The Apple iPhone 4S is a significant upgrade over its predecessor, and boasts numerous improvements, but what does it offer for photographers? Nigel Atherton examines the camera and photographic features of the iPhone 4S

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Overall score:91%


  • Minimal shutter lag
  • Large, sharp LCD screen
  • Touch Focus
  • Additional features with Camera+ App
  • Excellent image quality


  • Placement of the lens takes some getting used to
  • No manual control of ISO and White Balance
  • A larger, dedicated shutter button would be nice.


Apple iPhone 4S

Price as reviewed:


Compared with….

We compared the images from the Apple iPhone 4S with images from two previous generation iPhones, plus a Nokia N8 (which was the winner of our last camera phone group test, and regarded up to now as the best camera on a phone) and a Canon Powershot S95 compact camera. The results were interesting and surprising, with the iPhone 4S the clear and unanimous winner in a blind test with the WDC staff. See for yourself in this example…

These images were taken from the roof of the What Digital Camera offices, looking out over the London skyline. The images were taken in good light but each phone/camera was supported on a monopod for stability, to rule out camera shake.

The Canon S95 was used in jpeg mode. Admittedly, better performance could be
achieved from it by shooting raw, albeit with some extra processing
work, and the Canon may well triumph in lower light. We’ll be conducting a full, in depth comparision test shortly and will post our findings.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Performance, Image Quality and Verdict
  3. 3. Compared with....
  4. 4. Image Samples from the iPhone 4S
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