So, I am one of the happy new owners of the new iPhone 5 and I couldn't help doing a little quality check and comparison to my old dear 4. I think the pictures show very well how much better the camera is. These pictures were taken in VERY bad lighting conditions. It was dark and there was a very bright window to the right of the motive, which is a situation most cameras don't like. I also took the opportunity to check out the purple lens flare that everyone is talking and whining about. And guess what, I found it!! BUT, not only on the 5, it's there in the iPhone 4 pics too in a much worse way. For the record, these pictures are all SOOC (straight out of camera), not edited in any way and taken under exactly the same conditions with the iPhone standard camera app.
iPhone 4 iPhone 5
iPhone 4 iPhone 5
Conclusion: I think the pictures speak for themselves. There's no doubt that the iPhone 5 camera is much better than the 4 in these light conditions. One of the things I had most trouble with using my 4, was the transfer from very bright to darker and the ugly flare and unsharpness it causes (like the window versus the wall in the two last iPhone 4 pics). In some cases I managed to make it into a feature rather than a fault, but it definitely was a problem and a negative feature in many cases, like the examples above here. I can't say I like the purple flare in the last iPhone 5 picture either, but you have to take into consideration that no camera likes these light situations and as much as we would like our iPhones to be as good as a DSLR, they just aren't. I'm going to test it in other sunny conditions as well, but for now I prefer to be very happy about how much better the iPhone 5 camera is. Remember, being a good photographer is also about knowing how to tackle difficult light situations like these and knowing how to avoid that flare if it's unwanted. I'm happy with the picture I ended up with which can be seen on my Instagram feed and has no purple in sight:)