Apple's iPhone 7 camera tops competition despite smaller sensor in DxOMark review

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  • Reply 41 of 47
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,762member
    sog35 said:
    clemynx said:
    The iPhone camera is among the best and just 2% points of the best smartphone cameras, which means it's almost the same.
    But it still doesn't top the competition.
    The difference in resolution with the Note 7 or S7 is clearly visible with the naked eye. There is nothing wrong in saying that, Apple can't be the best in everything, but they still are among the very best in almost everything. And that's very good. But apparently some have difficulty accepting this benign reality.
    Note7 and the S7 are NOT the same class as the iPhone7. Those are much larger phones. They are phablets, 2 handed phones.

    We shall compare the 7+ to the Note7 and S7.

    The iPhone 7 is the best in class and does top the competition for 1 handed phones.


    An error on your part to make the distinction for the test results, when this is really just a customer choice in the end.

    "The HTC 10, which is currently our top-rated phone camera, and therefore still the gold medalist, was clearly designed to optimize image quality, using a large 10mm phone thickness (“Z” dimension), with an f/1.8 aperture, and a sensor whose area is 60% larger than that of the iPhone 7. This gives the HTC an image quality advantage over the iPhone 7, as confirmed by their respective DxOMark scores of 88 for the HTC 10 and 86 for the iPhone 7, but the HTC 10’s advantage comes at the expense of a thicker handset.

    Samsung also made an interesting choice by managing to pack into an equally-thin handset an f/1.7 lens and a sensor whose area is 35% larger than the iPhone 7’s sensor. This combination is what gives the Galaxy S7 Edge its DxOMark score advantage of 88 points, compared to 86 for the iPhone 7. Interestingly, Samsung chose to use a lens with a wider field-of-view to reduce the thickness of the Galaxy S7 Edge, a design choice that’s in the same direction as Sony smartphones, which also combine a larger sensor with a larger field of view.

    Tech Note: The reality of smartphone camera design is complex

    Beyond these simple considerations of first-order optics, the reality of camera design is much more complex. The success of the lens design depends as much on such constraints as the ability to keep the same sharpness in the corner of the image or tightly control the back-focal length as it does on materials science to provide optical engineers with thinner and thinner optical-quality plastics. Further, sensors have become more and more sensitive while maintaining the same size; and last but not least, ISPs  and their multi-image algorithms and tuning play a significant role in the camera’s output performance. 

    Result: Thinness AND optimal image quality

    While Apple’s flagship phones may have a smaller sensor than their competitors from Samsung and HTC, Apple has incorporated a variety of innovative technologies to create a compelling smartphone experience in a very-thin form factor. This includes high-performance lens design, efficient sensor electronics, built-in optical image stabilization, multi-image synthesis on a high-performance image processing chip, and an advanced image processing pipeline."

    What we are now seeing is a fork in the road where computational imaging and multiple sensors has that path to deeper features and potentially higher IQ while maintaining the advantages of the thin form factor of the phone. Apple in not first in the industry, but has certainly delivered a more radical solution today than earlier multiple sensor solutions, including HTC's, which essentially provides an identical imager for both color and luminance. I don't know how to measure that advantages of Apple's solution, and maybe neither does dxomark, but they as we, will certainly know it when we see it.

    Soli
  • Reply 42 of 47
    jannl said:
    That's how Apple tops the competition.
    IMO software bokeh is the wrong way to go.  Up to 3 or 4 years ago camera phones did better bokeh than what we get now with iPhone 7.
    Bokeh is rendered by the lens, not the camera. Some lenses render bokeh differently due to unique optical designs. Having said that, what phone cameras from 3 or 4 years ago are you speaking of that did better bokeh? It was my understanding Apple chose to implement the use of software to get good bokeh effect because of space limitations in the iPhone? I'm a hobbyist photographer and I can tell you there is good bokeh and really bad bokeh.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 43 of 47
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,615member
    jannl said:
    That's how Apple tops the competition.
    There are currently 6 phones with a better DxO score than the iPhone 7.  I'm not sure topping the competition is a fair remark.  Let's wait and see when further updates come and improve the camera further.  I'm especially waiting on improvements on the bokeh as it's severely lacking at the moment.  IMO software bokeh is the wrong way to go.  Up to 3 or 4 years ago camera phones did better bokeh than what we get now with iPhone 7.
    Bokeh is rendered by the lens, not the camera. Some lenses render bokeh differently due to unique optical designs. Having said that, what phone cameras from 3 or 4 years ago are you speaking of that did better bokeh?
    He might be referring to the HTC One (M8) from 2014. Perhaps there's others too that I'm not aware of. 
  • Reply 44 of 47
    gatorguy said:
    jannl said:
    That's how Apple tops the competition.
    There are currently 6 phones with a better DxO score than the iPhone 7.  I'm not sure topping the competition is a fair remark.  Let's wait and see when further updates come and improve the camera further.  I'm especially waiting on improvements on the bokeh as it's severely lacking at the moment.  IMO software bokeh is the wrong way to go.  Up to 3 or 4 years ago camera phones did better bokeh than what we get now with iPhone 7.
    Bokeh is rendered by the lens, not the camera. Some lenses render bokeh differently due to unique optical designs. Having said that, what phone cameras from 3 or 4 years ago are you speaking of that did better bokeh?
    He might be referring to the HTC One (M8) from 2014. Perhaps there's others too that I'm not aware of. 
    Hmmm, I'm familiar with the M8 and I don't recall it being able to produce real bokeh.  I'll have to look that up now that you've mentioned it.
  • Reply 45 of 47
    sog35 said:
    Here are the phones with a higher score than the iPhone7:

    HTC 10  - 5.2 inches
    Galaxy S7 - 5.1 inches
    Sony X - 5 inches
    Moto Z - 5.5 inches
    S6 Plus - 5.5 inches
    Sony Z5 - 5.2 inches

    All are significantly LARGER than the 4.7 inch iPhone. Those phones are firmly placed in the phablet category. They will be compared to the 7+

    The iPhone7 is the highest rated non-phablet phone. So yes the headline is 100% correct
    Man, you may want to lighten up on the KoolAid.

    The at these body sizes all the sensors are the same. In fact, the 7 Plus most likely has the same main sensor along with a lesser quality telephoto sensor.

    And as for your sketchy argument, the Galaxy S6 Edge is the same size as the iPhone 6s, so there you go, 100% incorrect headline.



    With that said, AI is a pro Apple site, it's ok if they lean toward Apple's side, although I do think they shouldn't do it so much that it makes Apple users look ridiculous and totally uninformed with inaccurate claims.
    edited September 2016 mac_128
  • Reply 46 of 47
    dadjimdadjim Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    can the camera record uv spectrum? if not, do you know if they filter the uv or use software?
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