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Customer Review

1,782 of 2,044 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great display but terrible rear camera, September 1, 2010
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32GB Black MC544L/A (4th Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
My wife and I have the 3rd generation iPod Touch and are very happy with them. The one thing that I have been missing/wanting is having a built in camera. I recently saw the photos taken by a friend's iPhone and was blown away by how good they were. Almost all reviews have said the iPhone built in 5MP camera is excellent. Like many others I watched Steve Jobs present the new iPod line today and was very excited to hear that it had all the features I was looking for. Retina display - awesome. Front and rear cameras - yes! Finally.

I was all set to order 2 from Amazon the minute Amazon had them listed. But .. while looking thru the Apple website I came across the specs for the rear facing camera. It is only .7 megapixels. Less than 1 megapixel. What? I thought that can't be right. I contacted Apple and the rep, who had gotten many such calls it seemed, confirmed that the iPod touch has a very different camera (.7 MP vs the iPhone's 5 MP) . Bummer. I looked around and found a hands on review of it .... and they said the sensor itself, besides being lower MP, is also not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. Not terrible but certainly not good and no where in the same league as the one in the iPhone.

The camera was one of the 2 main things people asked for. The other being the Retina display. My assumption is that Apple didn't want to affect iPhone sales and purposely dummied down the camera. Shame on them. They want us to pay $240 to $400 for an iPod with a terrible camera.

I first predicted that w/ the Retina display and the camera that this would be a smashing success, a huge seller coming into the holiday season. I suspect when people get them and see how bad the photos are, they'll be returning them to Apple. Or like myself, not upgrading.

I realize this review should be for a product I own, but I felt it was important for people to know about the camera before they ordered it. If photos aren't a big deal, and you'll only email them or post them on facebook, then .7 MP is probably fine. If you want to print any of the photos you take, or even have room to crop the photo, you won't get enough resolution to do that.

That being said, the Retina display does look awesome, but is it worth the extra dollars over the price of the 3G model? Only you can decide that.

I hope this helps all of you make a wise decision about your purchase.

08 Sept 2010 Update
Hello everyone. First, I am glad that my raising the above issues helped many of you. Second, for those who lashed out at me, perhaps you should take a look at why you get so angry at a stranger who simply encouraged you to look and think before you buy.

Here's an update.[...] has posted a hands on review of the new iPod Touch. You may want to google it or go to their site to read it.

In summary:
1. Retina display is darker and not nearly as good as the one in the iPhone. "Definitely not an iPhone w/o the contract".
2. HD Video is actually pretty good
3. Size is a lot smaller than the 3g, bad if you have normal or large hands, ok for teens and those w/ small hands.
4. Photo quality is much worse than the iPhone. And their posted photos show how much worse. Forget trying to print them and I'd argue not even good for the web based on their samples. No focus or zoom capability either, you can only adjust brightness.

There you go. We are staying w/ our 3g models, there isn't enough here to justify taking a huge loss selling them and buying these new models. And given that the camera and retina display aren't nearly the quality of the iPhone, this is certainly a release we'll sit out.

I hope this has helped.
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Tracked by 24 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 257 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 1, 2010 4:45:43 PM PDT
Zeratul says:
What I don't understand is, how come the camera can record HD video with .7 MP? Is that even possible? What a let down. I was ready to ebay my 3rd Gen ipod and order this one.. Guess I'll wait for a better camera... bummer

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 4:50:22 PM PDT
starbuck says:
I thought for sure it would have at least the 3MP camera from the iPhone 3GS. I agree, what a disappointment.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2010 4:51:17 PM PDT
J. Austin says:
HD video, that you play on a computer or HD TV, is only 1080 pixels by 720 pixels. That is just slightly more than the resolution of this iPod's still photo capability (960 x 720). So, if the lens/sensor are decent, you might get a decent video from it, just not a big enough photos to do anything with other than email or post to the web.. Initial reviews make it seem like the lens/sensor aren't very good quality and the video is just so so. The iPhone creates the same size HD video, but is using a higher resolution sensor so it's quality is much better. Hope this helps.

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 4:56:09 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 1, 2010 4:57:40 PM PDT]

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 4:56:15 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Sep 2, 2010 6:31:22 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2010 5:04:13 PM PDT
Zeratul says:
There's an added feature that apparently sucks, they're promoting their product using this apparently sucky feature, of course he can complain about that. It's much better than an Ipod 3rd Gen if you don't have one, but if you already own one, then there's not really more reason to buy it. I might get it after trying out the camera first, but it's really a let down.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2010 5:05:03 PM PDT
Zeratul says:
Well, as long as the video quality looks good in the ipod itself then I see no problem. What sucks is the fact that you can't watch the video in a larger screen because the res is so low it will look crappy.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2010 5:05:38 PM PDT
J. Austin says:
Steve Jobs said today that this was for people who wanted the iPhone w/o the phone or phone contract. Implying it was the same as the iPhone minus the phone. I was simply pointing out that it does not have the same excellent still photo or video quality as the iPhone. I almost purchased 2 and am very glad I found, and confirmed, the different specs for the camera. I have a digital camera, but I would love an iPod that could serve as a camera if I am out somewhere w/o my camera. And I don't think I am the only person wanting a decent camera in it. Yes, it has A4, gyro, retina, facetime (though I wonder who would even use that) and hd video. But if the quality of the still and hd video isn't good, you have to decide if the other items are worth the cost of selling your old iPod and buying this new one. For some people yes, for others the answer might be different.

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 5:10:21 PM PDT
Allen in GA says:
The still camera feature was everything for me and the one feature I had been waiting for. My excitement for the Touch is gone.

Posted on Sep 1, 2010 5:11:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 1, 2010 5:12:50 PM PDT
Chase S. says:
I just looked through the tech specs on the new Touch on Apple's website. Nowhere does it mention the number of megapixels on the camera, either front or rear-facing.

I looked over the page three times, and while I admit its still very possible that I simply missed that detail, I think you should prove that you saw what you did, either with a URL or a screenshot, before you go around ranting about a product you've yet to even hold.

Besides, video camera on the iPod Nano was supposedly excellent (I concur, my sister has one and the quality is good), so why would Apple mess with the quality of the one on the more premium iPod Touch? Are you sure you aren't talking about the front facing camera instead?


"They want us to pay $240 to $400 for an iPod with a terrible camera."
I think you should back up and reconsider this statement.
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