How big of a difference does the telephoto camera make Compared to the single camera on the 8?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Starfyre, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. Starfyre, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017

    Starfyre macrumors 68030

    Starfyre

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    #1
    I am thinking about the iPhone 8 as a holdout phone until the X+.

    I care about camera quality, the X having dual OIS cameras sound like the pinnacle of photo quality. The dual cameras on the 8+ also sound like that would help with photo quality. Though I've read the telephoto camera helps with taking photos with a blurry background, which I could care maybe less about.

    Does the iPhone 8, with it's one OIS camera take 'much' worse photos than the 8+? I know that's subjective, but if the telephoto lens is mainly just for as Wired's review (https://www.wired.com/2017/09/review-apple-iphone-8-and-8-plus/) says:

    "The Plus adds a second f/2.8 telephoto lens, which lets it take beautiful soft-background photos in Portrait mode."


    Then I could care less about the 2nd camera and just go for the 8. I would be interested in seeing the photo quality between the two if possible with identical photos if there exists some.
     
  2. TheColtr macrumors 6502

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    #2
    The iPhone 8 has OIS too, so you wouldn’t be missing out there. As someone who has a 7 plus I think the telephoto lens is worth it if you want to take pictures from far away. For example when my pets wrestle with each other if I get too close they stop, so I use the telephoto to zoom in and get a good picture/video of them from farther away.

    95 percent of the time I use the standard wide angle lens. But for me that 5 percent for taking close up shots is enough to keep me with the dual cameras. However you may not see it as a need as digital zoom work, just not as good as optical.
     
  3. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #3
  4. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    The dual camera setup on the 8+ is all about 1) 2x zoom and 2) portrait mode. The smaller iPhone 8 has OIS, and the standard camera on both phones are identical. The telephoto lens allows you to take photos at 2x without any loss in quality, but it only works in good lighting (in low light, it still using the standard camera and would be identical to the regular iPhone 8). The Portrait mode is very nice, but not everyone needs it. I personally use it quite a bit, but it's not very good in low light either (because of the slower f2.8 lens). It's not just for photos of people either, you can use it on objects with varying success.

    If camera quality is paramount, then go of the 8 Plus. If you don't think these differences will matter too much, then go for the 8 because of the smaller form factor. Then again, the 8 Plus will have significantly better battery life too, so there's that...
     
  5. Irock619 macrumors 68000

    Irock619

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    #5
    The difference is optical zoom vs digital. With the 8 zooming is all digital. The 8+ has optical telephoto zoom, which means way better image quality. Anything beyond 2x zoom is digital however.
     
  6. Starfyre thread starter macrumors 68030

    Starfyre

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    #6
    2x is a joke. 3x should be the minimum. This may be a dumb question, but if you use portrait mode, but don’t want your background blurred... will having both the wide angle and telephoto provide a clearer picture? (I’m thinking wide angle can focus on subject, and telephoto could focus on the background to enhance quality of the merged photo. Is that how it works?)
     
  7. jharvey71884 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Sorry, I missed this thread. If all I care about is video, the two should be identical correct?
     
  8. drzen macrumors regular

    drzen

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    #8
    When I need to zoom or take portraits I will use my mirrorless camera. Real bokeh from good glass looks way better than any fake blur that the tiny lens + software can create.

    So, I got the regular 8.
     
  9. Rigby, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017

    Rigby macrumors 601

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    #9
    If you use portrait mode, the background (and since the iPhone 8 also the foreground) will be blurred to simulate a low depth of field (which professional photographers achieve by using specific focal lengths and aperture settings on their camera). That's its purpose.
    No, they cannot be combined like that.

    In portrait mode, the dual cameras are used to compute depth information (similar to how humans and animals can judge distances because they have two eyes that see the subject from slightly different angles). The camera software on the phone then artificially blurs the image elements that are further away or closer than the subject to get the depth-of-field effect. It's neat, but often doesn't look natural because the depth mapping isn't perfect.
     
  10. fs454, Sep 22, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017

    fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #10
    It's not a joke. Cameras aren't measured by their zoom capability. And regardless, there's a huge difference between a 28mm (the wide lens on the 8, 8+) and a 56mm (the tele lens).

    I mean, if it's a joke, your decision has been made up - go buy the 8. But I implore you to take a look at how cameras actually work, and how Apple has implemented portrait mode to work like much larger, more professional cameras. When shooting portrait mode pictures, the blur is adjustable AFTER the fact as well, if you really have some odd general dislike of it. Nobody is forcing it on you, but it's pretty weird to sit around calling it a joke when it's one of the largest advancements in mobile photography - arguably photography in general - of our time.

    You can't argue with the fact that this killer photo (by Austin Mann, on an 8 Plus) is a substantial grade above what you can achieve with a standard, wide, tiny sensor camera like the iPhone 8. It uses the two cameras to "see in 3D" in order to create a depth map, and is ridiculously impressive. I am a career photographer and this is what I and lots of others in the business are pumped about.
    [​IMG]
    --- Post Merged, Sep 22, 2017 ---

    Sure it looks better, but your mirrorless is not in your pocket. It's been said a million times, the best camera is the camera you have with you - and 100% of the time that'll be your iPhone. I've gotten some of my best shots from an iPhone because it's going to be in my pocket no matter the situation, and the dual camera system massively bolsters the capabilities of your 100% always-on-you pocket camera. If your priorities or desires in a device don't align with wanting that, that's why they make the 8 - but the average Joe getting pretty close results to a real DSLR/mirrorless + 50mm lens with no equipment is both impressive and useful to many. This computational photography thing is here to stay and what we've seen out of Apple is the tip of the industry iceberg in terms of what we'll see moving forward.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 22, 2017 ---
    For the most part, yes. The 7 Plus and 8 Plus don't have OIS on the longer lens, so it becomes a bit of an undesirable look with the longer lens and no hardware stabilization. To see realistic telephoto benefits for video you'd have to jump to the X which has both OIS and a faster 2.4 aperture on the long lens, or use a handheld rig/stabilizer with the 7/8 Plus when going long.
     
  11. Danbrown521 macrumors regular

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    #11
    I bought my wife a iPhone 8 today. I was setting it up for her and started messing around with the camera. I have a 7+. And I couldn’t imagine using pinch to some again. And when I did zoom in the quality of the photos degraded quickly. I’m either sticking with my 7+ or getting the X. Just my opinion tho.
     
  12. drzen macrumors regular

    drzen

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    #12
    No arguments here about convenience of form factor and ease of use. We are certainly headed into an era where the performance gap between "real" cameras and phone cameras will rapidly shrink. And the iPhone 8 (/8 Plus) has made huge advancements with the new Apple Image Signal Processor.

    However, the artifacting at edges etc still will need more than a couple of updates to clear away. It's a bit of a stretch to say you're getting "pretty close to DSLR/Mirrorless with a 50mm". I still find 3-Dimensionality lacking in the computational blur.
     
  13. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    #13

    For sure, for sure. I shoot for a living and totally get that we're not quite there, but for the majority of non-photographers it's nearly there and I bet most would be hard pressed to identify the artifacting and anything related to three dimensionality of the blurred out regions. The emotional response to the photo happens far before the technical analyzation in the mind of your average non-photog - like that shot above that I posted. Sure, the top of his head doesn't look quite right under technical scrutiny, but I don't think the same photo captured with the 8's standard 28mm equivalent lens would have captured the same type of compelling image, and I'd be hard pressed to say myself, an A7rII and a nice 50mm could do that much more justice to the scene to justify carrying it around 24/7.

    I'm just obsessed with versatility - when I don't have my kit on me, being able to have this tool always on me that can make images of this caliber at a moment's notice is awesome.
     
  14. Starfyre thread starter macrumors 68030

    Starfyre

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    #14
    2x on a camera is a joke, when many digital cameras have at least 3x optical zoom as the standard. Cameras are evaluated against their zoom capability (maybe not as much as others) more optical zoom means higher quality photos without cropping with far subjects. There are cameras with at least 16x optical zoom too. Digital zoom is useless, we've had to 'accept the fact' with the iPhone and other camera phones because there is just no room for optical zoom, but this really should be better for future phones.

    I can't argue with the quality of that photo, but that guy who took it must have gotten very close to the kid to be able to take that photo.
     
  15. Nozuka macrumors 68020

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  16. fs454 macrumors 68000

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    Lol. He was 5-7 feet away - that's pretty damn reasonable. Zoom is not everything. Use your feet - that's what photographers do. Cameras worth any money or time these days are not measured in *x optical zoom, and it's an absolute mistake to think about a camera purchase in this way over its other features or qualities. A photographer would likely pick a 50mm lens over slapping a 200mm zoom on for the kid photo anyways - one can't expect to just stand in one place and fire off amazing pictures.

    I highly, highly doubt Apple or anyone for that matter is going to throw in a lens longer than 56mm in the next 5-7 years. This, right now, is like owning a DSLR or mirrorless with a 28mm f1.8 and a 56mm f2.8 lens without actually owning any of that stuff, which is pretty nice.
     
  17. PBz macrumors 68020

    PBz

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    #17
    I use iPhone heavily for photos, including post-adjustments. I personally never zoom. Maybe i would like it.. just never really do with my phone.
     
  18. dallas112678 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    The gap won't close. A bigger sensor will ALWAYS be better than a smaller sensor, and you'll always have a smaller sensor in a phone.

    DSLR's aren't just about bokeh, they are also about low light performance, and as good as the sensor in the iPhone is, it will always be significantly noisier in low light compared to a DSLR. This doesn't even mention the issue of quickly acquiring focus, which again, is much harder in low light.
     
  19. oplix Suspended

    oplix

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    #19
    there is virtually no difference now that the single has OIS. you are basically comparing two identical cameras where one has a second, lower quality camera. A lower quality camera + an identical camera does not equal a better camera.
     
  20. Starfyre thread starter macrumors 68030

    Starfyre

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    Feet can't get you closer to the peak of that tower on a skyscraper looking from street level. Feet can't get you closer to the small fuzzy animal that you don't want to scare away, yet take an up close photo of. Only a camera with high optical zoom can do that. Though I can see what you mean as DSLRs dont normally have that kind of zoom anyways... maybe I am just spoiled with Sony Cybershot's that have that kind of capability.

    About the portrait mode blur, you mentioned that it's adjustable. So based on that statement, if I take an iPhone 8 (no telephoto lens) and take a pic of a subject with a nice background, it should be worse than the same photo taken with a telephoto camera, because while I am taking a picture of the subject, the wide angle is focusing on the subject while telephoto is focusing on the background. I can adjust the telephoto to not blur at all and give me a sharp image as if I had focused both on the subject and the background. Is what I just described accurate?
     
  21. drzen macrumors regular

    drzen

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    #21
    Here's how it works: The single wide angle lens found on the 8 (and on the Plus as well) has a bigger aperture, f/1.8 that lets in more light. The telephoto lens has a narrower aperture, f2.8, and so it will let in less light. So the main lens is the better lens of the two for low light shooting. When you shoot wide angle with the main lens, you get more depth of field, and so the background is also in focus along with the subject (relatively speaking). The closer you get to the subject, especially if the background is far away, the more blur you will get in the background, even without using any software blur.

    When you use a telephoto lens, and you're at quite a distance from the subject, it will blur out the background a lot more than the normal lens. Most professional portrait shots (that the iPhone is emulating now) are taken at quite a distance from the subject, with the background also being quite far behind, using a short to medium telephoto lens.
     
  22. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #22
    Respectfully it not only sounds like your mind is made up, you’re asking more from the technology than what exists today, if I’m not mistaken.

    I’d say, based on your responses, you will be just as happy with the 8 as the 8 plus in terms of the camera.
     
  23. Starfyre thread starter macrumors 68030

    Starfyre

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    #23
    Sorry I am a newbie when it comes to DSLR cameras. I am a fan of cameras like this, that I have used like this one: https://www.sony.com/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-hx80 that i get amazing photos from, and the optical zoom to be able to get in close to animals and the tips of skyscrapers without losing quality is amazing. I never really understood why an SLR with such amazing ability to take high quality photos would not have higher optical zoom levels... until now. Take a look at this H400. 63X optical zoom.

    https://www.sony.com/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-h400

    I think I may be missing something here given my experiences with these cameras, I am sure there is more to it. Zooming aside, which the tech is obviously not there for that kind of zoom in the form factor we have our current phones. Though if the telephoto lens makes images look better (focused, not blurred), I would be convinced.

    Simplest way would be to see photos taken using the 8 vs the 8+, but unfortunately we don't have any comparison photos that I've seen to date anywhere on this subject so.. I am just interpreting what I am reading hoping I get it right.

    If they are identical as you say with or without the telephoto lens, and the photo quality is indeed identical, then the 8 for it's form factor would be more preferred. Though it sounds like the telephoto lens has better focusing for distant subjects and is used to enhance (non-blurred photo quality), so the 8+ should theoretically edge out the 8... would be really nice to see how much of a difference it makes.
     
  24. lordofthereef macrumors G5

    lordofthereef

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    #24
    No need to be sorry at all. I just think that the reality is that there isn’t a better zoom on the market right now.

    I can understand wanting more (hell I want more lol, and in fact the camera was the only upgrade I saw in the 7 plus over my 6s plus and ultimately wasn’t worth another $750 to me).
     

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23 September 21, 2017