Someone knows how to do it right, and it’s not from a camera maker

iPhone 4's new camera system

Earlier Today, Steve Jobs took the stage and introduced their next generation of the iPhone, iPhone 4. One of the big feature from the new device — beyond the stainless-steel and the aluminosilicate glass front/back — is a new imaging system:

The iPhone 4 camera shoots gorgeous 5-megapixel photos and stunning HD video. And with its advanced backside illumination sensor, it captures beautiful images even in low-light settings.

On the stage, Jobs emphasized that instead of focusing on tangible things like megapixels, engineers at Apple are challenged with the question “How to take better pictures?”

More megapixels means squeezing those-already-tiny pixels into the same sensor size, which means that despite the bigger megapixel count, it becomes less sensitive to light. That’s why photos coming out of cellphone cameras are never as good, even far from a regular-sized point-and-shoot cameras.

The 5-megapixel sensor Apple is using on the new iPhone is geared towards getting more photons to the sensor, so they are using the technology that the larger camera uses, a backside illuminated sensor, and they kept the same pixel pitch for the sensors, which means that while the new iPhone is smaller, thinner, the sensor is bigger & better!

John Gruber of Daring Fireball also pointed out that new camera has a different (wider) focal length (the original is equivalent to 37mm — details here).

In a nutshell, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what’s wrong with the imaging industry. They need to market their products, and competitions are charging ahead the race like an angry bull, we can’t blame them, but we can change our point of view. We must educate ourselves on what we actually need, not what the industry wants us to believe, cause not everyone is like Steve Jobs, and not every company is like Apple.

Update: Learn more about iPhone 4’s camera: iPhone 4 Camera Goes Beyond Megapixels