Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 24, 2006
Hi, wanted your opinion and help on taking better low light photos on the iPhone X.
To my eyes, some photos taken in regular photo mode in low light have been waaaaaaaay too processed by the camera, they look like noise reduction has been cranked up so high that it creates a smearing, water-colour painting effect, particularly in skin tones (See below)

I took it to an Apple store, and the lady there didn't seem to think it was a technical fault and just suggested I increase my exposure before taking low light photos. Though overall the camera is much better than my iPhone 6 before, I just expected the X to be able to handle low light photography better than this.

What do you guys think, am I expecting too much for the newest iPhone to be able to take sharper photos? If this is normal for this, are there any settings I can change to minimise this effect or different camera apps you'd recommend?

iPhone X f/1.8 1/4 4mm ISO320 (Regular photo mode, no portrait lighting effects, zoomed in approx 75%)


macrumors 68040
Oct 29, 2013
Adelaide, Australia
If you’re pixel peeping, pictures taken with any mobile phone camera are going to look soft. Especially in low light conditions.

You could try an app called PureShot. It allows you to shoot in RAW format, but that requires you to edit your photos to bring them to life. It also gives you full control of your camera.

You could also try shooting from a tripod and using your headphones as the remote, hitting the up volume button to take a photo. A mobile phone holder for a tripod is only a few bucks!


macrumors 6502
Oct 23, 2014
Pics taken with the iPhone are ok for viewing on the exact same screen you used to take them. Zoom in or display them on a large screen and you're in for a lot of disappointment - even with daylight pics. Nothing will get past the physical limitations of the tiny sensor in these phones.
  • Like
Reactions: bhodinut


macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2013
New York
There is a thread about red-eye in low light conditions and the photos also have the smearing effect. The iPhone X camera is not the best and I’m debating returning mine. I have until January 15th to decide. I’m hoping maybe a software fix can help. Apparently the 8 Plus takes much better low light photos.
It was said the the flash is located too close to the lens.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.