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CNET: 'Even high-end DSLR can't achieve the kind of exposure that iPhone 8 Can'

See my Nikon wish list and get Nikon D850 at B&H Photo.

I saw this at MacRumors, so I had better cancel my Nikon D850:

CNET photographer James Martin tested the iPhone 8 Plus camera by shooting more than 2,000 photos in San Francisco, and he was thoroughly impressed with everything from detailed textures to low-light performance.

'With the new sensor, HDR delivered better details in highlights and shadows. HDR is always on, signaling Apple's deeper commitment to computational photography with the iPhone 8 Plus. That's different than the iPhone 7 Plus, which gave you the option to set HDR to auto, off or on.'

Martin added that even his high-end DSLR cannot achieve the kind of exposure he achieved with the iPhone 8 Plus.

The garbage-quality images that the iPhone 7 Plus has produced for me over nearly a year have been impressive... for the poor quality. It’s amazing how the press is willing to quote incompetent photographers.

The iPhone 7 Plus also had “great camera”, which has turned to be poor for the 1X lens and reminiscent of 2010 point and shoot cameras for the 2X lens. Now we are to believe the same story with the iPhone 8. This is classic “emperor’s new clothes” stuff. Yes the 1X camera on the iPhone 7 Plus can produce a sort of acceptable image when dowsampled from full-res by 2X linearly (3.5 megapixels). But that's it.

The only case in which the quality can be made to work is for iPhone panoramas, and these are massivly oversampled (as one rotates the camera), and I still find I have to down sample them for acceptable pixel quality. But as to the “computational photography” point (which might well destroy photography as anything to do with reality, over time, making it untrusted as a medium), the iPhone panorama mode takes a tiny fraction of the effort of any pro camera.

Susen Z writes:

I complete agree with you on this one. The iPhone 7 Plus photo quality has been a joke to me since the beginning --- I actually turned to my D810 more and more since I got my iPhone 7+. The colors are mostly dead, grey-ish and the details are all mushy, when compared to my friends' Nexus 5X (a very inexpensive phone) or Google Pixel, it makes me wonder what Apple has been doing for the past 2 years in terms of camera/image quality. The Nexus 5X/Google Pixel has wonderful color and details with its HDR+ mode turned on, even in low light.

The 2X camera in iPhone 7+ is also not usable, since it doesn't have optical stabilization and it's actually turned off in most indoor lighting condition (the phone will use enlarged image from its 1X camera instead).

I have no interest in updating to any of the new iPhones this year because of this.

DIGLLOYD: the new iPhones are solutions in search of a problem from what I can tell, technology demonstrations that millions are willing to pay for. Well, congratulations to Apple for the success in persuading so many to part with their cash. But I feel burned on the camera thing and I’m not going to spend $1200 again on these jokers. While I’m not switching to PC or android, I’m also going to minimize my Apple purchases going forward.

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