According to the specifications given by Apple, the iPhone 5s camera has 8 megapixels. I assume that this is supposed to mean that the image sensor has 8 million photosites, and I would appreciate it if someone could confirm this.

Now when I import a photo from the iPhone to my laptop, the photo has a resolution of 1632 x 1224 pixels (as determined by looking at the photo properties). This is a total of about 2MP.

From the answer given by jrista in this question, I can understand why there are more photosites on the sensor than pixels in the image, but that explanation doesn't account for a difference of several million. Where is this discrepancy coming from?

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you 100% sure your camera application is taking full resolution images? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 0:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ What app did you use? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 1:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ yup, the problem was that I wasn't using the default camera app. I get the full resolution when I use the camera app. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 2:42

1 Answer 1


My iPhone 5S takes 8 megapixel images, specifically, 3264x2448 pixels. This is native size. This is speaking of still images, not the movie images which of course are 1920x1080 or 2 megapixels.

However Apple likes to offer lots of opportunity to export them resampled much smaller, especially for sending with email or text messages, when a large image can be a problem in ill favor. Viewing them on another phone screen can only use about 0.2 megapixels.

But if you download them by connecting the power cord to a computer USB port, you can get the full 8 megapixel images.


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