The iPhone 8 camera has far exceeded my expectations and I want to explain how.
As someone who considers the camera to be one of the most important features of a new iPhone I always had the expectation that the iPhone 8 would be an improvement over previous iPhones. I knew the sensor was larger and it has 12 megapixels, the same megapixels as the iPhone 7 – and this is where I went wrong.
I thought because the megapixels had not increased then the improvements would be minor. After using the iPhone 8 for a number of weeks I quickly realised I was wrong.
How I was wrong
I am finding the photos I am capturing are much sharper, vivid and lighting and exposure are substantially improved. Unexpectedly, I am also finding noise reduction to be much better. As an example, I captured this photo during sunset over Parramatta Road in Sydney with minimal effort.
I decided to dig deeper into the iPhone 8 camera and have learnt a number of things which made me understand why photos (and videos) are much better.
In summary here is what I found:
- The A11 chip detects elements in a scene before I take my photos from people to motion and lighting. It then optimises settings before capture
- Noise reduction is now hardware based and not done by software
- The sensor is larger and faster
- Deeper pixels mean colours are much more vivid and don’t bleed into each other. Therefore making images sharper and generally much better
Two of the above stand out to me the most. Firstly, the A11 chip is capable of delivering a lot of pixel processing power, wide colour capture, and more. It is also so fast HDR photos is now instant. This chip is designed by Apple themselves and it shows. It is easy to forget or not realise the importance of the chip inside smartphones for performing tasks such as capturing photos or videos.
Secondly, noise reduction is now hardware based. If you have taken photos particularly in low light, you may notice some grain/fuzz in the photos – this is noise. The iPhone 8 is much better at reducing this.
Megapixels aren’t everything. I underestimated the power of the A11 chip, the new sensor and just how much those two combined would improve photos.
You can view some of my featured photos I have taken from the iPhone 8 in Australia at my Shot on iPhone 8 gallery, or below. Apple is highlighting a lot of photos taken from users around the world on their Instagram.
In the future I look forward to sharing some thoughts on the camera in the iPhone X – it has an even larger sensor and dual-lens to enable new features such as Portrait Lighting.