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What does a bigger aperture do?

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#1 Julie


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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:25 AM

Apple talked about a bigger aperture on the new iPhone 5S. What's the advantage of a bigger aperture?

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#2 Photographa



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Posted 27 December 2013 - 01:00 AM

The iPhone 5S has a larger aperture on both the front and rear cameras.


The aperture is the opening between the lens and the camera sensor. It's a bit like a pupil in that it can constrict to have less high make it to the sensor, or it can enlarge to have more light hit the sensor.


The big deal about having a large aperture is that a large aperture will let more light hit the sensor, which is good for low-light photos. If you don't have enough light hitting the sensor, you need to either increase the sensitivity of the sensor to light (increasing the ISO - which introduces more noise into the photo) or you need to keep the shutter open for longer so more light is collected (which increases the probability that the photo will be blurred). With a large aperture, you can use a lower ISO / faster shutter to reduce the problems of those two elements in low-light situations.


Aperture also controls the depth-of-field of a photo. A large aperture has a more shallow depth-of-field, but in terms of smartphone photography this is largely irrelevant.

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