The iPhone 8 Camera

I just took delivery of my iPhone 8 Plus today and decided to give it a whirl out in the great outdoors, so I took a little trip to Chickies Ridge/Rock to put it through its paces. Here are some shots that are essentially right off the camera. I will note that in a few I either lowered or raised the overall exposure, cropped for straightening horizons, and for one I applied the "Noir" filter that's built right in to the camera app. Almost all other aspects of the photos have remained unchanged.

This wasn't the portrait camera, I just got super close to this bunch of fallen berries and fired off a few shots. The colors in particular are what made me stop and march into some overgrowth to get this one.

For this one, I started the panorama on the right side (pointing at the sun) in an attempt to throw the camera off, which it kind of did. Notice there are four sun flares by the rocks, some vertical banding to the right of center, and the shadows have a blue tint to them. All that to say, the camera still did an incredible job of capturing this scene and I actually really like the result!

I am definitely not a photographer, but I love the art. Playing with composition and colors and contrast and patterns has always appealed to me deeply. This camera seems almost unreal in how well it renders any given scene. Granted, I haven't tried it at night yet, but I fully intend to try that in the coming days.

Now, the Fun Stuff

I'm not sure if there's a photo you've seen recently that hasn't been doctored in some way. If you're using a service like Facebook, Instagram, or VSCO you're very likely adding a filter at least, perhaps adjusting saturation or "Clarity", or even just cropping.

The old adage when it comes to photos (and videos... and audio... and everything, I reckon) is "Garbage in, garbage out". If you take a bad picture, the odds of being able to bring it back from the brink are slim. That being said, the chances of you taking a garbage picture with the iPhone 8 camera seems highly unlikely.

Given the time, I love capturing images in Lightroom Mobile for a few reasons:

  1. It captures RAW images, like a DSLR. This means more room to make exposure and white balance changes after taking the photo, plus more detail is kept intact.
  2. Expanding upon the last point, Lightroom Mobile has an HDR mode that allows you to capture a 16-bit RAW file which has unparalleled levels of color information and detail
  3. You can use almost the entire suite of Lightroom tools right on your phone quicker and easier than on the desktop
  4. All of the aforementioned changes sync back to the desktop version, should you be a Creative Cloud subscriber

With all of that out of the way, here are a few select photos I captured with Lightroom Mobile and edited all from the new phone:

On this one, I didn't even notice until I brought it in for post-production that the camera actually even captured some bugs caught in a spiderweb on the protruding branches. Crazy!

The amount of detail you can retain in a RAW image, especially one taken by this camera, is impressive. Some random thoughts about this phone/camera:

  • 12MP is currently perfect given their goals: It's exactly the resolution needed for 4K video, and having less megapixels translates to bigger photosites on the sensor which means improved low light performance
  • I really loathe one of the marketing terms that Apple is using: "Deeper Pixels". I'd much rather they went with Deeper Color, which is a far more accurate thing to say about a still camera you're touting the HDR capabilities of
  • I wish camera manufacturers would take a lesson from Apple here and be absolutely aggressive on the software side, squeezing every last bit of performance from their purpose-made devices as possible. My $5800 Sony FS5 can't even shoot 4K60 video without hooking up a bulky external recorder and paying an additional $500 to unlock the feature
  • Speaking of camera manufacturers: I'm thinking this device. (plus the upcoming X) just halved whatever the remaining days of the point-and-shoot camera had left. Seriously, why would buy one of those again?

I'm going to continue to take some shots with this little beast and certainly delve further in on the video side of things, but as it stands now I wouldn't hesitate to tell someone with an iPhone 8 that they could leave the DSLR at home and opt for the portable solution they already have on them.