Tested by experts 06d9a64036647e73500f0390c533b110047acb1d8dfcda07834106364a611f86
cameras

Apple iPhone 4S Digital Camera Review

The iPhone 4S has the best camera we've ever tested on a smartphone.

$199.99
Advertisement

Introduction

The refrain common refrain over the past decade—since cell phones started snapping pictures—has been that mobile phones will kill standalone cameras. Now it seems likes phones are helping cameras to thrive. Sales are up, even in a crummy economy. Everyone is a photographer now, even if they just post a few phone snapshots to Facebook. More would-be Ansel Adams loyalists are discovering that they actually like to take photos. They learn to recognize the advantages of a proper camera, whether it's a long-zoom compact or a full-fledged, interchangeable-lens DLSR, and upgrade from their humble camera phones when they can.

But that leaves us wondering about cheap point-and-shoots: They're meant to take good-enough photos for sharing online, just like the cameras built into phones like the Apple iPhone 4S, on review here. The best camera is the one you have, and when your iPhone is always in your pocket, it's hard to justify a pocket cam, even if it barely costs $100.

We're reviewing the 4S as a point-and-shoot, not because we expect fantastic performance, but because we want to see if its camera is good enough to replace a standalone pocket camera. (And just to be clear, we're testing the 8-megapixel, rear-facing camera, not the front-facing, VGA-quality camera.)

The Apple iPhone 4S is available in black and white shades in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB configurations, starting at $199.99 on contract with AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint.

Comparable Products

Before you buy the Apple iPhone 4S, take a look at these other point & shoot cameras.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Product Tour
  3. Color
  4. Noise
  5. Resolution
  6. Video
  7. Playback
  8. Hardware
  9. Controls
  10. Design & Handling
  11. Canon PowerShot ELPH 100 HS Comparison
  12. Samsung MV800 Comparison
  13. Nikon Coolpix S4100 Comparison
  14. Conclusion
  15. Photo Gallery

News and Features

Ricoh gr ii news hero

Ricoh's New GR II Makes Tiny Tweaks to A Killer Camera

Ricoh releases a sequel to the classic GR with NFC, WiFi

Canon g3x hero

Canon Guns For Point-and-Shoot Crown With New G3 X

Want a high-end compact camera with zoom? Canon's got an answer.

Nest cam hero

Nest Unveils a WiFi Security Camera for the 21st Century

Nest has released a revamped version of the Dropcam security camera.

Adobe stock

Adobe Announces Stock, A New Marketplace For Assets

Cut out the middle-man: buy and sell your stock images through Adobe

Adobe cc photo news 2015 hero

Adobe Continues Focus on Mobile With Creative Cloud Update

Substantial additions to Photoshop and Lightroom are here.

Hero

The Gorgeous Leica Q Is the Mini M We've Always Wanted

The Leica Q is a point-and-shoot with a pure shot of M-series DNA.

Hero

Sony Bets Big on 4K With A7R II, RX100 IV, and RX10 II

Sony's three flagships get a remodel with new A7R II, RX10 II, and RX100 IV.

X t10 news hero

Fujifilm Extends X-Series With X-T10, 90mm f/2 Lens

Beautiful retro style has never been so accessible.

Canon 50mm ef f1p8 stm hero 2

Canon Outs 50mm f/1.8 STM With New Design, Old Price

Canon shooters on a budget will love this nifty 50mm glass.