Why the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X will be the phone of choice for photographers in 2017 and beyond
September 12, 2017
New iPhone 8 camera – Improved sensors
During the Apple Keynote event in Cupertino, Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc. conceded that every time a new iPhone is announced, the camera functionality is one of the most anticipated iPhone spec reveals of all. This release was no exception. Apple’s engineers have been hard at work and have produced an all-new 12MP sensor for the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X.
The 4.7-inch iPhone 8 gets an upgraded 12MP camera with a new colour filter array and what Apple is calling “deeper pixels”. We are curious to see whether Apple means that the pixels are actually larger or whether this is just marketing speak. We’ll be able to confirm either way once we find out the physical size of the new sensor. It was announced that the all-new iPhone 8 sensor provides “83% more light (not gathers) and is more power efficient than the previous model, making it faster and less draining on the battery. The iPhone 8 camera is also has optical image stabilisation.
New iPhone 8 Plus camera – Dual 12MP cameras
For those who are looking for a more advanced camera experience and a larger device, the iPhone 8 Plus has a 5.5-inch screen and gains a dual camera setup. Both of the iPhone 8 Plus’s cameras are 12MP, both have OIS, the difference? One has a wide-angle lens and the other has a telephoto lens, with f1.8 and f2.8 apertures respectively.
The combination of dual cameras on the iPhone 8 Plus make it possible for users to zoom optically, as well as digital zoom of up to 10x for photos and 6x during video recording. The iPhone X also has dual 12MP cameras but gets a brighter f2.4 telephoto lens.
New iPhone X camera – TrueDepth sensor array
The iPhone X not only has a better rear-facing or main camera setup, it also offers Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting Mode for selfies in its 7MP front-facing camera.
The tiny space on the front of the iPhone X houses an advanced array of camera and sensor technology, the same technology the Apple is using in the iPhone X’s Face ID security feature. This enables the iPhone X to 3D map the faces of its users, for accurate focusing and augmented reality features.
New iPhone 8 camera – Portrait Lighting Mode
One of the key features mentioned in the Apple keynote was that the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X will benefit from Apple’s Portrait Lighting Mode. Portrait Mode was introduce with the iPhone 7 so what can the new Portrait Lighting Mode offer you in the new iPhone 8?
Using more accurate machine learning, the new iPhone 8 camera can detect the scene and isolate a face, with what it calls “facial landmarking”, allowing users to adjusted the lighting effects on faces, either using preset modes or manually. The mode can detect the contours of faces during picture taking and apply lighting adjustments, by analysing the lighting falling onto your subject’s face. The lighting can also be adjusted after the picture has been taken.
New iPhones – Improved processing
Now with “no shutter lag” the new iPhone 8 is said to enable users to never miss a moment. The improvement in camera power is due to the new Apple A11 Bionic chipset, using a 64-bit 6-core design. Two of the performance cores in the iPhone 8’s A11 Bionic chip are 25% faster than the previous industry-leading A10 chip. The other four high-efficiency cores are 70% faster than those in the A10.
Apple has produced its own new GPU, which is 30% faster than the GPU in the previous iPhone. The A11 Bionic chip also features a new Image Signal Processing unit, which is said to deliver faster autofocus in lowlight, improved pixel processing for sharper images. Additionally, the iPhone 8’s ISP features hardware-enabled multi-band noise reduction, delivering cleaner images in challenging lighting conditions.
New iPhone 8 camera – Better True Tone flash
For when you need to shed a bit more light on your subject, the new quad True Tone flash with Slow Sync promises to produce more evenly lit pictures, with a bright foreground and well-exposed background. This is thanks to the new Slow Sync functionality, which combines a slow shutter speed with a short strobe pulse for 40% more light uniformity.
New iPhone 8 camera – New filters and effects
Both photos and videos will now have access to more filters than before, including effects for long exposure and more natural skin tones, while Live Photos can now be turned into video loops, like Instagram’s Boomerang.
New iPhone 8 camera – Improved video
The new camera is promising the best video performance on any phone to date, thanks to improved video stabilisation 4K video up to 60fps and 1080p slo-mo up to 240fps. Apple’s own video encoder also claims to provide real-time image and motion analysis to ensure the sharpest quality video at all times.
New iPhones – iOS 11 will let you take more photos than before
With iOS 11, both phones – and any iPhone with the software installed for that matter, will support HEIF and HEVC formats for photos and videos, for the same quality photos as before at half the file size.
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New iPhones – Decisions, decisions
Apple’s overhauled camera design in the new iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X looks set to deliver, faster focusing, improved performance in lowlight, sharper images with greater and more accurate colour saturation. Pricing for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus starts at £699 and £799 respectively with pre-orders from September 15th. While the iPhone X starts at £999 and will ship on November 3rd.
Clearly designed with photographers and image makers in mind, will any of these new phones from Apple be your next smartphone?
Tell us which one and why in the comments below or on our social media channels.