iPhone 11 Pro Just for the camera, is it worth upgrading from XS Max to 11 pro Max?

gdourado

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 22, 2010
426
57
Hello, how are you?

Currently I have a XS Max.
I really love the phone.
It has great performance. It’s fast, no lag and has a great screen.

But I have the chance to pick up an 11 Pro Max for a good deal. It is cheaper than MSRP, but it will still cost me a fair bit out of pocket once I manage to sell my XS Max.

The only reason I thinking about pulling the trigger on the 11 Pro Max is the camera.
My iPhone is always with me and as such it is my main device to take pictures.

I am not super excited about the ultra wide, because I mostly take pictures of people, but I would use it on landscapes and more creative point of views, but it wouldn’t be the main interest.

So I am looking at improvements on camera quality and auto focus.
Since the other aspects of the phone would be mostly identical to my XS Max and the user experience pretty much the same, is the camera a good reason to upgrade?

If you made a similar switch, what are your thoughts?

Thanks.
Cheers
 

Beards

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2014
938
377
Derbyshire UK
I can see why you ask as it is a tricky question.
Many would say it would be foolish to upgrade your phone from last years model purely based on the camera.... However, I actually agree with your question.
I came from an XS Max thinking there would not be that great a difference in camera quality.... How wrong I was!
I take a lot of shots at night and the difference is staggering. Not only that but third-party developers have added the 11 Pro & Max to their titles and again those three lens have been added wisely.

Okay, I upgraded from an XS Max to an 11 Pro Max but I did not base that solely on the camera. However, having used the camera on the 11 Pro Max I would in your case still upgrade.
 

Freakonomics101

macrumors 68020
Nov 6, 2014
2,475
1,567
I can see why you ask as it is a tricky question.
Many would say it would be foolish to upgrade your phone from last years model purely based on the camera.... However, I actually agree with your question.
I came from an XS Max thinking there would not be that great a difference in camera quality.... How wrong I was!
I take a lot of shots at night and the difference is staggering. Not only that but third-party developers have added the 11 Pro & Max to their titles and again those three lens have been added wisely.

Okay, I upgraded from an XS Max to an 11 Pro Max but I did not base that solely on the camera. However, having used the camera on the 11 Pro Max I would in your case still upgrade.
You forgot to mention battery life too lol
 

akash.nu

macrumors 604
May 26, 2016
7,897
8,838
I came from the Xs max to the 11 Pro. If you’re a serious mobile photographer then definitely worth every penny for me. Night / low light shots are unbelievable. Here are a couple of examples for you.

I could never imagine that shot with a phone. This is handheld by the way.



This one was handheld as well.



As you can imagine these are really low light conditions.



This one was pitch dark.





And this one was pitch dark as well!

 
Last edited:

sean000

macrumors 68000
Jul 16, 2015
1,600
1,943
Bellingham, WA
For me the ultrawide was worth the upgrade, but since you aren't excited about ultrawide it's a tougher call. The ultrawide still provides some benefits... like the ability to straighten your 1x shots without the need to crop the frame. I upgraded from the iPhone X, so low light performance is significantly better. It may not be as dramatic coming from the XS, but you would gain Night Mode... which (as akash.nu demonstrates) is impressive. I'm not sure I'd say autofocus is dramatically improved. It's supposed to be faster and maybe it is, but I'm used to an Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II which is pretty much instantaneous even in low light. My iPhone 11 Pro still hunts for AF in low light if it can't find good contrast. The iPhone 11 also gives you Deep Fusion and a higher resolution selfie cam with slow motion capability (which is definitely a gimmick, but it's a fun gimmick... at least for awhile).

I photograph my kids a lot, including indoors and in low light. The iPhone 11 Pro is the first smartphone camera I've had that doesn't make me feel the need to run for my Olympus in low light. The low light shots retain a good amount of detail. Yes I will still get better results using my Olympus with its larger sensor and an f/1.8 prime attached (especially if my subjects are moving), but the iPhone 11 yields nice results. Much better than the X, but maybe not as much of an improvement from the XS.

If autofocus and image quality in low light are your biggest pain points, I'd say you will be pleased with the improvements in low light. I'm not sure the gains in autofocus are so noticeable.
 

fred98tj

macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2017
564
376
Central Luzon, Philippines
Hello, how are you?

Currently I have a XS Max.
I really love the phone.
It has great performance. It’s fast, no lag and has a great screen.

But I have the chance to pick up an 11 Pro Max for a good deal. It is cheaper than MSRP, but it will still cost me a fair bit out of pocket once I manage to sell my XS Max.

The only reason I thinking about pulling the trigger on the 11 Pro Max is the camera.
My iPhone is always with me and as such it is my main device to take pictures.

I am not super excited about the ultra wide, because I mostly take pictures of people, but I would use it on landscapes and more creative point of views, but it wouldn’t be the main interest.

So I am looking at improvements on camera quality and auto focus.
Since the other aspects of the phone would be mostly identical to my XS Max and the user experience pretty much the same, is the camera a good reason to upgrade?

If you made a similar switch, what are your thoughts?

Thanks.
Cheers
How can anyone decide for you if it’s “worth it”. That’s a 100% subjective opinion and, as such, only you can know. It’s your money. Silly to ask a bunch of strangers how yo should or should not spend your money.
Cheers :)
 
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jschnee21

macrumors member
Sep 26, 2018
51
25
Wait for the 12 and get an even better camera. Qualcomm chipset, and 5G.

Or take that $1400 burning a hole in your pocket and buy a real camera.



Ideally with the 16-50mm

They used to bundle the two for $1200-1400. Outstanding combination.
 
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ifanme

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2014
114
3
macforums
Hello, how are you?

Currently I have a XS Max.
I really love the phone.
It has great performance. It’s fast, no lag and has a great screen.

But I have the chance to pick up an 11 Pro Max for a good deal. It is cheaper than MSRP, but it will still cost me a fair bit out of pocket once I manage to sell my XS Max.

The only reason I thinking about pulling the trigger on the 11 Pro Max is the camera.
My iPhone is always with me and as such it is my main device to take pictures.

I am not super excited about the ultra wide, because I mostly take pictures of people, but I would use it on landscapes and more creative point of views, but it wouldn’t be the main interest.

So I am looking at improvements on camera quality and auto focus.
Since the other aspects of the phone would be mostly identical to my XS Max and the user experience pretty much the same, is the camera a good reason to upgrade?

If you made a similar switch, what are your thoughts?

Thanks.
Cheers
The night shots on Pro Max are really impressive but the daytime they're almost similar so I wouldn't advice you to upgrade, and better wait for new models and there rumors that there are many things coming in new models, eg (camera, 5G, battery, processor, design and more) ...
The main thing and difference which I liked the most in Pro Max is battery duration, it lasts much longer with heavy use than XS Max.