My pal Kyle Baxter, in a good piece on the iPhone 5C, says this about the camera:
The iPhone’s camera—a cellphone camera!—is now so good that many people have nearly no need for a dedicated point-and-shoot camera. This is only true, though, because Apple has focused on developing the camera in a way that can’t be captured so well on a specification sheet but really does make for a better camera. Rather than boost their sensor’s megapixel count, Apple has kept it steady at 8 megapixels for three iPhone models, and instead has boosted the sensor’s size. They’ve focused on doing rather incredible things with the iPhone’s Image Signal Processor to make for, and choose, better photos. While these things don’t translate well to selling points for cell carrier sales associates, it does make for a truly better camera, and customers do notice the difference. As a result, the iPhone feels like a device in a class of its own.
I’ve long contemplated getting a higher-end camera — specifically, this one — but my iPhone’s camera has been so good given my use case, I haven’t pulled the trigger. Aside from Touch ID, the biggest incentive for me to upgrade to the 5S is the upgraded camera. By all accounts, it’s a big step over the 5, and certainly over the one in my trusty-yet-feeling-somewhat-long-in-the-tooth 4S. My new 5S is supposed to arrive Thursday, and I can’t wait to start playing with its camera.
See also: Matt Panzarino’s great take for TechCrunch on the iPhone 5S’s camera.