Yes, the iPhone can take serious photographs. An upcoming book, #Sandy shows the destruction and hardship Hurricane Sandy brought to the East Coast of the US last year, and all the photos were taken by iPhones. The hardbound book has about 100 images by photographers Benjamin Lowy, Stephen Wilkes, Richard Renaldi, Hank Willis Thomas, Lyle Owerko, Wyatt Gallery, Ruddy Roye, Craig Wetherby, and Michael Christopher Brown. I interviewed Lowy for TUAW last year about using the iPhone under extreme circumstances.
The book is being published by Daylight Books for US$50.00 and is expected to be out this fall. All royalties will be donated to Occupy Sandy to support rebuilding efforts in the New York City area. The book is an Indiegogo project, and publication depends on meeting funding goals. Check the book website for some sample photos.
Sandy was the most destructive hurricane of the 2012 season and the second costliest in US history. It affected 24 states, with most of the damage to New York when a storm surge hit on October 29. Total damage in the US is estimated at about $65 billion.