Probably news to no one but me by now, the newer iPhones have pretty capable cameras. After trying to use the iPhone 3GS and then the 4 as cameras in a committed way, I was always disappointed by the image quality. After a while I gave up.
I simply could not get images worth looking at in larger sizes than the tiny phone screen, let alone something worth printing – my personal threshold for using a camera consciously or not (rather than just pointing and shooting for pure documentation).
Because of this I didn’t really pay much attention to shooting with the camera on the 5s either. Mostly ignoring reviews and articles praising the camera – after all, I had read all the same things about the 3Gs & 4 too.
I was wrong. I should’ve paid more attention.
Recently I was looking through some back ups of the photos on my laptop, realising I’ve sold it short. Some significant improvements have really been happening between the generations. Resolution, detail, color, everything is on a greatly improved level compared to the iPhone 4.
Image quality still needs improving, especially in lower light, but as long as the light is fair I now feel that with some attention, it’s possible to make images good enough for printing. This changes my entire approach and appreciation of the 5s as a camera.
Millions of articles have been written about the advantages of using your phone as a camera by now, so I won’t go into it. I’ll conclude with saying that while I still highly prefer using a dedicated camera, I don’t feel as limited anymore when just carrying the iPhone. I’m even a bit interested in trying out the monstrosity that is the 6 Plus, just for the promised improvements to the camera.
Read my editorial – Leica vs. iPhone
All photos in this post were taken using the default camera app on the iPhone 5s, developed and adjusted to taste using Adobe Lightroom.