iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5 – Still Camera Comparison [Photos]

To give you a glimpse of how much the camera has improved in iPhone 5s, we have got a comparison of photos taken from both the latest iPhone 5s and last year’s iPhone 5.

It is important to note that:

  • The photos shown below are completely untouched.
  • All comparison photos were taken in the same spot with the exact same lighting conditions.
  • No tripod or any sort of stationary aid was used to take these photos.


Outdoor Camera Samples (Normal):

These photos were taken at noon, using the standard camera options. No filters were used, no editing was done. The iPhone 5 was running iOS 7 and the iPhone 5s was running iOS 7.0.1.

Photo Sep 26, 11 59 37 AM

iPhone 5s

Photo 25-09-2013 11 59 49 pm

iPhone 5

In outdoor conditions, the difference in quality is barely noticeable, since both cameras are working their magic in the best possible conditions. But if you examine closely, the iPhone 5s’ white balance seems more correct. (See: The color tone of the leaves.)

Outdoor Camera Samples (Macro Mode):

The same rules apply for these photos as the one above, except tap to focus was used to focus the object in the front, which is a must while taking macro shots.

Photo Sep 26, 11 57 19 AM

iPhone 5s

Photo 25-09-2013 11 58 14 pm

iPhone 5

The difference in image quality is again negligible since both the photos were taken in a brightly lit environment.

Indoor Camera Samples (With Flash):

These photos were taken at my workplace, where the room is mildly lit. And the difference in the photos is evident this time around.

Photo Sep 26, 12 02 17 PM

iPhone 5s

Photo 26-09-2013 12 01 31 am

iPhone 5

The photos taken with the iPhone 5s look brighter and more correct in terms of color, thanks to its new dual-LED flash. While the iPhone 5 camera fares well here, the images are slightly dull and the hue is slightly off, it’s negligible to say the least. And yes, thanks to the iPhone 5s’ new f2.2 aperture, which lets in more light onto the camera sensor itself, the image is less grainy when compared directly the iPhone 5’s f2.4 aperture lens.

Indoor Camera Samples (Without Flash):

This is where both iPhones fight out for supremacy, in low light. The iPhone 5s’ camera, and its f2.2 lens really does its magic, and combined with the new iOS 7 Camera app, images look less grainy, and details really pop out.

Photo Sep 26, 12 02 12 PM

iPhone 5s

Photo 26-09-2013 12 01 42 am

iPhone 5

As far as the iPhone 5 goes, the images turned out slightly dull, and was molested with grain and noise.

Indoor Camera Samples (Macro – Without Flash):

Just for the sake of variety, we took photos of an object up close using both iPhones without flash.

Photo Sep 26, 12 03 03 PM

iPhone 5s

Photo 26-09-2013 12 03 30 am

iPhone 5

Again, the iPhone 5s turned out to be a winner. The details of the object up close are more prominent in the photo taken with the 5s.

Indoor Camera Samples (Macro – With Flash):

Same setting as above, but this time with the flash on.

Photo Sep 26, 12 03 09 PM

iPhone 5s

Photo 26-09-2013 12 03 37 am

iPhone 5

The above photos are a good example of the difference in tone both the snappers are processing with the flash turned on. The photo taken with the iPhone 5s has a more warm tone to it as compared to the one taken with the iPhone 5. I would call this one a draw.

Final verdict:

The iPhone 5s’ camera is one of the best we’ve seen on a smartphone, to date. The only other smartphone which probably has a better camera than 5s is Nokia Lumia 1020. If you are into smartphone photography, and don’t mind Windows Phone, Lumia 1020 is probably your best bet.

What do you think? Which smartphone has the best camera in your opinion? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below.

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