Comparison: iPhone X vs. iPhone 8 Plus camera quality

Posted:
in iPhone
In this video, we take a closer look at the differences, and similarities, between the rear- and front-facing cameras included in Apple's iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus.





The iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus share a number of camera hardware specifications, causing some to wonder what's different -- and what's the same -- between the two devices.

First of all, the iPhone X gets the brand new TrueDepth camera system, capable of Face ID authentication and other features like selfie portrait mode. That said, the front-facing color camera incorporated as part of TrueDepth appears to be identical to the imager in the iPhone 8 Plus, so general image quality should be the same.

The rear cameras are slightly upgraded in the iPhone X, but not by much. Both iPhones utilize 12-megapixel sensors, but the telephoto lens on the iPhone X gets optical image stabilization, meaning the camera sensor actually moves around and negates camera shake. The telephoto lens also goes from 57mm zoom to 52mm and scores a faster aperture of f/2.4 compared to f/2.8 on the 8 Plus.

Looking at Portrait Mode, the image taken by our iPhone X was out of focus, but we can see the difference in zoom between it and the photo captured by the iPhone 8 Plus. Specifically, the image coming out of the 8 plus is a slightly tighter shot.




Now with the wide lens, both photos look practically identical. We cropped in and noticed that the 8 Plus was a bit warmer than the X. This is either is a small change in software or just a slight variance in auto white balance.




Taking a selfie, the 8 Plus decided to expose the photo brighter, which looks better on the face, but completely blows out the sky. Sharpness and detail look identical, as expected.

The iPhone X of course has the new Selfie Portrait Mode feature. It looks pretty cool with all the bokeh in the back, but it also seems to blur the hair and body, which can be distracting for some people. The X also has the portrait lighting feature, which allows you to change the lighting of your face using different effects.




Moving to a regular shot captured with iPhone's wide lens, there appears to be little difference between the X and the 8 Plus. Both look very sharp.

Now with the telephoto lens, we instantly notice the difference in zoom, but there is hardly any difference in detail.




Next, we see that both HDR photos are practically identical, but they both completely destroy last year's iPhone 7 Plus.




Now onto a lowlight photo using the telephoto lens. This is where we were expecting to see a difference, and did. First of all, the faster aperture of f/2.4 versus f/2.8 increases the amount of light that goes into the sensor. Optical image stabilization allows the camera to use a slower shutter speed without blurring the image, which also increases the amount of light going into the sensor.

Both of these characteristics allow the camera to lower its ISO setting, which is used to artificially boost brightness that introduces noise, like we see in the image. The noise smears details and as you can see on the hoodie, it can mess with colors as well.




Moving on to video, detail and quality look the same, but the 8 Plus again seems to be a bit warmer. Testing autofocus, we notice that the iPhone X footage is a lot smoother with little side-to-side shake. The X also looks sharper and more detailed, likely due to motion blur inserted into the 8 Plus footage from its lack of optical image stabilization.

Interestingly, the 8 Plus seems to accomplish wide angle image stabilization better than the X. We're not sure why that could be, but it's noticeable. The 8 Plus again looks warmer, so it's beginning to look like a trend.

Now evaluating stabilization on the telephoto lens, we can instantly see that the iPhone X is superior. The 8 Plus has noticeable and distracting motion blur. We can also see just how much of a zoom difference there is between the two.

Finally, wide angle detail in low-light settings appears to be the same, but we noticed that the X had less noise and maintained image color. We noticed the same thing on the telephoto lens, with a little bit less noise on the 8 Plus.

In conclusion, there isn't much of a difference at all between the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus when using the wide lens. Sharpness and detail are the same, but we did notice that most of the 8 Plus photos were warmer. Some prefer the warmer look, but the X seems more color accurate to what you'd see in real life.

As expected, the most substantial upgrade is the iPhone X's telephoto lens. The imager's stabilization makes for a sharper image and keeps photos nice and sharp, while boosting low light image quality.

The iPhone X is definitely the clear winner here with the telephoto improvements and added features like Selfie Portrait mode.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    Is that young Travolta?
    space2001aegean
  • Reply 2 of 18
    pakittpakitt Posts: 135member
    I have an 8 plus and was recently in a trip. All selfies have a blurred background compared to the 6 I previously had. I think the front facing camera now has a lower f number, hence the depth of field is narrower, removing focus on the background. 
    Which is a pity in a way, because it is not controllable and if you take a pic in front of e.g. a monument, you are sharp but the monument is blurry.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    StrangeDaysddawson100frantisekspheric
  • Reply 4 of 18
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Sorry, but the 'redefined' term is way too popular now to be pulled back into the barn.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Have you got a better single word we should use? Cranks sitting on their lawn chairs yelling at kids to get off their lawn don’t usually get their wish. People who come up with creative solutions to problems have much better luck. And people tend to like them better. Complain less. Create more. 
  • Reply 6 of 18

    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Sorry, but the 'redefined' term is way too popular now to be pulled back into the barn.
    And I find it funny that we are being lectured on our incorrect usage of a misappropriated Japanese word. My understanding is that a pedantic Japanese language scholar could argue Bokeh isn’t the right word to describe the circles of confusion the original complainer insisted the word should be reserved for in English. 
  • Reply 7 of 18
    polymnia said:
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Have you got a better single word we should use? Cranks sitting on their lawn chairs yelling at kids to get off their lawn don’t usually get their wish. People who come up with creative solutions to problems have much better luck. And people tend to like them better. Complain less. Create more. 
    Jesus. Do you pull that same crap with your doctor when he tells you you're using the wrong words?
    spheric
  • Reply 8 of 18
    polymnia said:
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Have you got a better single word we should use? Cranks sitting on their lawn chairs yelling at kids to get off their lawn don’t usually get their wish. People who come up with creative solutions to problems have much better luck. And people tend to like them better. Complain less. Create more. 
    Jesus. Do you pull that same crap with your doctor when he tells you you're using the wrong words?
    There is a big difference between a doctor’s office where a guy with multiple degrees hanging on the wall corrects you and being on a tech rumor site, being lectured by someone with no credentials. 

    But, to extend your metaphor: what if the doctor gave me a very detailed, accurate diagnosis but described my pink rash as magenta in color. And my only comment upon receiving my plan of care was “doc, the rash is pink. WTF?”

    i find comments like the bokeh quibble so small minded. The authors here take the time to bring us interesting, well researched pieces, and that is all the commenters come up with?
  • Reply 9 of 18
    In the interest of following my own advice to complain less and create more:

    i have have noticed that accurate close focus with the iPhone X telephoto lens is rather difficult. Not surprising, tele lenses are less forgiving of sloppy focus. What is strange is that I can see the lens hunting through the focus range, and it does move through a sharp appearance before settling in on a non-sharp focus lock. 

    Ive also tried using some manual focus aids in Lightroom & Halide. The focus peaking aids don't work as well with the tele lens they do for the regular wide angle. 

    Anyone else have focus problems with the tele lens?
    edited December 2017 space2001
  • Reply 10 of 18
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    ddawson100retrogustogeorgie01spheric
  • Reply 11 of 18
    hmlongco said:
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    OMG. Commenters here are the worst.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Seriously. Thanks, Phil. I'm confused why we all suddenly started having to use the fancy (and imprecise) term.
    spheric
  • Reply 13 of 18
    polymnia said:
    hmlongco said:

    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    OMG. Commenters here are the worst.
    I think Hmlongco’s post was interesting and helpful. You may find the usage of the word ‘bokeh’ as minor and inconsequential, but why do you expect those in the photography world to bow to other’s ignorance? Words can start to mean things they didn’t initially, but why defend ignorance with such a passion?
    edited December 2017 ddawson100gatorguysphericsingularity
  • Reply 14 of 18
    sphericspheric Posts: 1,504member
    polymnia said:
    polymnia said:
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    Have you got a better single word we should use? Cranks sitting on their lawn chairs yelling at kids to get off their lawn don’t usually get their wish. People who come up with creative solutions to problems have much better luck. And people tend to like them better. Complain less. Create more. 
    Jesus. Do you pull that same crap with your doctor when he tells you you're using the wrong words?
    There is a big difference between a doctor’s office where a guy with multiple degrees hanging on the wall corrects you and being on a tech rumor site, being lectured by someone with no credentials. 

    But, to extend your metaphor: what if the doctor gave me a very detailed, accurate diagnosis but described my pink rash as magenta in color. And my only comment upon receiving my plan of care was “doc, the rash is pink. WTF?”

    i find comments like the bokeh quibble so small minded. The authors here take the time to bring us interesting, well researched pieces, and that is all the commenters come up with?
    Welcome to 2017, where words no longer have meanings. 
  • Reply 15 of 18
    georgie01 said:
    polymnia said:
    hmlongco said:

    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    OMG. Commenters here are the worst.
    I think Hmlongco’s post was interesting and helpful. You may find the usage of the word ‘bokeh’ as minor and inconsequential, but why do you expect those in the photography world to bow to other’s ignorance? Words can start to mean things they didn’t initially, but why defend ignorance with such a passion?
    Words do begin to mean things they didn’t mean originally. Try reading an English newspaper from 100 years ago. The point is this: did you understand what the author MEANT?

    If you did, then case closed. You are smarter than he is. Good for you. 

    If if you don’t, then ask for clarification.

    if you did understand and think a word choice wasn’t the best, and that’s your ONLY contribution to the discussion, please save us. 

    Its a a story on a tech blog. It’s not a an artistic research paper. Or even a photo enthusiast blog. 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    polymnia said:
    hmlongco said:
    sflagel said:
    Please stop calling a blurred background "bokeh". Bokeh is a very specific technique that converts light sources in the background into round spots, a blurred background is just depth-of-field.
    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    OMG. Commenters here are the worst.
    This forum has the most knowledgeable persons that I have visited so far and fairly reasonable too. Could you please point me to a better forum?
    gatorguy
  • Reply 17 of 18
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,464member
    polymnia said:
    georgie01 said:
    polymnia said:
    hmlongco said:

    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    OMG. Commenters here are the worst.
    I think Hmlongco’s post was interesting and helpful. You may find the usage of the word ‘bokeh’ as minor and inconsequential, but why do you expect those in the photography world to bow to other’s ignorance? Words can start to mean things they didn’t initially, but why defend ignorance with such a passion?
    Words do begin to mean things they didn’t mean originally. Try reading an English newspaper from 100 years ago. The point is this: did you understand what the author MEANT?

    If you did, then case closed. You are smarter than he is. Good for you. 

    If if you don’t, then ask for clarification.

    if you did understand and think a word choice wasn’t the best, and that’s your ONLY contribution to the discussion, please save us. 

    Its a a story on a tech blog. It’s not a an artistic research paper. Or even a photo enthusiast blog. 
    Why are you so bothered with someone with more photography knowledge than you explaining the difference between the faux digitally enhanced blur your smartphone is producing (which for clarity you could call Fokeh which IMO best describes the intent) and "bokeh" produced by a traditional SLR camera lens, what it is and what factors create it. I think his post was very appropriate. Personally I don't like misappropriated words either since as you said words mean something....  until they don't due to ignorance, laziness, marketing and other misuse of it.

    Pleather is not leather until we start using one to describe the other.  When you buy furniture you will appreciate that the two are not considered one.

    If we call every smartphone an iPhone then it devalues Apple's product when buyers think they are all one and the same. (Apple goes to great lengths to protect that word from being misused for that very reason).

    Calling digital background blur from a smartphone "bokeh" as tho there's no difference minimizes the nearly 200 year old artistry and value of photographers, and is an effort by smartphone makers to dismiss the value of SLR's and enhance the value of their own product using marketing-speak to imply your $600+ 8mm thick smartphone delivers the same results. It does not, nor are they capable of doing the same thing. Pesky physics get in the way. 
    edited December 2017
  • Reply 18 of 18
    gatorguy said:
    polymnia said:
    georgie01 said:
    polymnia said:
    hmlongco said:

    As long as we're being pedantic about it, we should cover the minor fact that Bokeh is not a technique, but a characteristic of how the out-of-focus areas in an image appear.

    A specific lens at a specific focal length at a specific f-stop focused at a specific distance has a specific DOF. Anything not in focus will be blurred to a greater or lesser extent, and the characteristics of that blur depend on the aforementioned factors. You can change those settings and get more items in and out of focus, but you can't change the bokeh.

    Lenses with more aperture blades (and thus rounder apertures) tend to produce better bokeh, but that's not the sole determining factor.
    OMG. Commenters here are the worst.
    I think Hmlongco’s post was interesting and helpful. You may find the usage of the word ‘bokeh’ as minor and inconsequential, but why do you expect those in the photography world to bow to other’s ignorance? Words can start to mean things they didn’t initially, but why defend ignorance with such a passion?
    Words do begin to mean things they didn’t mean originally. Try reading an English newspaper from 100 years ago. The point is this: did you understand what the author MEANT?

    If you did, then case closed. You are smarter than he is. Good for you. 

    If if you don’t, then ask for clarification.

    if you did understand and think a word choice wasn’t the best, and that’s your ONLY contribution to the discussion, please save us. 

    Its a a story on a tech blog. It’s not a an artistic research paper. Or even a photo enthusiast blog. 
    Why are you so bothered with someone with more photography knowledge than you explaining the difference between the faux digitally enhanced blur your smartphone is producing (which for clarity you could call Fokeh which IMO best describes the intent) and "bokeh" produced by a traditional SLR camera lens, what it is and what factors create it. I think his post was very appropriate. Personally I don't like misappropriated words either since as you said words mean something....  until they don't due to ignorance, laziness, marketing and other misuse of it.

    Pleather is not leather until we start using one to describe the other.  When you buy furniture you will appreciate that the two are not considered one.

    If we call every smartphone an iPhone then it devalues Apple's product when buyers think they are all one and the same. (Apple goes to great lengths to protect that word from being misused for that very reason).

    Calling digital background blur from a smartphone "bokeh" as tho there's no difference minimizes the nearly 200 year old artistry and value of photographers, and is an effort by smartphone makers to dismiss the value of SLR's and enhance the value of their own product using marketing-speak to imply your $600+ 8mm thick smartphone delivers the same results. It does not, nor are they capable of doing the same thing. Pesky physics get in the way. 
    I am a photographer. I am also a photo editor. I understand the distinction the pedantic commenters make. I understood the author’s meaning. I find everyone’s obsession with correcting the smallest misstatement tiresome and small minded. It’s such stereotypical nerd pugnaciousness. 

    if you care to google these forums, I’ve discussed the technical merits of Fokeh (please correct me if I use your term incorrectly) and how it is quite possible to use off-the-shelf photoshop techniques (look for Lens Blur and use a depth channel) to produce extremely convincing Bokeh (fokeh [not Gaussian blur]).

    I also own a 70-200mm f2.8 nikon lens that creates beautiful Bokeh (not Fokeh [optical effect, not in post]).

    But my point is not to say one is better than the other or that I’m smarter or dumber than anyone. My point is that a person who understands what Bokeh is (I am one of those people) can also understand the article perfectly well. We don’t get anything extra from a bunch of “well actually…” from the propeller-beanie-gallery. 
    avon b7
Sign In or Register to comment.