Home » Flaws, iOS 6, iPhone 5, iPhone Camera, Panorama

Why is iPhone 5 Letterboxing landscape shots?

24 September 2012 3 Comments

Not sure if I am doing something terribly wrong but landscape shots are always Letterboxed on the iPhone 5.

I would like to know why! It is really annoying. Josh’s review showed one of this letterboxing. I don’t think I want to edit every image taken with iPhone 5 to remove the letterboxing.

Here is a raw sample shot with my iPhone 5.

It looks fine once imported but on the iPhone itself, it shows those 2 ugly black strips in landscape mode.

Don’t get me wrong – iPhone 5 has a stunning camera but it would be great if Apple utilized the full screen to display the image instead of letterboxing. As it is, we see a tonne of letterboxed iOS apps on the screen which can be unpleasant to the trained eye, particularly on the White iPhone 5.

Following is a panorama shot (reduced size) from the iPhone 5. It stitches in real-time and produces a stunning output – definitely not possible by many wannabe phones out there as of today.

p.s : All the images uploaded are shot from the same phone, same spot in about the same time. Modified for size but aren’t altered using any software.


  • Vungaiyas said:

    For the simple reason that the aspect ratio of the pictures are not the same as the screen aspect, which is 16:9. They cannot expand without cropping or distorting the image.

  • Kiran said:

    Yep, now I get it. I wish Apple did something to utilize the full screen while viewing images clicked on the iPhone 5.

    You can take photos while recording a video and those photos will show full screen btw!

  • Patrick said:

    I agree, 4:3 pics look funny on 16:9 screen. Default photo aspect ratio should be cropped same as video: 16:9. With a choice to save 4:3 if desired for web, email, printing.

    You inspired me to find an app, just downloaded Scout Camera, there are probably others. It's http://crushapps.com/scout/ , touch crop on right, saves pics full screen 16:9, worth 99 cents.

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