Considering an iPhone 4 retails for $599 without contract and the iPod Touch starts at just $229, Apple clearly had to cut a few corners somewhere. And much of it seems to come from the iPod Touch’s prowess as an imaging device.
While both devices use identical VGA images on the front, the iPod Touch shoots only 960 x 720 stills with the rear camera, or 0.7 megapixels. The gap in resolution and quality clearly shows up in side by side comparisons, where the iPod Touch’s shots look smudgy, granulated and too dark. While they’re usable, they’re typical cellphone fare.
iPod Touch sample photo
iPhone 4 sample photo
Video produces less of a marked difference. While iPod Touch videos are slightly fuzzier than iPhone 4 videos, the iPod actually seems to do a better job keeping focus and adjusting exposure on the fly, even if it seems to favor a slightly more washed-out look under ideal conditions. Bottom line: it’s hard to argue with 720p HD video from a media player.
The front-facing camera appears to be identical to the model on the iPhone 4. It does a fine job coping with odd lighting (like backlighting from windows and the sky) and VGA resolution proves perfectly adequate for videoconferencing with FaceTime, where bandwidth is frequently a bigger limitation than image quality.