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HolidayBuyer's Guide

The iPhone 3GS camera

Indoors

Still life

Daylight

Sunny days

Dusk

At night

Motion

Tap to Focus

Tap to Focus

More Tap to Focus

Macro shots

The iPhone 3GS' camera is in its usual position on its rear side. We still don't get a flash or a self-portrait mirror.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
On the whole, we noticed improved photo quality over the previous two versions of the iPhone. Interior shots with natural light showed bright colors and little image noise.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Indoor shots under artificial light show little improvement, however. Objects were somewhat fuzzy and colors were a tad muted.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The iPhone 3GS does perform better on cloudy bright days. Distant buildings were less likely to blend into the background.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
The iPhone 3GS takes satisfying shots on those rare sunny summer days in San Francisco.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Shots at twilight were quite decent as well.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Night shots looked marginally better. Bright objects were still washed out, but the camera was more able to pick up faint points of light.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
Like with prior iPhones, moving objects become a blur.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
The Tap to Focus feature is one of the iPhone 3GS camera's best features. When we focused on this light in a dark room, we got a clear picture.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
But when we didn't focus on the light, the photo was completely blown out.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
We also used the Tap to Focus feature to produce this crisp image of a lighted sign at night.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
On the other hand, the promised automatic macro setting didn't seem to have much of an effect. This close-up photo was blurry.
Caption by / Photo by Kent German/CNET
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