The new iPod touch is every bit as pocketable but now has a better camera than every.
The new iPod touch 6 has an 8 megapixel iSight camera, much bigger and better than 5 megapixel shooter on the previous generation iPod touch 5. It’s also backed by the Image Signal Processor (ISP) in the mighty Apple A8 system-on-a-chip. It remains ƒ/2.4, however, and very small and very thin. So, how well does this new iSight work? We took it out for a shoot and put it up against the last iPod touch, and the 8mp, Apple A8-powered iPad Air 2 and iPhone 6 to find out!
Apple, the camera company
Apple makes the most popular cameras in the world—most of them attached to iPhones. That same emphasis increasingly permeates the company’s other mobile devices as well, first the iPad Air 2, and now the new iPod touch 6.
What makes them so popular is that Apple cameras aren’t simply good, they’re connected. They run iOS, which means they have access to all the photo sharing and editing apps on the App Store. The iPod touch especially is incredibly easy to fit in a pocket and hold in your hand while composing a shot, and every bit as easy to iMessage, to Instagram, to Waterlogue, to turn into a Photos book, or to do with what you will.
This year’s iPod touch 6 should get better, cleaner results than the previous iPod touch 5. That’s due to both the increased megapixel count and the huge leap from Apple A5 to Apple A8 processors. The iPad 2 has an Apple A8X rather than an A8, but the difference there is in GPU so, all other things being equal, it should be about the same. The iPhone 6 has the same megapixel count and Apple A8 processor, but a better ƒ/2.2 aperture and a bigger 1.5µ pixel size. That should make a difference in low light.
I shot some sample photos, with HDR on, flash off, with the built-in, automatic camera app to see if reality meets expectations.
Here’s a still, overcast, in order: iPod touch 6, iPod touch 5, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6:
Here are sample macros, overcast, in order: iPod touch 6, iPod touch 5, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6:
Here are sample panoramas, overcast, in order: iPod touch 6, iPod touch 5, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6:
Low light photography
Here are sample low-lights, indoors, in order: iPod touch 6, iPod touch 5, iPad Air 2, iPhone 6:
The bottom line
Much like 2012 when Leanna Lofte shot our iPod touch 5 vs. iPhone 5 camera tests things played out as expected. The iPod touch 6 is clearly better than the iPod touch 5, about the same as the iPad Air 2, and just behind the iPhone 6.
With good light and the tools available in modern photo editing software, however, unless you intend to shoot a lot of lowlight, any of the 8mp, Apple A8-powered connected cameras will serve you well.