Apple talked a lot about the iPhone 5’s new camera on Wednesday, explaining that the sheer engineering alone was a huge challenge for the company. Getting improved optics — backside illumination, hybrid IR filter, five-element lens, f/2.4 aperture — into the thinner body meant using a sapphire lens cover, which is supposedly more durable than the previous cover glass. So how do pictures look taken by the iPhone 5? Pretty great, according to official images posted to Apple’s website.

The quality, as was the case with the iPhone 4/4S, is top notch, besting (or at least comparing) to some of today’s top-tier point-and-shoot cameras. If you use your device to take a lot of photos, they’re about to get that much better in the iPhone 5, and less noisy, Apple claims. Worth noting: No low-light pictures were shared, so it’s unclear how the camera performs when the sun isn’t shining.

Obviously we can’t yet make a final judgement on something we haven’t tested ourselves, but going on the samples Apple shared, things are looking good. Smartphones today provide excellent picture-quality and good enough experiences that more and more consumers are ditching their point-and-shoot. It looks like the iPhone 5 will continue on that trend.

[via Apple]