A Side-By-Side Comparison of Every iPhone Camera Ever Made

Published On 09/29/2015 Published On 09/29/2015
All Photos Courtesy of Lisa Bettany

Given how incremental each new smartphone update can seem, it's easy to forget just how far we've come since the nascent days of cameraphone development -- y'know, back before "selfie" was a word in the dictionary.

In an effort to remind us all how good we've got it circa 2015, Lisa Bettany (cofounder of Camera+) created a series of side-by-side photo comparisons that pit every generation of iPhone -- from the original all the way to the 6S -- against each other for the camera quality crown.

As Lisa explains in her post, the original iPhone and iPhone 3G featured no autofocus abilities, so close-up macro shots like this one were completely impossible. The difference in quality is emphasized even more in the detailed zoom below:

It's not until the iPhone 4s that we start seeing a dramatic change in quality, with the marked increase in brightness and detail signaling a shift in the way we thought about cameraphones -- from a simple novelty to something potentially greater.

In other words, the pictures got waaaaay better.

The song remains the same when you look at portrait shots, too:

While the difference in quality isn't quite as severe when the subject's a bit further away, there's no denying that the brightness, detail, and level of grain on the iPhone 6S are all lightyears ahead of the original iPhone. As they should be, since there's a nearly 10 year difference between the two devices.

Again, a closer inspection only reinforces how far we've come since 2007.

If you wanna see a full breakdown with the rest of the photos from Lisa's article -- and you should, because it's fascinating -- you can check out the full post here. You should view it on a computer, too, since her site lets you select individual iPhone models and compare them head-to-head.

Seriously, bookmark the page and check it out when you get home. It's worth it.

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Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and heโ€™s never owned an iPhone in his life. Follow his Fandroid tweets @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to



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