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iPhone X Dual Camera

Dodgeman

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 30, 2016
1,302
198
Anyone not happy with the actual quality of the dual camera set up on the X and the 8 plus?

(Low light isn't great either.)
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
6,488
10,824
(Low light isn't great either.)

The iPhone has one of the smallest sensors on the market compared to Samsung and Huawei. The photos are decent but no longer best in class anymore like during iPhone 5 and 6.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,630
1,907
The iPhone has one of the smallest sensors on the market compared to Samsung and Huawei. The photos are decent but no longer best in class anymore like during iPhone 5 and 6.

Generically saying a larger sensor is better is like saying more megapixel is better. While both are true, its only true in a certain context. The S9 has a variable aperture, using the same sensor in the iPhone would likely introduce unnecessary noise with limited benefits if any.

Most of the differences in comparison photos of the iPhone and S9 are from post processing. I would have honestly thought the S9 would have a bigger lead but its hit more miss. Some shots are objectively better but the majority are subjective, vivid colors (s9) vs natural (iPhone).

While the iPhone is behind a couple steps in photo quality in specific aspects, its light years ahead in high efficiency encoding and decoding. 4k 60fps HEVC was something only 3000-5000 dollar cameras could do a month prior (and during) the iPhones launch. Being able to re encode to h264 on the fly for compatibility? Forget about it. While not as important for photos, being able to handle 4k so effortlessly makes it useable, and once edited and output at 1080p you end up with a lot more detail and better coolers. A lot of people may not find that important or useful but if you edit video this can be just as important as initial quality (within reason).
 

ToddH

macrumors 65816
Jul 5, 2010
1,252
1,230
Central Tx
One of the best apps I’ve used other than ProCamera is Nightcap. This app allows long exposures night and day and because it stacks multiple shots, there is no noise or artifacts in the final image. You’ll need one of those mini tripods and iPhone brackets to hold the iPhone while taking long exposures but the effects are awesome. Now the app also allows for regular photography as well. It even works for shooting the stars at night! So if you want to take the time for a 10 second shot during the day for crisp clean noise free images, this app does it all. Let your creativity flow.
861A889E-C907-40FC-8F05-C01D1F8BB806.jpeg
359CA256-78C8-4601-97B0-80EDDD4D0F18.jpeg
 
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ToddH

macrumors 65816
Jul 5, 2010
1,252
1,230
Central Tx
Todd, how does Nightcap compare to ProCamera for handheld lowlight shots?

If you have ProCamera, then you know lowlight + mode takes up to 60 photos and stacks the quickly but you have to hold still as the photos are taken, then they are aligned and stacked and cropped some. For Nightcap, I Always use one of those mini monfrotto tripods and the MeFoto iPhone holder and set it on something like a table or whatever you can find and take a 30 second exposure. From there the image can be processed to bring out shadows etc without seeing any noise or grain.

However for handheld shots, ProCamera may work best for your needs. I just prefer a tripod (large or small) for my low light shots. This is a shot of Downtown Austin with ProCamera and a tripod using lowlight plus mode. I haven’t done it with Nightcap yet. But nightcap will allow for really long exposures especially if you are capturing moving water as in a waterfall to get that silky look. Buy both, they will be of good use . Capturing star trails around buildings or trees is cool!
669E6E77-A49E-4681-A0F5-E99CE6DC7F64.jpeg
 
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se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
419
410
LA, CA
Generically saying a larger sensor is better is like saying more megapixel is better. While both are true, its only true in a certain context. The S9 has a variable aperture, using the same sensor in the iPhone would likely introduce unnecessary noise with limited benefits if any.

Most of the differences in comparison photos of the iPhone and S9 are from post processing. I would have honestly thought the S9 would have a bigger lead but its hit more miss. Some shots are objectively better but the majority are subjective, vivid colors (s9) vs natural (iPhone).

While the iPhone is behind a couple steps in photo quality in specific aspects, its light years ahead in high efficiency encoding and decoding. 4k 60fps HEVC was something only 3000-5000 dollar cameras could do a month prior (and during) the iPhones launch. Being able to re encode to h264 on the fly for compatibility? Forget about it. While not as important for photos, being able to handle 4k so effortlessly makes it useable, and once edited and output at 1080p you end up with a lot more detail and better coolers. A lot of people may not find that important or useful but if you edit video this can be just as important as initial quality (within reason).

Objective facts:

The S9 sensor is larger and has a larger aperture compared to the iPhone X/8 main camera.

The variable aperture allows both the low light benefits of a very larger aperture, while being able to stop down for sharpness.

S9 also does 4k 60fps using HEVC
 

fred98tj

macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2017
574
379
Central Luzon, Philippines
Objective facts:

The S9 sensor is larger and has a larger aperture compared to the iPhone X/8 main camera.

The variable aperture allows both the low light benefits of a very larger aperture, while being able to stop down for sharpness.

S9 also does 4k 60fps using HEVC

Objective facts:

F1.5 vs f1.8 around 1/3 of a stop which, in real life use, is pretty insignificant. Also one needs to consider the lens. Both phones are wide angle and even $1500.00 and higher cost wide prime lenses are soft wide open. The photos I’ve seen in the S9+ and S9 forums are singularly unimpressive. The current iPhones appear to have superb lenses that are sharp corner to corner and no real signs of any CA.

Regarding the variable aperture, “stepping down” to 2.5 is nothing more than marketing. If you’re going to step down “for sharpness” then give us something to really use like 5.6 or 8, which is where most lenses are best.

Regarding the 4K recording (60fps, HEVC), the OP of your quoted post was very clear about at the time the iPhone was released. We know Samsung does it now, however appears to have a recording time limit on it.
 
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Dodgeman

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 30, 2016
1,302
198
One of the best apps I’ve used other than ProCamera is Nightcap. This app allows long exposures night and day and because it stacks multiple shots, there is no noise or artifacts in the final image. You’ll need one of those mini tripods and iPhone brackets to hold the iPhone while taking long exposures but the effects are awesome. Now the app also allows for regular photography as well. It even works for shooting the stars at night! So if you want to take the time for a 10 second shot during the day for crisp clean noise free images, this app does it all. Let your creativity flow.
View attachment 761516 View attachment 761517


That top photo is great! How was that achieved?
 

se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
419
410
LA, CA
Objective facts:

F1.5 vs f1.8 around 1/3 of a stop which, in real life use, is pretty insignificant. Also one needs to consider the lens. Both phones are wide angle and even $1500.00 and higher cost wide prime lenses are soft wide open. The photos I’ve seen in the S9+ and S9 forums are singularly unimpressive. The current iPhones appear to have superb lenses that are sharp corner to corner and no real signs of any CA.

Regarding the variable aperture, “stepping down” to 2.5 is nothing more than marketing. If you’re going to step down “for sharpness” then give us something to really use like 5.6 or 8, which is where most lenses are best.

Regarding the 4K recording (60fps, HEVC), the OP of your quoted post was very clear about at the time the iPhone was released. We know Samsung does it now, however appears to have a recording time limit on it.

You just going to leave out the sensor size differential?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,630
1,907
Objective facts:

The S9 sensor is larger and has a larger aperture compared to the iPhone X/8 main camera.

The variable aperture allows both the low light benefits of a very larger aperture, while being able to stop down for sharpness.

S9 also does 4k 60fps using HEVC

Those are the facts. But again without premise they are just facts. A larger sensor without supporting hardware isn’t a positive attribute just like more megapixels wasn’t.

If you faulted the iPhone for not have better aperture control I can’t deny that.

And thank you, I was unaware the S9 supported HEVC recording now. 5 minute limitation is curious. Without using it I wouldn’t know but I’d imagine heat related from the SoC or battery drain. Impressive it can do it at all though, desktops will struggle without a native codec.
 

PhoneMe1

Suspended
Mar 23, 2018
420
214
That top photo is great! How was that achieved?

It's not just the phone its the person taking it, there was a guy on here MRU who had every flagship phone that came out and his photos were amazing on all of them.

If you want descent photos get a real camera, so glad i had a SLR for all my kids photos when they were young, late teens now.
 

se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
419
410
LA, CA
Those are the facts. But again without premise they are just facts. A larger sensor without supporting hardware isn’t a positive attribute just like more megapixels wasn’t.

If you faulted the iPhone for not have better aperture control I can’t deny that.

And thank you, I was unaware the S9 supported HEVC recording now. 5 minute limitation is curious. Without using it I wouldn’t know but I’d imagine heat related from the SoC or battery drain. Impressive it can do it at all though, desktops will struggle without a native codec.

iPhone has no aperture control.

Assuming the underlying technology is the same, which in this case it is, a larger sensor will always net more light, it's just a function of physics. It's not like megapixels where more doesn't always translate to sharper pixels.
 

ToddH

macrumors 65816
Jul 5, 2010
1,252
1,230
Central Tx
That top photo is great! How was that achieved?

Thanks... I used the app Nightcap (formerly Nightcap Pro) for this image. I set the iPhone on one of those mini Monfrotto tripod, any tripod will do, and the iPhone was held in the MeFoto clamp. This was taken a few years ago with the 6 plus I think. In the app, set the exposure to long exposure. This works in any light without actually over exposing. Anything moving during the exposure will be blurred. I think the exposure time was about 5 minutes. Pretty cool, I need to do another shot similar to this.
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G5
Apr 8, 2013
12,145
8,925
UK
Yes I am. I had the 7 plus before and find that that camera has been significantly upgraded in the X.

As for low light most pics taken on smart phones are not great in low light and that includes the S9 and the pixel 2.
 

darngooddesign

macrumors G3
Jul 4, 2007
9,599
460
Atlanta, GA
For HDR, Lightroom Mobile (free) is absolutely fantastic and it gives you raw which you can immediately pp or save to pp later. It’s absolutely superb for HDR.

I have both and ProCamera also gives you raw and the ability to save to pp later. ProCamera also gives you multiple levels of HDR which you can choose at the time of shooting, or later if you save to its Lightbox instead of the camera roll. It also lets you save your files in HEIC and TIF. ProCamera is better with extreme differences in dynamic range; not to mention LowLight Plus is also better than what LightRoom can do. LR is free and ProCamera HDR is free to try so everyone can decide for themselves.

Regardless, both are much better than Apple's HDR.
 
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se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
419
410
LA, CA
All of these are large crops from the originals. Just to show how much I curse this “tiny sensor”. -p

Look, I'm not at all saying the camera is bad, or that you can't take wonderful pictures with the iPhone camera. You can. But on the other hand, you can't also discount the competition and the advantages they have. If the situation were opposite, everyone here would be trumpeting on how these same metrics would make the iPhone camera better.
 
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