• Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,950
14,692



Travel photographer Austin Mann often goes hands-on with new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real world situations, and with the iPhone X, he went to Guatemala to evaluate its new features and its capabilities compared to previous iPhone cameras.

austinmanniphonex.jpg

Mann loved the size of the iPhone X as a photography device. Previous Plus models, he says, have been "a bit unwieldy" and tough to operate with one hand, a problem solved with the iPhone X.

austinmanniphonex2.jpg

As for image quality, Mann was impressed by the improved telephoto lens, which features optical image stabilization for the first time and an improved aperture for better performance in low light situations. Mann says he noticed less noise, faster auto focusing, and better shutter speeds for reduced motion blur.
The lens specs for the iPhone X are 28mm @ f/1.8 and 52mm @ f/2.4 (previously, the Plus was 56mm at f/2.8.) This little tweak means the lens is half a stop faster and can let light in more quickly in low light scenarios, reducing motion blur and minimizing noise.
In a test of slow shutter effects, the iPhone X was able to significantly outperform the iPhone 7 Plus, which was two seconds slower when focusing and and capturing a moving object in low light.

Display improvements made it much easier to shoot on the iPhone in direct sunlight compared to the iPhone 8 Plus, and Mann said "colors pop, blacks are truly black, and the contrast feels just right." Mann also saw microphone improvements, and Apple told him that while it's the same microphone hardware, it's been tuned to better capture dynamics.

All in all, Mann said the upgrade to the iPhone X was the "most exciting" since he switched from the Blackberry 7230 to the original iPhone back in 2007. Mann's full review can be read over at his website.

austinmanniphonex3.jpg

Separately, DxO also published its iPhone X test results this morning, giving the iPhone X's camera a score of 97. That beats out the iPhone 8 Plus at 94, but comes in just under the Pixel 2's score of 98.

iphonexdxomark.jpg

The iPhone X received what DxO says are the best results so far for still images, with better exposure, color, texture, noise, and artifacts than competing cameras. Broken down, the iPhone X received a photo score of 101, but a video score of 89 because it struggles with under exposure, visible luminance noise, and irregularities in autofocus in poor lighting conditions.

DxO has been criticized for the subjectivity of its overall scores, but some of its category comparisons can offer up useful information when it comes to determining the best smartphone camera.

Article Link: Photographer Austin Mann Lauds iPhone X's Telephoto Lens and Size in Camera Review
 

nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,086
3,008
Tennessee
"Previous Plus models, he says, have been "a bit unwieldy" and tough to operate"

I'm shocked a photographer, used to hefty DSLRs and their lenses would ever complain about a phone being "unwieldy".
Not in the slightest. Good DSLRs and mirrorless cameras have far superior ergonomics than a rectangular slab. Handling is an important consideration for optimal results. Clearly people aren’t interested in more capable cameras these days but there is a downside to the rectangle slab.
[doublepost=1510006536][/doublepost]
Just sold my Hasselblad and Phase One cameras!
Good one! Lol.
 
Comment

jonnysods

macrumors 604
Sep 20, 2006
7,070
4,109
There & Back Again
"Previous Plus models, he says, have been "a bit unwieldy" and tough to operate"

I'm shocked a photographer, used to hefty DSLRs and their lenses would ever complain about a phone being "unwieldy".

My thoughts exactly. Using a massive telephoto lens, and then a cell phone makes photography complex for you?
 
Comment

MiBook84

macrumors regular
Nov 2, 2008
124
93
Malmö, Sweden
Surprised they didn’t complain about the pretty severe lensflare though. I hoped that would have been fixed with this iteration of the iPhone. The fake sapphire (combined with layers of glass) is probably the reason for it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NightFox
Comment

gavroche

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2007
1,394
1,412
Left Coast
"Previous Plus models, he says, have been "a bit unwieldy" and tough to operate"

I'm shocked a photographer, used to hefty DSLRs and their lenses would ever complain about a phone being "unwieldy".

What i inderstand (if im not mistaken) he was saying was the difficulty in operating it with one hand. Even heavy dslr cameras you can hold with one hand and take pictures. I didnt take it as a comment in the weifht/size per se.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mihike
Comment

applesith

macrumors 68030
Jun 11, 2007
2,670
1,180
Manhattan
I've enjoyed both cameras over the first weekend of use. My selfie game is on the next level with the new front camera.
 
  • Like
Reactions: madKIR
Comment

Giuanniello

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2012
525
142
Capri - Italy
Damn, I just bought an 800$ lens, I could have added a few more hundred and saved the hassle to carry a D-SLR... oh, wait, I might buy this guy's one, I am sure he'll get rid of his one once he got a (probably free) iPhoneX ;-)
 
Comment

tatsumi

macrumors member
Nov 12, 2015
74
91
Hah, that DxO photo rating (although I don't personally care about them) is something that can be rubbed into these angry android people's faces.
 
Comment

sledgehammer89

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2009
288
221
The same procedure as every year - some days after iPhone release, the latest iPhone camera was proven by a photographer as the best one...
 
  • Like
Reactions: TwoBytes
Comment

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,288
3,585
Twin Cities Minnesota
Having both a Pixel 2 and an iPhone X at my disposal. The one point difference is something I have a hard time quantifying. I don't agree with some of DXO's observations regarding sharpness differences, and I find the current implementation of portrait mode on the Pixel to be somewhat of a let down.

The Pixel 2 excels at HDR+ with the iPhone having sometimes overblown highlights and poor saturation in shadows at times. Video between the two is close, but I tend to favor the way OIS works on the iPhone as it has less of a Jello effect during panning.

Both are great cameras, and alongside the Galaxy phones, I simply could not choose a winner based on cameras alone.
 
Comment

prymitywista

macrumors member
Aug 12, 2014
41
73
I'm, as photographer, easly see how bad that rating is - Pixel 2 is absolutely a lot better compared to the X. Specially front-facing camera. Huge gap between these two devices.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SirRahikkala
Comment

mudflap

macrumors 6502
Aug 24, 2007
413
865
Chicago
Just a thought: Just because someone repeatedly like Apple products doesn't make him a shill. Not everything is a conspiracy. I've loved a hell of a lot of Apple products since 1983 but I have a long list of complaints as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: HopefulHumanist
Comment

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
Man, if I return my X Along with AppleCare I can buy a Leica lens....... ;)
[doublepost=1510009018][/doublepost]
Just a thought: Just because someone repeatedly like Apple products doesn't make him a shill. Not everything is a conspiracy. I've loved a hell of a lot of Apple products since 1983 but I have a long list of complaints as well.

I'm sure you would write a review of pros/cons. If you read his reviews.... seems very biased to me, and even worse, whatever is the newest is the greatest....
 
Comment

Xian Zhu Xuande

macrumors 6502a
Jul 30, 2008
900
81
"Previous Plus models, he says, have been "a bit unwieldy" and tough to operate"

I'm shocked a photographer, used to hefty DSLRs and their lenses would ever complain about a phone being "unwieldy".
Speaking for myself, I'm more comfortable handling a dedicated SLR-style-body camera than I am any of the iPhones I've owned for photography—at least for activities beyond general shooting. As someone already mentioned, there's something to be said for a device built, in terms of ergonomics and function, for a specific purpose, even if significantly heavier. The most obvious example which comes to mind is working unusual angles with a proper camera, with relevant settings mapped to intelligently placed buttons and dials, and supports like a strap, vs doing the same with an iPhone using volume buttons or a touchscreen to shoot).

Compared to the Canons and Nikons I've used before and the Olympus I use now (building on the same basic SLR-style body and ergonomics) I still feel like my iPhone X (and prior smartphones) are relatively 'unwieldy' for photography. But the iPhone is at least always with me. Not to dismiss it, though: I'm excited for it's potential in terms of photography, and thoroughly impressed by its intelligent handling of problems like a scene with wide dynamic range. I wish traditional camera makers would put more resources into further developing such software capabilities (hell, I'd be happy just to see material progress in image sharing).
 
Last edited:
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.