iPhone 5 vs. iPhone 4S: Camera Comparison

One of the iPhone 5’s “bigged up” features during the keynote was its new, smaller camera unit. Which – although 25% smaller than the iPhone 4S’ camera, still offered a higher ISO, and better lowlight capturing. At least, that’s what Apple claimed at the time. So, I took the two out for a shoot-out to see what the differences were. Both are 8MP, backside illuminated sensors.


iPhone 5 – Panorama

iPhone 4S – Panorama

The main difference with the two captures is the color. The iPhone 5’s snapper seems to produce better color reproduction. Granted, there’s not a lot in it, but, the iPhone 4S’ image is certainly more washed out. Which, some may argue, is more like what a DSLR would produce. Although that may be the case, DSLRs offer much more tweaking capabilities and access to in depth settings to change aperture, focus, shutter speed etc. The iPhone shouldn’t be thought of in that way. You should be able to pick it up, snap a shot and have the end result right there on the screen. What I saw with my eyes was more like the top image. I digress, let’s continue:

iPhone 5 – Street Sign

iPhone 4S – Street Sign

Again, the differences are clear. The iPhone 5 gives a much higher contrast, making the image look sharper and also a much broader depth of color and light. The 4S’ shot looks a little faded compared to the iPhone 5’s.

iPhone 5 – Golden Oldie

iPhone 4S – Golden Oldie

iPhone 5 – Tractor

iPhone 4S – Tractor

In all honesty, despite the differences in color saturation and contrast, there’s little to no difference in terms of detail, or depth of field. I’d be happy with either in my pocket. That said, the iPhoen 5 is better, but, not by a huge margin.

iPhone 5 – Dark Clouds

iPhone 4S – Dark Clouds

What are your thoughts on the differences or similarities? To get a better idea, check the gallery below. I’ll update this article with lowlight shots later on, when it gets darker.



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  • MustafaTanriverdi

    Have you had any purple glares or halo effects?