A Bezel-less iPhone 8 Will Change How Photos Look


| Analysis

Page 2 – The 16:9 Photo Ratio and The Non-Prisoner’s Dilemma

16:9 Photo Ratio

The 16:9 aspect ratio is based on film cameras with an APS sensor. It’s known as the APS-H format, and the H stands for “High Definition.” If you’re a filmmaker, you’re familiar with the 16:9 ratio because it’s meant for wide, HD television screens. When you record a video with your iPhone, it will be captured in the 16:9 aspect ratio. Videos shot in the 16:9 aspect ratio are meant to be viewed in landscape mode.

In this way, your iPhone becomes a wide screen television, although huge bezels are still present when watching movies. I also noticed that many Android phones shoot 16:9 photos. I’ve used several Android phones in the past, and the photos I took were always in this aspect ratio. It’s easy to tell if someone sends you a photo whether it was taken on an iPhone or Android phone, because of the different aspect ratios (unless the iPhone user cropped the photo).

Right now, the iPhone has a split personality. Photos are shot in 4:3, and videos are shot in 16:9. When you take a screenshot, it’s captured in 16:9. My question was whether the iPhone 8 would switch to 16:9 photography. These photos would look better on a long, skinny screen because the photos themselves are long and skinny.

Keep in mind that the aspect ratio of the physical iPhone screen is 16:9. I’m just referring to how photos are captured and displayed in 4:3. Because of apps like Snapchat and Periscope, people are shooting more vertical videos and photos. On a phone with a 16:9 ratio that shoots 16:9 photos, the photos would look as equally good as the videos, at least when you hold the phone vertically.

Image comparing how 16:9 aspect ratio photos are displayed on an iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 mockup.

Comparing how 16:9 photos are displayed.

The Non-Prisoner’s Dilemma

Now, here’s the dilemma. On the iPhone 8, the black notch at the top of the phone would cover up a photo with the 16:9 aspect ratio. But the notch would seamlessly blend in with the black space at the top of a 4:3 photo. After all, that’s the raison d’être of the Apple Watch OLED screen.

Because of the way OLED screens work (most iPhone 8 rumors reference OLED) there is no backlight. When you see a black area of the screen, it’s true black. It means there is literally no color/light, as opposed to the simulated black of current LED screens. The screen and the bezels blend together, creating an illusion of a bezel-less display.

But I’m also assuming that the photos would be edge to edge all the way around, like in the render. Even if the iPhone 8 does have a notch, Apple could still use the simulated black borders to keep the top and bottom separate, as I stated above. However, that still leaves a problem with watching a video, unless borders are also introduced on the sides.

Next: Final Thoughts about Photos on the iPhone 8

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Lee Dronick
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Lee Dronick

I would like to see the camera be able change digitally between portrait and landscape so that it wouldn’t matter how we held the phone. It is far easier to take a photo or video one handed with the phone in portrait mode. The problem with that is critics complain about portrait orientated videos.

Scott B in DC
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Scott B in DC

How about we “Just Say No” to narrow pictures and turn the phone on its side to take real pictures!

Geez… I hate all these narrow (-minded) pictures. You can almost get vertigo when they show them on television!