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Quick Review: Apple iPhone 5

By dpreview staff on Oct 1, 2012 at 22:00 GMT

Just Posted: A quick review of the iPhone 5's camera. Apple might not have set out to make some of the most popular cameras on the planet with its iPhone range of smartphones, but that's exactly what has happened. The iPhone 5, Apple's latest model brings a larger screen, faster processor and redesigned camera compared to its predecessor. In this 5-page article we take a look at the iPhone 5's performance as a camera, including comparisons with the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4 in a range of different environments, video samples and a full gallery of 'real world' shots.

Comments

Total comments: 218
12
Sam Carriere
By Sam Carriere (Oct 2, 2012)

Agreed, Maloy, except that you are too kind. This test just proves again that DPreview's first loyalty is to the lowest common denominator, nor to photographers.

13 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 2, 2012)

A bit harsh. And hysterical. And wrong.

13 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 2, 2012)

No, he is right. dpreview has ignored it's longtime core user base. They are adding facebook style thumbs down to the forums despite the fact that many hate the idea. There are no less than 5 Apple Iphone ad/articles on the front page now. If that isn't pandering to the masses of LCD sheeple, I don't know what is.

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (Oct 2, 2012)

Another edit- (too late to add this to my post) ..If you are going to go this route, then prove that you are not biased by promptly posting HTC, Samsung, Motorola and other smartphone articles. And not just one or two, but three or four per make minimum, since they take so little of your time and focus apparently.

8 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 2, 2012)

Exactly. Look, I have no dislike of the lowest common denominator "snapshooters," soccer moms can snap their kiddos at Chucky Cheese all they want it doesn't offend me any. But I'm interested in actual PHOTOGRAPHY, striving for excellence, & that's not a smartphone's forte. Most of all, this site mostly has been about the enthusiast, not the soccer mom snapshooter.

When DPreview does articles like the one about the landscape photographer who scouts locations & returns to them numerous times at different times of the day, now THAT gets my attention. Besides such articles being in my forte (I like landscape photography & pursue it somewhat), I respect such pursuit of excellence. I take pains towards composition etc when I take landscapes, but not to the level of that guy. I have to bow down & pay my respects to such people who pursue their craft to that level. Now THOSE kind of articles from DPreview, I love. If the soccer mom crowd doesn't--the heck with them. This site isn't for them.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 2, 2012)

Ah, bias....

Apple has not (and would not, does not, never would have) given us ANYTHING. Apple does not need our help to sell iPhones. This should be blindingly obvious. We've used 2 iPhone 5s, both of which were purchased by members of the dpreview team with their own money.

4 upvotes
pumeco
By pumeco (Oct 2, 2012)

You actually PAID money for one?
Sorry to hear that, Barney :-P

3 upvotes
Scott Everett
By Scott Everett (Oct 2, 2012)

We have plenty more cameraphone reviews on the way. :)

1 upvote
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Oct 2, 2012)

>We've used 2 iPhone 5s, both of which were purchased by members of the dpreview team with their own money.

So why haven't you reported about the pink flare when shoting at bright objects? You ought to be experts in reviewing so i suposse you would notice this in the first 15 minutes of use. But yet all you write about the camera phone is praise. How can you? You write favorably about the phone yet you didn't report about that malfunction.

0 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (Oct 2, 2012)

Ok looks I made a mistake. You indeed reported on the pink haze.

Sorry about that.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Simon97
By Simon97 (Oct 2, 2012)

Daylight shots are actually clear and detailed. Makes me wonder why manufacturers of the compact cameras went to 16MP with their soft output, noisy shadows and mottling around details. No wonder people would rather just use a smart phone.

What was wrong with decent 10mp sensors or even the 12mp BSI sensors that were half decent in compacts? Manufacturers you killed the compact market on your own.

2 upvotes
Serenity Now
By Serenity Now (Oct 4, 2012)

Wow. You knuckleheads were off topic before but this is priceless.
The hubris !?!

To think that you can tell DPReview what and how to run their website beggars belief. To claim you speak for "a majority". To claim you know the difference between a worthy and unworthy camera...to even suggest there's a difference in terms of legitimacy?! Your nothing a pack of snobs who might know something about cameras but nothing about life. Go get one.

0 upvotes
MrTaikitso
By MrTaikitso (Oct 2, 2012)

No self timer. No stereo audio recording with video. No exposure controls. No optical zoom. No dedicated shutter release (using the volume control to take a picture is an ergonomic nightmare due to the odd positioning of the lens.)

Mine's a GH3 please.

13 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Oct 2, 2012)

You're missing a lot, here. Most of the capabilities you ask for are supported via easily obtainable cheap or free apps.

The bigger thing you're missing is the point of the shutter release via volume control. First, many find it ergonomically preferable to hitting a non-tactile area on the screen to trip the shutter. Second, and possibly more importantly, the volume button shutter release lets people release the shutter with zero camera vibration...by using the volume control on the headphone cord as a remote shutter release.

The volume button shutter release was such a popular feature of a third-party app that Apple first blocked it and then made it their own. Obviously, the market disagrees with you.

0 upvotes
JWest
By JWest (Oct 2, 2012)

Apps can add optical zoom to the lens, cause an extra shutter release button to appear, and add an extra microphone?

I've heard the phrase "there's an app for that", but I had no idea iPhone apps were so amazing.

3 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Oct 3, 2012)

JWest, you totally missed the part where I wrote "most" of the capabilities. Of course an app can't add optical zoom, but...

...my current phone is an iPhone 3GS with its terrible camera. However, I have been able to add self-timer, auto/manual HDR, tap-anywhere shutter release, separate manual locks for exposure and focus, burst mode, etc. by adding apps to the phone.

What opened my eyes is that it was *far* easier to add features like HDR to my phone than to my "serious" SLR. That has huge implications for the future, as more cameras come out like the ones recently announced that are powered by Android. Think about those possibilities before you make fun of smartphone cameras again.

With a "serious" camera, adding features is only possible through firmware upgrades or unsupported firmware hacks. But when your camera runs an OS that is easily extensible by anyone, the game changes.

0 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Oct 3, 2012)

And by the way, an app did cause an extra shutter release button to "appear," by remapping not one but two of the available hardware buttons that come with the phone. How can you deny that happened?

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Oct 2, 2012)

Apple should dive into the camera market.

They really and totally should.

.

3 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Oct 3, 2012)

They did so in 1994, but left in 1997.

0 upvotes
Serenity Now
By Serenity Now (Oct 4, 2012)

They have. That's the point isn't it?

0 upvotes
ThuiQuaDayNe
By ThuiQuaDayNe (Oct 2, 2012)

If you want a camera phone, Nokia Lumnia 920 hands down. Google it. It is the RX100 of the point and shoot.

10 upvotes
Stevan G
By Stevan G (Oct 2, 2012)

it is not, it makes average day pictures and very blurry night ones if moving objects(=people) are included remember it doesn't have xenon to freeze the moment.. the question is why would you picture static objects at night? Very rare situation in a day-to-day life. Just the pure marketing.

0 upvotes
dan112123
By dan112123 (Oct 2, 2012)

Stevan, where do you get information like this? Do you actually have one? I've actually tested on and I will tell you that I've never seen any other phone take better pictures then a 920. These guys are going to be revolutionizing the way phone take pictures. And your comment about people in the dark room is completely wrong. Also when you say xenon are you referring to a flash? I assume you are and I'm going to surprise you, even though it seems that you know everything about lumia 920... it does have flash and it is more powerful then iphone's

4 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (Oct 2, 2012)

there was a compare test made with a D800 and a 920. Find that on the net, you will see and be surprised how good the 920 is.

0 upvotes
Stevan G
By Stevan G (Oct 2, 2012)

@dan lol more powerful than iphones = a little less useless, but still useless, if you tested it you sure have night pictures of moving objects(people) to show us?

just look how much blur on this one!

http://www.allaboutsymbian.com/images/features/misc/myriam-night.jpg

0 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (Oct 3, 2012)

Camera phones are by nature useful (not useless), since you are more likely to have your phone with you than a DSLR when a photographic opportunity presents itself.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Oct 1, 2012)

all the iphones compared by (lisa) http://campl.us/posts/6iPhoneCameras

1 upvote
Sosua
By Sosua (Oct 1, 2012)

That panorama of the wharf / boats looks awesome! I use a GS3 and have been impressed with its capabilities - like how the iphone allows full rez stitched images.

2 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 1, 2012)

McDonald's is the most popular restaurant, but I would hardly consider that a reason for sites dealing with the culinary arts to talk about them.

And talk about them, and talk about them, and talk about them, and tal....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
15 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 1, 2012)

Real photographers are using the iPhone. Sorry, they just are. Real, published, famous photographers. Because like other smartphones, it offers a decent camera, and it's always in their pocket.

Replace the word 'phone' in your comment with '35mm film' and you could have been writing into the problem page of a photography magazine in the 1920s. Add 'color' and the same applies to the 1940s and 50s.

Same old debate, different terms. Photographers use cameras. The iPhone is a camera. Move on.

23 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Oct 1, 2012)

If you need to edit your comment 2 times in the last 13 mins...your going to have a bad time.

3 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 1, 2012)

(Mssimo) I would say that "your going" (should be you're) would speak volumes about how useful the edit mode can be.

Pardon me if I am ugly, but I really have a hard time with understanding how someone who calls themselves a REAL photographer could use a smartphone, even if the quality has improved, when you could always get something like a Sony RX100. To me it would be like a pro in prior years using a Kodak Instamatic, in those days, no professional would've been caught dead with one, except maybe on vacation when they're just shooting casual snaps & wanted some sense of "separation" from their professional glamor shots vs their personal family life. They certainly would have NEVER dreamed of using one for their pro work.

Heck I'm only a hobbyist, but I make it a point to always have my Olympus E-PM1 with me, period. To use my smartphone would be a joke. Sorry, but I'm not changing my mind on this one.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (Oct 2, 2012)

Nobody wants to change your mind - its your choice.. but, given the quality of the latest smartphone cameras - I wouldn't hesitate to take mine out and snap some photos when I'm not carrying my gear around with me (my phone is always in my pocket - my 5N, D90, Lx3, etc is not). Sure - you probably aren't sending these bad boys into National Geographic... but they are memories... good enough to remember a scene, post to facebook and print 8x10's with (should you wish to make a print).

Sony Rx100 costs $600.... why would I want to spend that and still have to carry something else with me?

Again, I'm not talking about leaving the camera at home for a vacation and just using the iPhone... and who is talking about PRO work???

Using your smartphone is NOT a joke... unless, your smartphone has a crappy camera which could be the case. I know my 3GS photos suck... the ones I am taking now from the 5 rock! To each his own... cheers!

4 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Oct 2, 2012)

re: larrytusaz
a little help. And I guess we are both wrong..it should be Gonna
http://www.quickmeme.com/Youre-gonna-have-a-bad-time/

0 upvotes
Mark B.
By Mark B. (Oct 2, 2012)

Sorry, but just like video in DSLRs, camera phones are here to stay. I too know pro photographers using the iPhone camera - no, not for paid jobs of course but for casual snapshots. Guess what, most of their snapshots are better than many amateurs buying DSLRs because they think buying an expensive cam will make them better.

1 upvote
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 2, 2012)

(Barney) It's okay, I don't think we expect you to be that on top of every comment, edit etc. For sure, I appreciate that you guys allow us passionate about traditional photography, at least within some boundaries, to give our 2 cents worth. I was editing my reply to be of that way--passionate, but not ugly.

I do understand how DSLRs can become albatrosses & smaller-sensor technology has improved--and micro 4/3rds itself has shown us the appeal of potency in a smaller package. But I don't think that's a new concept--it just got lost somehow long ago when the Nikon F became such a big hit & rangerfinder 35mm cameras were dominated by SLR sales.

What micro 4/3rds reminded us of--those small 35mm rangefinder cameras were capable tools, & also nice & small--they just had the disadvantage vs the SLR style because of the lack of through-the-lens viewing & the numerous headaches it created. The PENs & such, though, DO have TTL viewing, & smaller size, reminding us of those advantages.

2 upvotes
pumeco
By pumeco (Oct 2, 2012)

@Barney

With respect, the iPhone is a phone, hence the name. If anyone needs to move on, it is DPReview who have plugged that damned phone no less than four times in a month!

It's definitely you guys that need to move on on this one, not us. Sorry to sound harsh, but it's true. Look at the front page and imagine how it looks to onlookers.

5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Oct 2, 2012)

Look at the list of reviews, and tell me how that looks. Mostly cameras? Yeah. Mostly cameras. Just like always.

0 upvotes
JazzMasta
By JazzMasta (Oct 2, 2012)

larrytusaz wrote:"Heck I'm only a hobbyist, but I make it a point to always have my Olympus E-PM1 with me, period."

You want a medal or something?
Larry, get over yourself and stop pestering everyone with your pointless comments on what a 'real' camera is! And stop telling people what real photography is, cause you ain't got a clue.

0 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 2, 2012)

Sorry (JazzMasta) if my opinion threatens or annoys you so much. I couldn't disagree more with your views about this topic, but I certainly respect you have the right to state your opinion. Besides, in case you haven't noticed, I'm hardly alone in how I feel about this whole thing.

1 upvote
JazzMasta
By JazzMasta (Oct 2, 2012)

Simple point-and-shoot cameras doesn't sell so good anymore, and a main reason is that smartphones are getting a huge chuck of that market share. Smartphone cameras aren't the BEST cameras in the world, but they sure are the most popular. The ARE the point-and-shoots of today. So why is it so strange that dpreview writes about the iphone camera when it has one of the biggest usergroups in the world?

It wasn't long ago when most compact cameras were taking pictures with about iphone quality. How come those cameras were 'real' cameras a few years ago, but the iphone isn't now?

0 upvotes
io_bg
By io_bg (Oct 1, 2012)

What innovative does this iPhone have in the camera department? Nothing. If we have news for every new Apple product, why don't we have news from other cell phone manufacturers? Be it Samsung, Sony, HTC, etc...

17 upvotes
belard
By belard (Oct 1, 2012)

Because it's the most popular and used camera ever. Ever.
By pros and consumers alike.

2 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Oct 1, 2012)

Its as good as most compacts cameras (aside from zoom) and also top 3 camera phone to date. Did you see the review on the Nokia pureview phone? DPreview is just gettting started with camera phone reviews. Give them a few months at least.

5 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 1, 2012)

I would hardly consider the popularity a basis for it being covered so much by a PHOTOGRAPHY site. I doubt that sites dealing with the culinary arts give a hoot how popular McDonald's is, or Chef-Boyardee canned spaghetti, because they aren't proper culinary arts products.

Same here. I'm no professional, just a hobbyist, but I wouldn't be caught dead using a camera phone for anything. It's an insult to real photography. This site seems to forgotten whom they're catering to. They get to make the choices, but I sure don't agree with them. It's like R.E.M. selling their songs to Chevrolet for a commercial jingle.

8 upvotes
fuego6
By fuego6 (Oct 2, 2012)

LOL.. insult to real photography... guess you must be using a flip phone still eh?

7 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (Oct 2, 2012)

Mssimo:

Quote: "Its as good as most compacts cameras."

My main compact (a Panasonic LX5) shoots raw, the iPhone does not. Many other compacts shoot raw, eg the Canon S95 and the Sony RX100.

11 upvotes
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (Oct 2, 2012)

I don't subscribe to the notion that a camera, whether installed on a phone or is on its own, is "an insult to photography". If it takes photos, it's a camera, period. Good photographers can create great photos using ANY camera. Speaking of which, a professional photographer had a whole exhibition of photos he took with a 4mp Canon point & shoot several years ago. Go figure!

4 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Oct 2, 2012)

It puzzles me that you have to explain this to people in the photography realm when it's inherently understood everywhere else.

Would you expect LeBron James to perform world-class basketball using flip-flops--moreover, would he do so if you nagged him to or would he rightly tell you that you were crazy? Would you expect Tiger Woods to be a dominant golfer using broomsticks instead of golf clubs? How about a NASCAR driver using a foot-operated car like it's the Flintstones?

Would you expect a culinary arts chef to get good results from canned meatballs & a microwaved DiGorno pizza? Would a chef who insisted on doing everything home-made, home-grown, & simmered to perfection be called a "snob" for RIGHTLY sneering at the notion that a "dinner in a bag" could hold a candle to what he spends hours in the kitchen simmering to perfection?

As I've before, I have no shame in making meals from "dinner in a bag" & enjoy the food, but I realize I'm no chef for it. That's not snobbery.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
garyknrd
By garyknrd (Oct 2, 2012)

I have an old Motorola flip phone. Still works fine after 10 years. It has a camera. Never thought about using it. BUT I am a photo enthusiast to say the least.
I have to agree with the others! It is kinda sad really. I shoot regularly with many photographers and it is amazing how many bury there heads in the I Phone and miss quality shots. Not to mention when eating dinner after a shoot. NO conversation. Why? They are all browsing on there phones. very few words said. Amazing to me how the phone has taken away not only photography but conversation.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Mika Y.
By Mika Y. (Oct 2, 2012)

Sure, camera phones have a lot of limitations, making them suboptimal for many kinds of photographic purposes. However, to me it would be an even greater insult to photography to not take a picture of an interesting scene just because I wouldn't happen to have my dedicated camera with me for whatever reason and I'd be too proud to use anything but perfect tools. I see value in trying to get the best out of what you have with you, even if it has limitations and I could have captured significantly better output with by DSLR.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
GregMcD
By GregMcD (Oct 2, 2012)

What point and shoot camersa, pocket digital camera are people using that are worse than an iPhone? I swear, the idea of Apple product being magical has moved over to the digitial photography arena. I would humbly request that if DP is going to test and treat iPhones like full fledged digital camera, then compare them to equally priced digital camera. the iPhone 5 (not under contract) is $599, please compare this pho.. I mean camera to a $599 camera and show us the results. Since the iPhone is the most used camera on the face of the planet (it has been quoted numerous times in this comment section), compare it to cameras (not phones) of like value.

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind camera phones. Their greatness comes from the fact we always have a phone (camera) with us. However, to compare these PHONES to cameras of equal value (do not say you paid $199 for your phone, that is under contract, trust me you are paying the full price).

1 upvote
writelight
By writelight (Oct 1, 2012)

Well, thanks for the review. As one who appreciates fine art and street photography, I also enjoy what people are achieving with their smart phones. I've visited some iPhone websites and seen some amazing creativity. This, of course, confirms that the eye's the thing no matter the box. Thanks for your added relevancy.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
pdqgp
By pdqgp (Oct 1, 2012)

Mssimo said it best. I use mine mainly for photos on the go as it's with me all the time. I use it a lot at work indoors in a lab to share images with co workers so they can see changes we are making to our set up and it works great, even under less than optimal lighting situations.

6 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Oct 1, 2012)

As the camera I have with me 99.9%..thank you DPreview for doing this review! Now back to work on those lens reviews! ;)

9 upvotes
zakaria
By zakaria (Oct 1, 2012)

may be A quick review for k30 will be good .

7 upvotes
Total comments: 218
12