An iPhone 5S with better camera? Bring it

commentary Will the 5S get a better camera? Speculation points in this direction. If true, it would constitute a significant upgrade for the iPhone.

Apple could furnish the 5S with a better camera.
Apple could furnish the 5S with a better camera. Apple

Word is that the iPhone 5S is a minor upgrade. But if it's got a better camera, it's major.

Smartphone camera competition is getting stiff. And a phone's photo shooting prowess is increasingly the focus at dedicated camera review sites.

CNET Reviews recently did a shootout of the cameras on the Galaxy S4, HTC One, and iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5 fared well, though it was a close contest with the S4 in some areas. The HTC One was good in low-light conditions.

HTC, in fact, is a good example of a company trying to push the envelope on camera tech. The One has an Ultrapixel camera (see image at bottom) with larger sensors that pull in more light, boosting low-light shots.

Meanwhile, the Samsung S4 boasts a 13 megapixel sensor versus the iPhone 5's 8MP, which makes a difference in photo size, as CNET Reviews points out .

Though more megapixels is a less meaningful spec these days, Samsung will undoubtedly continue to be aggressive with optics.

The larger point is that a smartphone is the only camera for a lot of people. So, any phone maker that comes out with manifestly better camera tech will get a lot of attention and sway buyers.

Count me as one of those buyers. And an iPhone 5S that looks identical to the iPhone 5 (what Apple typically does with S models) but packs a better camera would constitute a sway-worthy upgrade.

So, what's in store for the 5S? Reports point to a higher-resolution camera and improved low-light mode.

Ostensible photos of the back shell of the 5S show a larger LED flash.

If all of this is true, the 5S could be a much better shooter than the 5. I'd smile for that camera.

Ultrapixel: HTC is focusing on camera tech.
Ultrapixel: HTC is focusing on smartphone camera tech. HTC
About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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