iPod touch Camera vs iPhone 4 Camera – Sample Photo / Still Image Test

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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.