iPhone 4S camera vs. iPhone 5S camera

It’s that time of the year again with Apple updating their iPhone and as always coming out with an updated camera. I always like to do a side by side comparison of the new iPhone with a past model to see how the camera improvements turn into real life results. For those of you who missed the news on what Apple has updated this year here is a breakdown of the top improvements to the camera in the iPhone 5S:

What’s New:

  • Brand new sensor – Apple increased the sensor 15 percent to a 1.5-micron pixel size. With larger pixels this will give us better results in low light which is always a plus for a camera phone.
  • Updated lens – The lens is an updated five-element custom Apple lens with an aperture of f/2.2. This replaces the current f/2.4 lens of the iPhone 5.
  • New dual LED flash – Another thing that any camera phone I have ever used that constantly annoys me is flash. The quality is always poor and the color of the light never seems to be right. I don’t think this new dual LED flash will fix most of the issues a tiny and direct flash has on an image but at least it’s a step in the right direction. With this new flash there are two LEDs, one a normal cool white hue and the other a warmer one. Apple can mix the 2 together to give you 1000 unique variations of light!
  • Slow Motion Video – Apple also added a new feature this year with the ability to capture video at 120 FPS so you can then slow it down after you capture it for a cool Slo-Mo effect.
  • Burst Mode – With the new burst mode the iPhone takes 10 frames per second and will suggest individual shots or a sequence of the best photos.
  • So how do these updates compare to the camera of a iPhone 4S? Lets take a look at some side by side comparisons. These are a mix of images and not a scientific study. Overall the iPhone 5S looks to give a little more saturation out of the gate compared to the iPhone 4S but in low light the exposure with the 4S was far better every single shot. The 4S exposure was lighter in low light as you can see in the first photo below. Click on any of the photos to view a full screen view.

    iphone 4s vs 5s camera5

    iPhone 4S vs 5S in low light

    The 5S does make up for it with the flash however. I never used to use the flash at all however the 5S new flash does seem to provide a much better color temperature on the flash giving you more natural results.

    iphone 4s vs 5s camera

    Turning the flash on

    Here in a decent lit shot you can see they both are very comparable.

    iphone 4s vs 5s camera

    For outdoor shots that are in good light the 5S does shine. The color saturation especially the greens is nice and deep and along with more contrast the images pop.

    iphone 4s vs 5s camera2

    iphone 4s vs 5s camera23

    Have you upgraded to the iPhone 5S? What do you think of the updates to the camera? Leave a comment at the bottom and lets chat 🙂

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    Author: Mark

    Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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