Professional photographer’s take on the iPhone 8 Plus camera

As the iPhone 8 reviews come out, we will see a lot of different viewpoints discussing the various aspects of the phone. But there’s something to be said about hearing the opinion of a professional photographer talking specifically about the new camera on the iPhone 8.

And that’s exactly what Austin Mann did after going around the state of Rajasthan in India and taking hundreds of pictures with his pre-production iPhone 8 Plus and describing it all in his blog post.

The entire blog post in all its glory is linked below, but here are some of the key takeaways from it.

Mann unequivocally loved the camera on the iPhone 8 Plus, which he repeatedly found to be better than the one on the 7 Plus. He was especially impressed with the new Portrait Mode feature, especially with the introduction of the Portrait Lighting feature.

Portrait Lighting has helped breathe new life into some of the shots, letting him alter the lighting even after taking the shot as the editing is non-destructive and can be changed as many times as possible in post. Mann noted (as did other reviewers) that it does not work with 100% reliability every time, but when it does it does quite well.

Portrait Mode now supports HDR, which lets you get additional detail out of images, especially in brightly lit conditions.

Portrait Mode effect can be disabled after taking a picture now. If you don’t want the background blur, you can just disable it later.

The iPhone 8 now supports slow sync flash, which keeps the shutter open for a bit longer, letting in some of the ambient light, making the image look more natural and not as contrasty as with regular flash images.

While not mentioned explicitly, the iPhone 8 does have HDR on all the time now, resulting in much wider dynamic range in all the images.

iOS 11 now saves all images in HEIF and videos in HEVC format, which takes about half as much space as before. The phone will convert the images to an older format if shared from within iOS but if you copy images over USB, the original files are transferred, which may not be compatible with your computer, even if it is a Mac (that is, until the High Sierra update rolls out next week, which adds support for HEVC/HEIF).

I really do urge checking out the link below to see all the images. It’s quite cool what smartphone cameras can do these days and the iPhone 8 Plus camera certainly seems to be at the forefront right now. Even DxOMark seems to agree.