Apple iPhone 5s camera leaps two years ahead of entire camera industry – all cameras, not just smartphone cameras

“The camera in the iPhone 5S basically moved the needle two years ahead of the entire camera industry,” Patrick Rhone writes for Minimal Mac. “Not just smart phone cameras — all cameras. There is a well known photography adage that states ‘the best camera is the one that’s with you.’ Well, if you have an iPhone 5S that statement will remain true no matter what other camera you may have available. This is largely because the new 64-bit processor means that they have all the raw processing power they need to be able to execute features and techniques that not even the most expensive professional SLR cameras can deliver.”

“And, what is interesting and absolutely marvelous about what Apple is doing here is that, when approaching how to make the best camera available today (and, I feel the need to stress, not just the best phone camera), they knew that did not mean specs,” Rhone writes. “That it was not about who had the most megapixels, or biggest lens, or largest sensor. They know that none of that, at the end of the day matters. What mattered, in fact, was the one thing that, in a race to equate more megapixels with “better”, even most of the camera industry had too long overlooked. Apple focussed solely on how they could use that massive and fast 64bit processor combined with industry first features and ideas to do one thing — give you the best looking photos. And, if you can get that right when you take the photo, you don’t need a bunch of software to ‘fix it in post.’ It’s all about capture.”

Rhone writes, “Disruption. Apple just put the point-and-shoot camera industry (and some of the ‘prosumer’ dSLR one) out of business.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
iPhone 5s supply to be severely constrained; sales start at 12:01am PDT online, 8am local at Apple Retail Stores – September 13, 2013
Hands on with the new 64-bit A7-powered iPhone 5s with new M7, camera features & Touch ID – September 12, 2013
Apple grants Burberry early access to iPhone 5s for fashion show photography – September 12, 2013


  1. Someone here the other day was demonstrating his expertise by complaining that the new iPhone camera was still not as good as the one in the Lumia. I’m not sure how one would know that without doing an “all else being equal” side-by-side comparison of the two cameras, but I get the funny feeling that it was because one of the Lumia camera spec numbers was higher than the corresponding spec number for the iPhone 5s camera.

    Some people seem not to understand that reducing noise is far more important to the quality of a digital picture than obsessing over resolution, but there is a mindset out there that treats spec numbers in a way that makes them look as if they’re suffering from penis envy.

    The dual flash mode in the 5s is a fascinating innovation, if it works, and it probably does. Apples is not gimmicky. And that’s weird, because all sorts of very smart people have been relentlessly instructing the rest of us that innovation is dead at Apple. (For example, the very obvious fact that the fingerprint scanners were actually all taken from used Dell computers and just crammed inside the 5s.)

    That said, I don’t think I will get the 5s because it is missing one very very important and cool feature: The ability to wave your hand over the phone to answer a call when you have barbecue sauce on your fingers.

      1. Use a knuckle?

        But what I really want is a phone that grimy nerds will feign interest in while I’m waiting for my plane at the airport.

        Also, I need a 5 inch screen so I can impress all the women at singles bars. They love cheap guys.

  2. No.

    It’s not about megapixels or processing. It’s about sensor size and optics. A camera phone or point and shoot will never rival a DSLR for those two reasons.

    The 5a camera may be awesome, but it will never compete with a DSLR.

  3. So Apple has yet again up-ended an entire industry. So it’s not just Samsung and Microsoft/Nokia that are left scrambling for a response, but also Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, and the rest.

  4. I’ll reserve judgment until I have a chance to actually play with a 5S, instead of reading about it. I have a Canon P&S that takes phenomenal pictures, *far* better than anything I’ve been able to capture with my 4S. While I haven’t played with a 5, the pics I’ve seen from some friends and family members who have one aren’t as good as what I can get out of my P&S, though definitely better than what I’ve seen come out of a 4S.
    And then there are the situations where I use a DSLR- long range pictures at a zoo, air show action shots, etc., where having the long lens just offers too great an advantage over whatever digital zooming a phone camera can offer.
    I think for “of the moment” type shots, the phone cameras will eventually kill the P&S market. I don’t see them replacing DSLR’s anytime soon.
    But hey, I’m somewhat finicky with my pictures. I like to take pictures that look good on a 30″ Cinema display connected to my MacBook Pro or on a 56″ HD TV, not just something that looks okay on Facebook.

  5. What does it matter if they have the best camera, if the consumer doesn’t know it. Apple needs ads that inform people of their advantages, and they need them NOW. Samsung has been flooding the internet and television with innuendo, inconsequential features, creating an aura of unfounded superiority. Apple needs a big ad budget to counter Samsung’s unprecedented advertising spending.

  6. Apple is doing some interesting stuff, but I’m calling Bullshit. In an earlier part of my life I made a living as a photographer and the headline is marketing hype and fanboi hyperbole.

    You want disruption? How about a device about the size of an iPhone that will mount a whole catalog of quality lenses and shoot still and video in that would make anyone at Apple cream their jeans.

  7. Unless it shoots RAW, I ain’t interested, although what Apple have done is certainly very interesting for the consumer. Almost certainly this will disrupt the point-and-shoot market.

    The truth is you can’t compete with proper large sensors and proper glassware. I’d love a Canon C500 with a complete set of Cooke Series 5i prime lenses—but I’m being stupid 🙂

  8. I look forward to the day when a camera isn’t just a passive device to capture light, it is an active devise which scans the field of view to measure location and distance of light source & its intensity, distance of objects from the lens and triangulate the distance of objects in relation to each other in front of the lens. When we reach this point, focus becomes meaningless and true infinite focus becomes possible.
    I’m sure with Apple, this is only a matter of time.

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