How does the iPhone 4S camera compare to a dSLR?

We know that the camera in the iPhone 4S is something special. Unless you’re a professional photographer, it could probably replace any camera you already own. But how does it stack up next to a $2,500 dSLR? We have some side-by-side pictures for you to decide for yourself.

The dSLR in these samples is a Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It packs a whopping 21.1 MP, and is a top choice for professional photographers. The $2,500 price tag we mentioned is for the body alone, and lenses will cost hundreds more.

It sounds ridiculous to even think of comparing a smartphone camera to such a piece of equipment, but the 4S’ shooter is strong enough that it’s worth looking into. The photographer of these samples used the iPhone 4S with the Camera+ app, which uses software filtering to adjust color and exposure (no additional post-processing was done though).

Macro (iPhone 4S)

Macro (dSLR)

Looking at those two shots, I’d say that the 4S image isn’t too far off, believe it or not. Both shots have beautiful colors and rich detail. As I haven’t seen the actual set of keys, I don’t know which captured the colors more accurately.

The dSLR is better able to blur the background. Sometimes known as Bokeh, blurring a background is an effective technique to draw attention to a subject. That’s one area where the 4S can’t keep up, though some Photoshopping could ultimately achieve a similar effect in post-processing.

The 4S also picks up a somewhat distracting glare from the key’s reflection, while the dSLR has that coming off as much more subtle.

Skyline (iPhone 4S)

dSLR (skyline)

Again, while the shots have key differences, the one taken by the iPhone isn’t exactly looking bad.

The colors in the iPhone 4S image actually look deeper, and there may be a little more contrast. The iPhone’s biggest drawback is that the shadows lose some detail, and the dSLR shot has a more natural overall look to it.

Can the iPhone 4S replace a dSLR? If you’re a pro and know how to use the full capabilities of a camera like this one from Canon, then of course you aren’t going to trade it in for an iPhone. But for everyone else, it’s amazing how close the iPhone 4S comes to being a professional-quality camera.

Finally, you should definitely check out the link below. Not only does it show off the 4S camera, it also gives comparisons to all previous iPhones. You may be quite surprised to see just how bad the original iPhone camera was.

via Camera+

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