With smartphone cameras getting better and better with each release, a contest between a point-and-shoot camera and a high-end smartphone should now make for a good contest.
The findings of just such a battle were published recently in a report by Cnet (opens in new tab), Lori Grunin was the adjudicator. Apple's iPhone4S was pitted against a Canon PowerShot Elph 100 HS.
"I chose the 100 HS because it's exactly the type of camera whose existence camera phones like this threaten: inexpensive, with prices as low as $150, and a minimal feature set. But it's also a decent little point-and-shoot that takes good photos for its class, and has a 4x zoom lens," she explained.
She left all the settings on automatic to make the contest a fair one. One of the first things the reviewer noticed was iPhone 4S' autofocus capabilities. The iPhone proved not only to be smarter when choosing the picture's subject, but also a lot faster with its 1.08 second shot-to-shot time.
However, the iPhone 4S' lens system did not perform that well, as atypical distortions and fringing appeared. The iPhone does have wide aperture at f2.4 but that is the only option, whereas point-and-shoot cameras usually have at least two settings. You can see photos taken by both devices side-by-side here (opens in new tab).
After a quick pro-con list for both devices the contest turns out to be a draw in Grunin's judgment.
However, iPhone 4S is still young and developers will probably work on apps to correct camera flaws that become apparent.