iPhones are toy cameras. The optics are rather miserable compared to a real camera/lens. It becomes acceptable because it’s always within reach in my pocket and there are lots of playful apps to mask the low quality into faux retro photos. Or art.

Resolution suck 1

Those apps need to do a lot of math in order to process photos. The iPhone natively isn’t that high of a resolution to start with, but people are impatient and it’s a toy camera so it should be snappy. That’s my best justification for why so many apps by default export an image at lower resolution than the source photo. Ouch. That’s almost as bad as trimming EXIF data.

Turns out many of these apps have settings buried within the phone’s Settings’ panel rather than in the app itself to adjust the default export resolution. All third part app settings should be in the apps themselves. Maybe that won’t be as annoying with multitasking, but it sure is annoying to switch out to the settings screens iPhone OS 3.

Resolution suck 2

Emailing a photo from Camera Roll using the send button results in a photo attachment of 800×600 pixels – not full resolution. I’m guessing this is trickle down from iPhoto’s default email settings. The work around is to copy the photo and paste it into an email instead.

Typically I get my photos off the phone by syncing to iPhoto. However, posting to Flickr from my phone I now exclusively use the email posting method to beat that terrible generic device assignment from the Flickr app. In most cases I don’t care what resolution lands on Flickr but copy/paste is the only way to get big panoramas posted.

Despite treating it as a toy camera, I want all the hi-rez I can get. From the sounds of it, the camera is going to be the one thing that makes me jealous of all the folks who are able to get the next iPhone.


If you have a mobile device with a camera and the feasibility to upload photos, consider joining our little group of daily mobile photos. It’s fun and iPhones aren’t required. But remember, be prepared to “have the decency to feel the tiniest twinge of shame” if you don’t post daily.

Skateboards and bikes are better at nights

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