This is the big one. The photo we've all been waiting for: A shot taken from an iPhone 5 camera!... Or is it? That's one question that has everyone sifting through pixels today. And while this photo may very well be a snapshot taken with an iPhone 5 prototype, the real genius is in Apple's marketing machine. The photo and it's associated data wasn't an accident, it was intentional.
With this singular image, Apple's put the entire smartphone industry on notice, and has the entire tech community in an absolute buzz over the image. But any engineer with an iPhone 5 prototype in-hand (working with the camera no less) knows exactly what data is tagged to photos, and what will be revealed through that data. At least for this round, there was no need to leak timely information to Apple's favorite journalist Yukari Iwatani Kane of the Wall Street Journal. This time, Apple found a clever way to begin it's pre–launch viral marketing campaign – a single photo. Brilliant.
I talked with T-GAAP's professional photographer, Karl Johnson, about the photo itself. Johnson felt the image was likely from an 8MP camera of some type. "If you believe the Exif data hasn't been manipulated, the photo was originally around 8MP, likely cropped down," said Johnson. "The detail looks a little blurry, but the noise levels are okay. Detail looks like that of the iPhone 4, albeit a bit smudgy, meaning it looks like it has had too much noise reduction done to it. All in all, it looks like an iPhone photo. It's just hard to tell, with just one picture, as to how much of an improvement we'll see in the iPhone 5 camera," added Johnson.
The image has clearly impressed, but the marketing behind the image, even more so. Our only remaining question is when the "left behind" iPhone 5 images will begin to surface.