iPhone 8/8 Plus/ X Camera Performance

AKS3003

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2017
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This discussion is related to the primary wide angle camera on the back of an iPhone. Not the telephoto lens. Not the front facing camera.

Apple has been using the same sized sensor for the previous three generations of the iPhone, that is, the iPhone 6/6+, the iPhone 6S/6S+ and the iPhone 7/7+. They all use a 1/3" sensor but with different pixel sizes.

The iPhone 6 had a 8MP with a pixel size of 1.5um and f/2.2 aperture. Also, Apple added OIS to the plus model. This Combination of large pixel size along with OIS allowed the iPhone 6 Plus to take great photos at that time. The low light performance was significantly better than anything that came before it.

With the iPhone 6S family, Apple moved to a newer sensor with a resolution of 12MP, but the pixel size came down to 1.22um. The aperture remained the same at f/2.2. While the image quality in good lighting remained about the same, low light image quality took a hit, especially on the smaller model, with no OIS.

With the iPhone 7 family apple introduced a larger aperture, at f/1.8 and added OIS to the regular model as well, but left everything else the same. So the resolution remained at 12MP with a pixel size of 1.22um. Apple claimed that the iPhone 7 allowed 50% more light than the iPhone 6S. This was due to the larger aperture and OIS, since the sensor remained the same. The image quality under good lighting conditions remained about the same, but the low light capabilities saw a significant improvement over the 6S.

Meanwhile companies like Samsung, Google and LG stepped up their camera game. Samsung started using a larger 1/2.5" sensor with a 1.4um pixel size along with a f/1.7 aperture, and OIS in the S7/S7 edge. This allowed these two phones to leapfrog the iPhone 7/7+ in terms of image quality. The pictures from the S7/Edge were much better than those of the iPhone 7.
LG introduced a 16MP sensor with 1.12um pixel size, f/1.8 and OIS.
Then came Google with its Pixel/XL with a 12.3MP 1/2.3" sensor with a pixel size of f/1.55um, f/2.0 aperture and no OIS. Despite a smaller aperture and no OIS compared the the iPhone 7, the pixel blows it out of the water in low light. Daylight performance is also significantly better.
The iPhone went from being a market leader in camera performance to a laggard, when compared to these phones.

But this might change from the iPhone 8 onwards. The new iPhones, 8/8+/X have a new sensor that is larger and faster. Phil Schiller mentioned in the keynote that the cameras on the new iPhones allow 83% more light. This is a huge jump, especially when the aperture size has remained the same at f/1.8. I believe apple has moved to a pixel size of 1.4um from 1.22um in the iPhone 7, though I'm hoping they've increased it to 1.5um. if the pixel size is indeed 1.5um, expect stellar camera performance from all the three models from this year. Even 1.4um will be a significant step up. Combine this with a new custom designed Image Signal Processor and deeper pixels(whatever that means), this year's iPhone might have the best camera out of all phones this year.

I was surprised how little time apple gave to the main camera in the keynote. They were busy harping about the portrait lighting feature. Most people think that the difference in camera performance between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 is going to be insignificant, but I think otherwise. Your thoughts on this, people.
 

jmtks

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2017
25
7
I'm also very interested in the camera quality on the 8 plus - the discussions/demos on the precise user end improvements of the camera seems to be a consistent oversight, and one that I really want clarified.
 

AKS3003

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2017
63
96
Exactly. I think this time around, Apple spent the least time talking about the main camera in any keynote. They never explained deeper pixels. So far I have been unable to find any explanation
 
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Nozuka

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Jul 3, 2012
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i agree, we might be in for a surprise.

but i prefer to keep my expectations low.

we'll see soon. reviews should come out next week.
 
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AKS3003

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2017
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All I read here is specs specs specs.

The ISP, and the hardware noise reduction are key.

I think Apple is under promising and over delivering this year.

I agree with you. Look what Google managed to do on the Pixel. Their HDR+ mode is remarkable. But even then there's no replacement for actual hardware when it comes to photography.
I hope with the new ISP on the iPhone and larger sensor, it is at least able to match the Pixel.
 
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Not_Set_On_iPhone

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2017
4
4
I am hopeful and the only reason I would upgrade from a 6s to an 8 is for a significant camera upgrade. I will wait for the youtube and blog reviews.
 

iSayBoourns

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Sep 15, 2017
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813
Exactly. I think this time around, Apple spent the least time talking about the main camera in any keynote. They never explained deeper pixels. So far I have been unable to find any explanation
They explained what deep pixels are back when they first “introduced” it with the iPhone 6s/6s+ camera (or maybe it was the 7/7+)

If I remember correctly, it means that there is very little to zero colour bleed between the red/green/blue channels in each pixel.

The iPhone 8/8+/10 camera has the same tech but now “even deeper pixels”.
 
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Sparky2012

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Jul 16, 2012
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I am also very interested in the new camera system of the latest iPhones. I thought the 6s had quite a poor camera especially in low light as you said OP. I did like the 7 camera due to the OIS they implemented, but I still think Samsung produced better images in low light, and maybe a bit sharper in daylight (nothing significant). The Google Pixel amazed me since it didn't have OIS but yet performed amazingly well in low light, even better than the Samsung imo.

Either way, the 8 camera system with 83% more light, and larger sensor and pixels is sounding promising, combine that with the new ISP which focuses faster, is better at lowlight, and has hardware noise reduction and this is possibly going to be a massive camera upgrade. I'm explicitly looking out for reviews coming this week that show how the camera performs.
 

reallynotnick

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2005
921
409
Yeah I'm pretty excited for a new camera coming from an iPhone 6 pretty much whatever the 8 does should be a very nice improvement. Really happy I'll be getting OIS finally.
 

AKS3003

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2017
63
96
They explained what deep pixels are back when they first “introduced” it with the iPhone 6s/6s+ camera (or maybe it was the 7/7+)

If I remember correctly, it means that there is very little to zero colour bleed between the red/green/blue channels in each pixel.

The iPhone 8/8+/10 camera has the same tech but now “even deeper pixels”.
That was Deep Trench Isolation as far as I remember. It was introduced with the iPhone 6S. I don't know whether deeper pixels is just an enhancement over it or is it something entirely different, like deeper colours, meaning 10-bit colours.
 

iSayBoourns

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Sep 15, 2017
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That was Deep Trench Isolation as far as I remember. It was introduced with the iPhone 6S. I don't know whether deeper pixels is just an enhancement over it or is it something entirely different, like deeper colours, meaning 10-bit colours.
Pretty sure it’s just an enhancement on that. Because they literally just said “deeper pixels” when they glossed over it in the keynote. Leading me to with near certainty believe it’s just that.
 

ANDJOE

macrumors regular
Aug 3, 2010
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HEIC can support better than 8-bit (which is great) but I don’t think that’s what they are referring to with “deeper pixels”.
[doublepost=1505710489][/doublepost]Here is one explanation: https://twitter.com/Benoit_Dupont/status/907726047579394050
He says it’s related to the amount of electrons devoted to each pixel. Kinda sorta like bit depth but for energy not just 0s and 1s.
 

AKS3003

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2017
63
96
HEIC can support better than 8-bit (which is great) but I don’t think that’s what they are referring to with “deeper pixels”.
[doublepost=1505710489][/doublepost]Here is one explanation: https://twitter.com/Benoit_Dupont/status/907726047579394050
He says it’s related to the amount of electrons devoted to each pixel. Kinda sorta like bit depth but for energy not just 0s and 1s.
Lets see what that translates to in real life. I'm just hoping apple has put a flagship standard camera in this years iPhones. If not, then I don't know what are they saving it for. Apple certainly has the resources to churn out the best camera in the market. 800 engineers working on just the camera is no joke
 

Sparky2012

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Jul 16, 2012
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Lets see what that translates to in real life. I'm just hoping apple has put a flagship standard camera in this years iPhones. If not, then I don't know what are they saving it for. Apple certainly has the resources to churn out the best camera in the market. 800 engineers working on just the camera is no joke
I'd be very disappointed if this camera does not compete in all aspects with the new flagship cameras. And as you say, it's not like resources aren't put in to the camera with 800+ engineers.
 
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Patrick P

macrumors member
Dec 5, 2016
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I watched a video about the camera. The man in the video said it was difficult to find out but it has something to do with dynamic range if I remember correctly
 

roeiz

macrumors 65816
Sep 13, 2010
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aren't there any new original photos from the 8 phones yet?
if some people got them for a review we should find uploaded photos somewhere?
 

pat500000

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Jun 3, 2015
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I care about user's experience....how's the low light video recording? Something like isn't being talked about.
 

AKS3003

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 17, 2017
63
96
So far most reviewers have said that the iPhone 8 has a much improved camera. It produces images that have saturated colours. Not overly saturated colours like the one from Samsung flagships, but definitely a lot more saturated than say the iPhone 7. The pictures are sharper and have improved dynamic range. Also HDR mode is always on now, no way to turn it off, something like the Pixel. Slow sync flash is really nice as well
 

Sparky2012

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2012
466
255
United Kingdom
So far most reviewers have said that the iPhone 8 has a much improved camera. It produces images that have saturated colours. Not overly saturated colours like the one from Samsung flagships, but definitely a lot more saturated than say the iPhone 7. The pictures are sharper and have improved dynamic range. Also HDR mode is always on now, no way to turn it off, something like the Pixel. Slow sync flash is really nice as well
Also seems to be less noise in photos and videos from what I've read in some articles.
 

vngannxx

macrumors member
Nov 22, 2009
57
167
Can someone provide the exif for the wide and telephoto iPhone 8 photos? We can check the increase in sensor size.
 
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Vanilla35

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Apr 11, 2013
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Also seems to be less noise in photos and videos from what I've read in some articles.
Would be curious to hear more about this. I understand their ability to tweak saturation, sharpness, HDR, etc, because that's all software), but noise reduction aside from minor software changes, would normally be done from hardware changes.

I'm awaiting my iPhone 8 from delivery.
 

AndyDiamond

macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2004
364
320
The Black Lodge
The main thing I'm hoping for (across all new models) is that Apple's awful noise reduction (read 'smearing') has been improved. It really ruins images.

Of course Apple has not provided original 1:1 photo samples from any of the new phones yet so it is impossible to tell the actual image quality from the reduced-sized promo shots featured on most websites.
As soon as a new phone is released the camera samples should be made available to view in their original resolution so we can see the improvements etc.
[doublepost=1505873320][/doublepost]
Here’s a good camera focused review I saw posted on twitter.

http://austinmann.com/trek/iphone-8-camera-review-india
This guy has done a pre-release review for a few years now. Those are nice pics.

But still - NO 1:1 hi-res shots to actually check!
Please,
SOMEBODY!
 
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