I got the iPhone 5 a few weeks ago (I’m really satisfied by the way) and I have put together a quick camera shootout. Other than the iPhone 5 I used the 3Gs, 4 and the 4s. I was mostly interested in the difference between the iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5 as I haven’t found any significant improvements other than overall speed while using it. I started out with a traditional ‘objects on the table’ shot.
As you can see in the photos above the results were basically what you would expect. The 3Gs is worst and has the typical foggy look, while there’s really no big difference between the 4s and the 5. Let’s see what the 100% crops looks like.
I threw in a Canon 550D shot, just to get a reference, and as you can see the 4s and the 5 look basically the same. Moving on to a close-up of Captain America:
Same thing here, a bit foggy 3Gs image, the typical blue tone image from the iPhone 4, and the 4s and the 5 shots are very similar. No big improvement, and the 100% crops looked basically the same for the 4s and the 5, so I didn’t bother publishing them. Let’s move on to a daylight landscape shot.
All of the images look quite good, as you would expect from a shot when there’s plenty of light available. The same thing here; iPhone 4s and the iPhone 5 are a very close match.
When Apple talk about the new camera in the iPhone 5 they mostly talk about the speed and that it’s better to capture images in low-light conditions so let’s move into a quite dark closet.
And here’s the first dramatical difference between the phones. I didn’t use the flash in any of the shots, to actually see what the phones were capable of capturing in low-light conditions. All of the images except the iPhone 5 version are useless. Even though the iPhone 5 shot is very noisy (see a 100% crop below), it’s still a big difference compared to the iPhone 4s.
Conclusion: The camera from the iPhone 5 is a a slight improvement in a head-to-head comparision with the iPhone 4s. The camera is much faster and can capture images where the 4s just produce a nearly black shot. But I guess you won’t upgrade from a 4s to a 5 just for the slightly improved camera…