iPhone photo face-off

CNET puts the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 to the test to see which is the better camera phone. But don't trust us; see the difference for yourself.

Kent German Former senior managing editor / features
Kent was a senior managing editor at CNET News. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he reviewed the first iPhone and worked in both the London and San Francisco offices. When not working, he's planning his next vacation, walking his dog or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).
Kent German

The iPhone has always had a camera, but it wasn't until the iPhone 4 that it became a serious shooter. That model increased the resolution from 2 to 5 megapixels and it added a powerful flash to brighten dim shots.

With the combination of third-party photo-editing apps and subsequent iOS upgrades, the iPhone 4 developed into one of the better camera phones on the market. But then last week Apple made it even better with the iPhone 4S.

Cameras compared: iPhone 4S vs. iPhone 4 (photos)

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Indeed, the iPhone 4S has a few significant improvements over the iPhone 4. The resolution is now at 8 megapixels and it adds an f/2.4 aperture lens, and a backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that allows 73 percent more light. A hybrid IR filter should deliver better color accuracy, and the handset's A5 processor has a built-in image processor that adds face detection and 26 percent better auto white balance.

Promises, however, are just promises, so to show you how much better the iPhone 4S is over the iPhone 4, I've lined up a few shots in the accompanying photo gallery. After taking the same photo with both phones, the differences in color accuracy, detail, and sharpness are very clear. Lori Grunin, CNET's photo expert, offered more in-depth commentary, which I repeated in the slideshow.