DxOMark: iPhone 11 Front-Facing Camera 'Decent' but Misses Top 10

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DxOMark this week published the results of its in-depth review of the iPhone 11's 12MP front-facing camera. The device delivered "decent performance" and achieved an overall score of 91 points, but failed to make the overall top 10.


iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro share the same front-facing camera specifications, so the results are similar but with a number of key differences, such as focus distance. The fixed-focus lens of iPhone 11 was found to focus slightly closer than the lens on the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which resulted in subjects that are further away being out of focus. Another difference was that iPhone 11 failed to maintain sharpness as well as iPhone 11 Pro Max as the subject moved further away from the camera. Otherwise, most images taken with the two devices were extremely similar.

Video on the iPhone 11 front-facing camera was, however, found to be "slightly better" in color accuracy and noise-management than Apple's top-end smartphone. This advantage is, however, diminished by the focus issues, which are said to pose a potential problem for "users who work with longer selfie sticks or who shoot a lot of group selfies". The review concludes that iPhone 11 offers a "good option for selfie video capture, but not among the best we have seen."

The iPhone 11's overall DxOMark score of 91 was just one point lower than that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max at 92. The Huawei P40 Pro has performed best in DxOMark testing, with a score of 103. iPhone 11's front-facing camera is surpassed by 12 other smartphones. Overall, iPhone 11 is praised as "a capable option for selfie shooters, with its front camera delivering nice colors and good exposure in most situations," but "image output can be quite noisy and the fixed-focus lens, which is geared towards closer focusing distances."

DxO is a well-known French image lab that is noted for its attempts at assigning objective scores of smartphone camera quality, although they have been subject to some criticism from those who argue that camera quality is inherently subjective and thus can't be quantified with a score.

Article Link: DxOMark: iPhone 11 Front-Facing Camera 'Decent' but Misses Top 10
 

MisterAndrew

macrumors 68000
Sep 15, 2015
1,967
1,518
Portland, Ore.
The front facing camera on my 11 Pro is the worst out of any iPhone I’ve had. It will not focus. Every image is blurry. I need to take it to the Apple store when they reopen.
 

superiska123

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2014
111
125
On a similar note, the fact that 2020 MacBooks ship with a 720p camera is embarrassing.
Honest question, is the MacBook camera really that bad comparatively? When I participate in video calls, the camera on my 2015 MacBook Air always looks a lot better than most (if not all) Windows laptops...
I realize this is anecdotal, so do truly good laptop cameras exist?
 

madrigal77

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2018
64
74
Who cares? I’d be thrilled if they just removed front facing cameras, personally. I’ve never once used one.
 
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falainber

macrumors 68020
Mar 16, 2016
2,079
2,619
Wild West
Honest question, is the MacBook camera really that bad comparatively? When I participate in video calls, the camera on my 2015 MacBook Air always looks a lot better than most (if not all) Windows laptops...
I realize this is anecdotal, so do truly good laptop cameras exist?
You have no idea how your picture looks like on the other side. The fact that your MB has a crappy picture of others might be caused by your MB or your ISP.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
22,563
10,418
Gotta be in it to win it
Who cares? I’d be thrilled if they just removed front facing cameras, personally. I’ve never once used one.
I don't know about how many care about dxomark, except for bragging rights, however, I believe you are in the minority with the front-facing camera. In my own case during this shelter-in-place times, we use group facetime to keep in contact with the family multiple times a day. Different strokes for different folks.
 
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djgamble

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2006
831
307
Honest question, is the MacBook camera really that bad comparatively? When I participate in video calls, the camera on my 2015 MacBook Air always looks a lot better than most (if not all) Windows laptops...
I realize this is anecdotal, so do truly good laptop cameras exist?
Yeah I was doing a Zoom the other day and everybody was like 'wooooah you are in HD!!! What kinda camera are you using?!?!?'

I was like 'iPhone 6... it's a pretty ordinary camera'. Often depends on the luck of the photo?
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,326
13,683
In between a rock and a hard place
Front facing camera has always been a low priority on iPhones and for good reason. Personally I've never used it on any iPhone I've had.
Low priority based on what? They even have ads that highlight the tech of the camera. Adding 4K/60fps video capability to the camera definitely doesn't indicate it's low priority.
Honest question, is the MacBook camera really that bad comparatively? When I participate in video calls, the camera on my 2015 MacBook Air always looks a lot better than most (if not all) Windows laptops...
I realize this is anecdotal, so do truly good laptop cameras exist?
Mac cameras aren't garbage, but there's no excuse for them being as average as they have been for a long time. If other windows and chromebooks can do better, there's no reason Apple can't. I don't think laptop cameras are going to get as good as phone cameras (no room), but they don't have to be as average as they are either.
Here's a good look at what I'm yammering about:
 

Juan007

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2010
750
793
This is like a study saying iPhone is worse than every phone made by Samsung because the iPhone has less RAM. Meanwhile, iPhone runs every application several times faster, GUI is many times smoother, and problems are an order of magnitude less.

Bozo reviewers focus on specs, meanwhile actual users focus on the end product. The Apple end product is superior. I don't care how much RAM the camera on my iPhone has, I care how the the camera app works and how the pictures look. And the Apple product is BY FAR the winner here, it's not even comparable.
 

superiska123

macrumors regular
Jun 5, 2014
111
125
You have no idea how your picture looks like on the other side. The fact that your MB has a crappy picture of others might be caused by your MB or your ISP.
Yeah I was doing a Zoom the other day and everybody was like 'wooooah you are in HD!!! What kinda camera are you using?!?!?'

I was like 'iPhone 6... it's a pretty ordinary camera'. Often depends on the luck of the photo?
It was actually a case of what djgamble has said. My friends have pointed out that my camera looks excellent compared to theirs... And we're software engineering students so we all have decent laptops at the very least. Ironically, I believe I have the oldest computer out of the bunch!

Low priority based on what? They even have ads that highlight the tech of the camera. Adding 4K/60fps video capability to the camera definitely doesn't indicate it's low priority.

Mac cameras aren't garbage, but there's no excuse for them being as average as they have been for a long time. If other windows and chromebooks can do better, there's no reason Apple can't. I don't think laptop cameras are going to get as good as phone cameras (no room), but they don't have to be as average as they are either.
Here's a good look at what I'm yammering about:
Thanks for the video! It confirms exactly what I suspected would be the case... IMO, even the Pixelbook GO which the reviewer praises looks pretty bad. And it makes complete sense; if we were to get a higher-res webcam, the display would probably need to be thicker and i absolutely do not care enough about webcam quality to sacrifice display thinness.

If anyone has the need for a good quality camera for video conferencing, I can't imagine they'd settle for any laptop webcam...
 

69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,326
13,683
In between a rock and a hard place
Thanks for the video! It confirms exactly what I suspected would be the case... IMO, even the Pixelbook GO which the reviewer praises looks pretty bad. And it makes complete sense; if we were to get a higher-res webcam, the display would probably need to be thicker and i absolutely do not care enough about webcam quality to sacrifice display thinness.

If anyone has the need for a good quality camera for video conferencing, I can't imagine they'd settle for any laptop webcam...
1080p is certainly possible without an increase in thickness. 4K? I doubt it. 1080, imo, would definitely help with that graininess in the MBA webcam. The overarching point is I believe if Apple wanted to improve the webcam, they could have long ago. When 2020 MBA webcam looks essentially no better than a 10 year old webcam...

There may be a silver lining in the near future for those who want a better Mac integrated webcam. If FaceID comes to Macs, they'll have no choice but to upgrade the camera. Either way, doesn't affect me. I use a dedicated webcam. I'm ugly enough. Don't need to be seen through a potato. Would just make me uglier. :D :D
 

BuffaloTF

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2008
965
850
Yeah I was doing a Zoom the other day and everybody was like 'wooooah you are in HD!!! What kinda camera are you using?!?!?'

I was like 'iPhone 6... it's a pretty ordinary camera'. Often depends on the luck of the photo?
Zoom has an off-by-default "Enable HD" option on Windows... or maybe it's my companies IT policy. Either way, check it out. ;)
 

nvmls

macrumors 6502a
Mar 31, 2011
874
2,065
It's as if they did the same penny-pinching they do with the laptops webcams. Unacceptable trash, but I'm sure stockholders don't see an issue.
 

dmylrea

macrumors 68030
Sep 27, 2005
2,901
3,589
I have to laugh! It is SO PREDICTABLE here! Any test where an Apple product isn't the best, the test is dismissed or the testing company is a hack, or "who cares"...but had the test shown the iPhone, in this case, to be #1, I would bet my Stimulus check that those same people would be rallying around Apple and poo-poo'ing the other phones as crappy PoS. So funny...
 

gaximus

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2011
1,018
1,377
This is like a study saying iPhone is worse than every phone made by Samsung because the iPhone has less RAM. Meanwhile, iPhone runs every application several times faster, GUI is many times smoother, and problems are an order of magnitude less.

Bozo reviewers focus on specs, meanwhile actual users focus on the end product. The Apple end product is superior. I don't care how much RAM the camera on my iPhone has, I care how the the camera app works and how the pictures look. And the Apple product is BY FAR the winner here, it's not even comparable.
DXOmark doesn’t look at specs, they take pictures and compare the images.
 
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