iPhone 5 vs 4s – cameras compared

Yesterday, Apple released a bunch of sample shots taken using the iPhone 5. By an uncanny coincidence, almost exactly the same shots have been snapped by a photography website using an iPhone 4S. Let’s see how the two compare.

Photo specialist site DPreview recently sent one of its writers to Big Sur in California, and by a very curious twist of fate, they snapped a photo almost identical to one of the iPhone 5 sample photos released yesterday.

Both shots were taken in good lighting conditions – this is California after all – which makes comparing the two fairly easy. Getting down to pixel-level, we noticed that some parts of the scene do seem to be slightly sharper (or at least sharpened) in the iPhone 5 photo, and colour saturation and constrast seems to be greater too. The photographer is standing in a slightly different position in the iPhone 5 pic, though, which could have affected the white balance.

iPhone 5
iPhone 5 1

iPhone 5 2
What’s more interesting than a flat-out comparison is what the EXIF information of the photo tells us about the new iPhone 5 camera. As predicted, the pixel count is the same, as both phones use 8-megapixel sensors. However, DPreview writes that the new iPhone has a slightly larger sensor, as indicated by 4.1mm lens and 33mm focal length – as opposed to the iPhone 4S’s 4.3mm lens and 35mm.

The ISO floor of the iPhone 5 also appears to be lower, as the sample shot taken from the new phone uses ISO 50, where the lowest setting available to the iPhone 4S is ISO 64.

We’re not expecting to see a world-changing increase in photo quality from the iPhone 5, but these shots are pretty encouraging. They suggest that while the new phone’s camera may not be masses better, the thinner body hasn’t caused a marked reduction in photo quality either.

The iPhone 5 went up for pre-order this morning in the UK. If you want to get hold of one, you’d better be quick as initial stocks are already selling out.

iPhone 5 vs iPhone 4S

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