One of the big upgrades in the new Apple iPhone 4S (s AAPL) is its camera: In addition to upgrading from 5 megapixels to 8 megapixels for still photos, the newest iPhone can also record video in full 1080p HD quality. That’s a big boost over the current iPhone 4’s 720p camera, but the upgrade may not be apparent if users try to watch those videos on an Apple TV.
To be clear, being able to shoot in 1080p will be a big boon for video aficionados, and will make the mobile phone they carry in their pockets about as powerful as your average point-and-shoot digital camera. The iPhone has already established itself as a tool for video creation among a small group of videographers — award-winning filmmaker Park Chan-wook shot an entire 30-minute film on the device, for instance — and upgrading the video quality should only enhance the numbers that use it to shoot professional videos.
However, due to limitations on the Apple TV, users won’t be able to get the full experience when watching videos shot on the iPhone 4S. The $99 Apple TV box, which was introduced last fall, has the ability to wirelessly playback video from the iPhone and iPad using a technology called AirPlay that streams from the mobile device to the TV. However, while the latest iPhone 4S can shoot in 1080p, the Apple TV only supports up to 720p video.
Users might also have trouble uploading their 1080p video files directly to sites like YouTube, (s GOOG) which is not a new problem: The iPhone 4 boasted HD video shot on the device, but would upload downgraded files to the video sharing site. To get the full quality video on YouTube, users would either have to transfer their files to a computer and upload from there, or use any of a number of third-party apps which would upload HD video files to the site without compression.