each one of the thumbnails to see the striking differences.
iPhone 4 – sharper digital zoom
iPod touch 4 – muddy with digital zooming
iPhone 4 – still photos have good field of view
iPod touch 4 – lacks sharpness
iPhone 4 – uneven white balance
iPod touch 4 – equally-as-uneven white balance
iPhone 4 – heavy details
iPod touch 4 – devoid of any detail
iPhone 4 – A little oversaturated, blue
iPod touch 4 – fairer image quality
Bottom line: if you’re going to buy an iPod touch for its camera, only plan on using it to record videos – not still photography. The iPhone 4 is still quite usable for either still photography or video.