How good is the iPhone 5s camera? Enough to impress a National Geographic photographer!

On a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands, National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson decided to leave his Nikon DSLR camera at home and, instead, see what the iPhone 5s would allow him to capture. Turns out, a lot - and more than he expected. From the National Geographic's Proof (opens in new tab):

With intense use (I've made about 4,000 pictures in the last four days) I've discovered that the iPhone 5S is a very capable camera. The color and exposures are amazingly good, the HDR exposure feature does a stunningly good job in touch situations, the panorama feature is nothing short of amazing—seeing a panorama sweeping across the screen in real time is just intoxicating. Best of all it shoots square pictures natively, a real plus for me since I wanted to shoot for Instagram posting.

Richardson said that what surprised him the most was that the iPhone 5s iSight photos didn't look like compromises - they just looked good.

Check out his article for more, and @jimrichardsonng on Instagram for all of his fantastic iPhone 5s photography.

Source: Proof (opens in new tab) via Phil Schiller

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

7 Comments
  • So Nat Geo is going to do this with every new phone that hypes their camera? First the Lumia 1020 and now the iPhone 5S.
  • Whoever pays his employer gets this photographer's appreciation. Of course. Next month he will be liking some Samsung phablet, no doubt.
  • Of course, any positive comment about Apple from a professional must, by definition, mean that said professional is on Apple's payroll. Apple cannot possible being making really good products. They obviously have to pay people to say nice things.
  • Yes, the iPhone camera is not bad. However, a good or great camera isn't going to make you a great photographer. So many people spending thousands on a DSLR and they're pictures aren't very good. Much of what makes a good pic is your technique and camera taking skills. Interestingly, lots of people are starting to just now get into photography and think they can make a good living at it just because they post on Instagram and have many likes. It's kind of like auditioning for American Idol because your parents and friends said you were a good singer, but really aren't. lol.
  • Let's be fair, the quality of photographs is down to the Highlands, not the iPhone.
  • +1
  • I understand that the camera is pretty darn good, but does this Nat' Geo photog feel that it is significantly better than last year's model?
    Or is this just an advert for the 5s?