Would the 5S be a good camera replacement?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by the8thark, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    I am on the edge of purchasing a 5S (trying to justify the high price). I own a iPhone 1 now. But I also do not have a camera and want one. If I call the 5S a camera and phone all in one. it is but I mean in terms of I don't have to buy a camera if I own a 5S.

    Would it be wise to use this reasoning? And would the 5S camera be a good replacement instead of buying a stand alone point and shoot camera? Or in another way forget price, is the iPhone 5S camera better/worse then a decent point and shoot camera?
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think the bottom end point and shoot cameras still out perform what the 5S has to offer. With that said, there's an old saying - the best camera is the one you have.

    I personally want a camera that is superior in low light situations, has a quick AF Lock, zooms and I can control the Aperture, ISO, shutter speed (but that's just me.)
  3. =w= macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2012
    As maflynn said, the one you have with you is the best camera.

    I wouldn't go around shooting family portraits with any iPhone camera, but I think for most people, the iPhone cameras do well for taking random photos and sending them to friends and family and uploading them to Facebook.

    None of us have used the 5S camera, but it seems like a pretty good upgrade from the 5's camera, which i'm pretty happy with.

    My short answer is: yes, for general photo-taking, it should be sufficient.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I've been to DisneyWorld this year and I saw people not only using they iPhones to take pictures but also iPads. Clearly I'd rather carry something less cumbersome in Florida when its 90 degrees. Yet the point is they have a device to take pictures that they seem to be happy about.
  5. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    When trying to figure out what size the sensor was in the 5S, I found this article. While I haven't read the text as I have some background in image sensors, pictorally it demonstrates the size differences in the sensors. While not the only factor, the larger the sensor generally the better the results will be. As the others here have said, the camera you have with you is the best camera. So getting the best camera in your phone you can, the better. Not sure how it will stack up against the Nokia's, but I think the 5S will be a very good camera phone. But I'm not selling my 5D3...
  6. JaySoul macrumors 68030


    Jan 30, 2008
    Honestly, at least 90% of the time my iPhone 5 camera is just what I need. The other 10% is special occasions or holidays.
  7. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
    The lense on a phone will "never" be as good as a Nikon or Cannon or - name your camera manufacture lens. I doubt it will ever be as clean either. There is more to great pictures than pixel count. So as someone said if you are going to a family gathering where you want great pictures - take a real camera. If you are walking around an amusement park and want to take a picture of your kid talking to Mickey - a good phone camera is fine.

    I do find it amusing seeing people taking iPad photos -but it works.
  8. Densi macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2012

    Yes, it will! I am using my 4S - and the 5S will be much better - for two years now in every holiday with my family. Including two little kids and that means, that I am taking tons of photos.


    It´s even better with HD videos.

    The only thing to consider: You do not have an optical zoom! Sometimes I miss that, but it´s not worth to buy another camera only for that (for very special occasions I also own a semi pro DSLR which I mostly use at home on birthdays/xmas).

    And maybe the 16/32/64 question. For me 32 will be fine in the future because I will shoot more videos (my 4S has 16GB).

    You will love taking photos with the 5S, especially with the new features!

    By the way, another reason for justifying is to use it as your single navigation device (in your car). This too works really well.

    Kind regards from Germany
  9. lazard macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2012
    in terms of smartphone cameras, the 5S will probably be king. In terms of quality vs. a point & shoot camera, even a $50 point & shoot will have better image quality than the iPhone.
  10. climber20 macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2011
    The best picture I ever took was with my iPhone 4S. I made an 11x14 print, and it now hangs in my office. That picture consistently gets more compliments than all the other photos I have on display, some of which were taken with a $3,000 full frame camera.

    In good light, any iPhone from the 4S on can take excellent photos. If not, it's usually the fault of the photographer either having poor composition skills or shooting at noon in the harsh sunlight.

    In poor light, the photo quality drops considerably, and that is where a dedicated camera with a fast lens and large sensor will be unquestionably better.
  11. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    Thanks everyone.

    The lack of an optical zoom would be worrying. But otherwise I think it's all up to camera prices. As I have two options here.

    1. Buy a camera and stick with my iPhone 1.
    2. Buy the 5S and use it's camera.

    There is the best camera with you argument too. 95% of the time I wish I had a camera but I don't so I just miss out. The other 5% I use someone elses camera I borrow. It's a point and click older camera. it has a 3x optical zoom which I appreciate.

    The big question you've all alluded to is, the iPhone for the forseeable future will not beat a good point and shoot. But is it good enough for those times you'd want an actual camera. Would you take the photos and see the end result and go "hmmm I wish I'd taken my point and shoot with me and not just the 5S." In the response to that is never, the 5S is all you need. But if the answer is sure sometimes then it matters.

    I think more side by side 5S/point and shoot comparisons are needed to really tell the difference. The photos on the keynote looked pretty good, but I'm aware that's not the end of the story, more research needs to be done.

    If you didn't own the DSLR and instead took the photos with the 4S would you be happy or unsatisfied with the 4S's quality at your special event?

    And on your 4S say you took a photo from something a little far away . . . on the camera I borrow I use the 3x optical zoom to get in close to get the image I want. Without that on the iPhone how do you compensate?

    That looks pretty good. And taken with a 4S you say? I'm impressed (for a mobile phone photo).

    I am sure I will. But for me photo quality and price > new features. I don't want to blow any of the photos up to poster size. But I am interested in making a photo book with some photos. A coffee table book basically and I'd like the photos to be pretty good for it. I don't know if the 5S will suffice. If yes I'll probably get it. But yeah need people to review/compare the 5S camera to point and shoots so I know more.

    This is an awesome idea. I do not drive though, I throughly hate driving, and have no want to have a mobile data plan. But for those who do it's an ace idea.

    I plan to visit your country next year. I have already saved up the money to do so. I am just waiting till next year for your warm weather to return. I am Australian, and I would not be able to handle an EU winter so much :) So I wait for your spring/summer and then I'll come.
  12. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 16, 2011
    It all depends on what you want from your photography. For me, I'm mostly "just" looking to preserve memories. But at the same time, I've taken my share of flat-looking pictures that do little to evoke memories of being at a particular place. And, that was back in the day when I had plenty of time/money to put into decent photographic equipment.

    Now, my philosophy is that I have so much I can learn about taking a good picture, irrespective of the particular camera I'm using, that I can enjoy the process of improving without having to spend a lot of money on equipment, or dragging all that equipment around with me. I should say though, the fact that the iPhone camera is quite good is no small part of this approach.

    I put more effort into composition and finding the right lighting before taking the pic, and a little post-processing, which is mostly just cropping due to the fixed focal length lens of the iPhone.

    At most, I'll bring an additional (fairly inexpensive) point-n-shoot with a large optical zoom (14x) on vacation, to get the shots I couldn't otherwise with the iPhone.
  13. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

    Sep 5, 2013
    Oregon, USA
    This is an easy one. To get pictures so obviously and consistently better than the latest phone, you would need something much larger and more $. Large enough that you won't have it with you as often, so even with an unlimited budget, you'd still want the better phone before the dedicated camera.
  14. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Better question is it good enough for you?

    I get by with an iPhone camera. I'm under no delusion that a point and shoot isn't better. But my iPhone is what I carry everywhere with me so for convenience sake it works the best.
  15. the8thark thread starter macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    That is the burning question I'm trying to work out. Once 5S/point and shoot detailed comparisons are out I think I'll know.
  16. JulesK macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2002
    Are you willing to carry two things?

    I agree with others: the best camera is the one you have with you. A decent P&S -- and that includes models like the Canon S95 that are several years old -- likely is a better camera than the 5S camera; they are certainly better cameras than the 4S I have, if only because they are more responsive. If you like tinkering with things like exposure compensation, white balance, etc., the 5S is never going to be a suitable replacement, particularly if that P&S is well designed to allow for those adjustments quickly. Perhaps the 5S is really fast, but I find my 4S to be slow enough to miss shots that I probably would not have missed if I had my S95 on and in my hand. So if you are really serious about photography and want a lot of control over the process, I'd get a P&S (if not a consumer-level DSLR like the Nikon 3100).

    But for all that, I don't use my S95 at all anymore because I carry my iPhone everywhere, and it's good enough for 95% of the shots I want, and for the remaining 5%, I'll use my DSLR. I'm just not willing to carry two things, and I'm not a serious enough photographer to care most of the time about the advantages of a good P&S over the iPhone camera. Plus, with my iPhone, I am able to take pictures I never would have before because I would not have had a camera on me. If the 5S closes the gap further, it's unlikely I'll ever get another P&S.
  17. Densi macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2012

    Yes! :)

    Outdoors: Yes
    Indoors: No! (but there the 5S will stick in)

    With my feet ;-)
    Some with cropping and (of course) some I do not take or it´s just a landscape shot.

    Macro is really stunning if you do focus right.

    I would wait for this too. For a coffee book you will need to take photos inside.

    I would buy the 5S and try it out for your purpose. You´ll need a new phone anyway ;-) And if you really miss things, then save your money for a real cam (DSLR) and not for a point and shoot. For me, that´s the perfect combination.

    Better summer (July is perfect). In April and even May you *can* have rain, rain, rain, ...
  18. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Even the 4S would be a great camera replacement.
  19. HoldFastHope macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2008
    Sydney, AU
    The real question is: what do you do with your current camera?

    If you're just looking for snapshots, iPhone cameras are great (any model) and they have the added bonus of being on you pretty much all the time.

    If you want to control your depth of field, shutter speed and overall exposure (or learn how to in future) then you'll be best off with a camera with PASM settings. I shoot both and the iPhone is great for quick shots in decent light, but isn't flexible enough for creative exposures.

    If the previous paragraph meant nothing to you, use the iPhone camera :)
  20. Mrbobb macrumors 601

    Aug 27, 2012
    This whole paragraph says, It's All in The Equipment, which is not. Good photography is at least 50% technique.

    Technique means a lot of time, you want to take the camera to manual mode, because the automation is not what you want, and for this only a DSLR will suffice.

    Comparing phone vs P&S: Current phones are good enough. IMO only the expensive P&S (if you bother to take it manual) would beat a phone.
  21. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    As a photographer, I have to say that the 5S camera is flat out awesome. It's got a lot of the theory of making a better a photo from my DSLR. DR, faster AF, correct metering, larger pixels, better lens, and more light are all the factors which make better photos. I've won prizes with photos from the 4S which is kind of funny. With the 5S, it will give us better tools to get better shots. If you've got good technique already, the iPhone will probably be more than enough to make great photos. There are possibly only 4-5 P&S cameras ( all of which cost more than the iPhone btw) that will take better photos than the 5S but the 5S still has them beat with portability. I think Apple was really thinking of photographers and photo people with the new phone. The only thing missing for casual photos is an optical zoom but when you have optical zoom, there is always distortion in the photo which doesn't look great. I'm a prime shooter so the f/2.2 lens really speaks to me. Now I just need a Canon EF lens mount for the iPhone :D.
  22. boomhower macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2011
    You are daily driving an iPhone 1?!?!?! But to answer your question, yes the iPhone 5S will make a solid camera. My iPhone 5 is my primary camera. Which it sucks in low light it's an otherwise solid camera. Not as good as a decent point and shoot but good enough for my uses. I'm not going to carry around a camera so I'm very happy the iPhone has a good camera on it.
  23. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    It totally depends on you. Many people have to have the best of the best. We owned a dslr and a point an shoot while we had iPhone 4's. when we would go on vacation we would take about 90% of our pics from our phones. We like capturing up close shots that happen right by us. So we don't do much zooming etc. the only thing that we wish would be better is the low light shots.

    Now if u wanna do heavy zooming and lots of pics with flash then it's probably not the best. We now have iphone 5's and just got back from San Francisco where we took 850 pics with our phones in total and only 150 with our canon point and shoot. We sold the dslr bc its just another item u have to pack and we rarely used it. Our iPhones took great pics and we took a lot in panorama mode. The quality is very good and I don't notice much of a difference from the point and shoot.

    If u don't have a camera now the of course a 5s is gonna be your choice. Anything is better than what u got now.

    Hope this helps
  24. zedzded macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2013
    Perth, Australia
    No it wouldn't. Abysmal in low light. No OIS. Poor shutter speed. No dual flash or xenon flash. Small sensor etc etc etc etc etc etc
  25. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Not for u....

    Remember OP doesn't even own a camera currently

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