Do you want to upgrade your iPhone to take better photos? Apple launched the iPhone X and 8 Plus in late 2017. Apple’s 10th anniversary iPhone X has new designs and features, but how much better are the cameras on the iPhone X than the 8 Plus? In this article, I’ll compare the iPhone X and 8 Plus in terms of camera specs and features.
Both the iPhone X and 8 Plus have a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 2X optical telephoto lens. The wide-angle lenses on the iPhone X and 8 Plus have the same ƒ/1.8 aperture. The telephoto lens on the iPhone X has a ƒ/2.4 aperture, slightly larger than the ƒ/2.8 aperture on the iPhone 7 Plus. A wider aperture has a better depth of field and captures better low-light shots.
Optical Image Stabilization
The iPhone X has dual optical image stabilization on both rear-facing lenses, whereas the iPhone 8 Plus only has the feature on the wide-angle lens. The iPhone X cameras can better minimize image blurry caused by camera movement, especially in low-light conditions.
In most situations, both phones produce similar images regarding color, detail and dynamic range. Portrait shots on the iPhone X appear to be more saturated in color and sharper in detail. The skin tone on the iPhone X shows more of a plush and brighter tone, compared with a bluish pink hue on the 8 Plus. In low-light conditions, portraits captured on the iPhone X have better exposure on the subject and the background. In comparison, the iPhone 8’s photos show more noise.
As for close-up shots using the optical zoom in low-light environments, the iPhone X produces sharper images. As written above, the optical image stabilization on both lenses and wider aperture in the telephoto lens allows more light to reach the sensor, so that there’s more detail in darker areas.
Portrait mode uses the dual cameras on the iPhone X and 8 Plus to create a DSLR depth-of-field effect. The subject in the foreground looks sharp in focus, and the background is beautifully blurred.
How does Portrait mode work? The telephoto lens captures the image, and the wide-angle lens records the depth information – the distance between what the telephoto lens sees and what the wide-angle lens sees. Then the camera’s Image Signal Process uses the depth information to create a multi-point distance map. As a result, you see a DSLR-like image with a shallow depth of field.
Portrait Lighting Effects
On the iPhone X and 8 Plus, you can switch to Portrait Lighting to apply four different lighting effects to the portrait image.
TrueDepth Front Camera
For the front-facing camera, both the iPhone X and 8 Plus have the same resolution at 7 megapixels. The difference is that the iPhone X has a TrueDepth sensor technology. You can use the front camera to take a self in Portrait mode. The new camera sensor technology analyzes the user’s face and the background to create a multi-point depth map. The selfie shot in Portrait mode will have a stunning shallow depth-of-field effect. This feature is not available on the iPhone 8 Plus.
Slow Sync Flash
In low-light conditions, shooting a close-up subject with camera flash can result in a very bright face and very dark background. This is because the camera flash on a smartphone is too weak to illuminate the context of the subject. The Slow Sync Flash leaves the shutter open for longer and flashes less harsh light. The camera can capture more light in the background and creates less harsh shadows. This feature is available on both the iPhone X and 8 Plus.
Camera Specs Compared
There isn’t a huge difference between the iPhone X and 8 Plus. But features such as a wider telephoto lens, dual optical image optimization, and TrueDepth front camera definitely give the iPhone X more advantage over low-light shots and selfies. Having said that, you should consider other iPhone X exclusive features, and decide if it’s worth spending at least $200 more on the X.
Last update on 2019-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API