iPhone 5c in blue

Compare and contrast: Apple’s iPhone 5s and 5c cameras

September 11 , 2013 by: Daniela Bowker Equipment, News

Just in case you’ve not had quite enough of your fill of Apple news over the past day or so, here’s a run-down of the camera spec for the new iPhone 5s and 5c.

iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s in gold

iPhone 5s in gold

  • All-new 8 megapixel rear-facing camera – I’ve heard plenty of people bemoaning the fact that it’s ‘only 8 megapixels’ but do you really need any more on a sensor that’s about the size of my little fingernail?
  • Speaking of which, the size of the sensor has been increased – with luck that will help to improve low-light performance and noise levels
  • ƒ/2.2 aperture – a touch brighter than the ƒ/2.4 of old
  • The new processor in the A7 chip should help with faster auto-focusing, faster image capture (thanks-be), automatic image and video stabilisation, and increased dynamic range
  • True Tone flash – a flash with in excess of 1,000 variants in colour and intensity to help produce more natural colours
  • Burst mode – that’s going to be reliant on the new faster image capture
  • 120 frames-per-second slow-motion video

iPhone 5c

iPhone 5c in blue

iPhone 5c in blue

This camera is more akin to the iPhone 5’s. It has an 8 megapixel sensor, but not the larger one of the 5s, and it is powered by the A6 chip so won’t be as fast as the A7 version. It has an ƒ/2.4 lens, an LED flash, and no burst mode or slow-motion video.


I’m not the kind of person to go out and upgrade my phone on the basis of its camera alone, especially not when you’re looking at paying $199 for the 16GB 5s, $299 for the 32GB version, and $399 for the 64GB 5s (if you qualify). If you’re an iPhone 4s owner, you’re not looking at any major camera upgrade by hopping to the 5c, so it really isn’t worth the $99 for the 16GB model or $199 for the 32GB model, again, if you ‘qualify’. If you’re in need of a whole new phone, however, it might be a different matter.

About Daniela

This post was written by Daniela Bowker, who has written 1393 articles for Photocritic

Daniela has written three books on photography, contributed to several others, and acted as the editorial consultant on many more.

Her newest book, Social Photography, is currently available as a digital download as well as in bookshops in the UK and US.

You might also want to check out her exploration of other-worldly photographic creations, Surreal Photography: Creating the Impossible, and Photo School Fundamentals, for which she contributed the section on composition.


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