It isn’t a surprise that people love taking pictures with their iPhones. The iPhone 4 is actually the most popular camera on Flickr. I use my iPhone’s camera more than I have used any camera I’ve ever owned. I even refer to myself as an “iPhoneographer” from time to time. With its convenience, portability, and ease of use, the iPhone has become the primary camera for many who own one. However, things weren’t always like this.

The original iPhone and the iPhone 3G used a fixed-focus, 2 megapixel camera. The iPhone 3GS stepped it up with a 3.2 megapixel camera, auto-focus, and auto-white balance. The camera on the iPhone 4 jumped up to 5 megapixels and included a new backside illuminated sensor for taking pictures in low-light conditions. Currently, the iPhone 4S camera packs an 8 megapixel camera, brand new optics, a new sensor, and added lens elements which come together to take some amazing pictures.

Lisa Bettany, founder of the popular Camera+ app, has posted photos showing the camera improvements for each iPhone, and the folks over at PetaPixel have pieced them together for a timeline view.

The difference between each is remarkable. The original iPhone and iPhone 3G produce the same, unfocused, yellow-tinted blob of a picture, while the iPhone 4S produced the sharpest image with the best color tones. It’s obvious that Apple has put a lot of work into the iPhone’s camera since 2007, and it will only get better from here. With the original iPhone, you had a camera on your phone. For future iPhones, I wouldn’t be surprised if people see it as having a phone on your camera.¬†Point-and-shoot cameras are collecting dust at an alarming rate.

Does the comparison photo surprise you? Let us know what you think!