iPhone X In-Depth Camera Review (Comparisons with Canon 80D and iPhone 7 Plus)

Over the last few years, the iPhone has become more and more a part of our culture and it now holds a strong position in the photography industry and community. The iPhone is no longer just a phone with a camera, it's something that many professionals actually use. You may have read an article on Fstoppers about how even Time Magazine shot 12 of their covers using the iPhone. Previous to that, a Sports Illustrated photographer used the iPhone to take pictures of an NFL game. 

Based on this, I wanted to see how the iPhone performs if I were to review it like a professional camera. In my latest video, I look at many of the camera features that are available in the iPhone X and take a detailed look at the raw files coming from this camera too. 

One of the most important and useful updates to the iPhone X is the fact that the second camera, the tele lens is now stabilized. This one update now allows you to be able to get sharper and potentially cleaner images even in lower light scenarios. I was able to get sharp images even when shooting at 1/4 second shutter speed, which I find very impressive. Currently, the iPhone X is the only iPhone with this feature giving it a very useful advantage. 

Check out the video for the full review.

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My biggest beef with the X is that Apple cleverly says it has a larger screen the the 7/8 Plus, but that's measuring diagonally with an extended top and bottom (like when they stretched the 5 vs. the 4/4s). The width is actually only 90% as wide as the Plus models. I use my Plus model to show work to clients and prospects and need to have that width, and don't need the extra top and the bottom as I don't have a lot of use for a 19:9 aspect ratio when I shoot 3:2 (SLR) or 4:3 (phone). So I wish I had the better camera, but can't yet at the expense of a narrower screen size.

Usman Dawood's picture

Very fair point and I have to agree with you. I did use to show images on my iPhone 6 plus to clients but since buying an iPad which I always have with me when seeing clients I just use that. I agree with in that the screen on paper is bigger but in practical uses, it's smaller.

My guess is that next year an updated X phone will replace the 9, if that is what it will be called, and then there will be a bigger 9 plus version with the same elongated display. As it is, the X is barely wider than the non-plus model. 3:2 and 16:9 content is significantly bigger on the current plus models.

The only significant benefit I see to the X display is for web browsing and moving away the top status info bar, both for less scrolling. Yeah, it's got true OLED blacks but bizarrely the OLED on the iPhone X color shifts (to blue), like a cheap LCD, when viewed at an angle. Even stranger is how Apple says such a shift is normal for OLED displays. No, it is not normal. One of the main advantages and reasons for OLED existing is no noticeable brightness, contrast AND no color shift when viewed at angles. I found the color shift problem to be a huge turnoff. It was enough for me to prefer the regular LCD in the other models.

Usman Dawood's picture

I could be wrong but I thought the colour shifts were normal because even the Pixel is having similar issues and I'm seeing it on my wife's Samsung phones too.

Usman the next time you are in a store with LGs, and now Sony's, OLED TVs on display, stand at the most extreme viewing angle to them. You will not see any noticeable shift in brightness, contrast and color. None at all. That amazing feat, along with true blacks, are the two main reasons why OLED displays have been the holy grail of future TVs for so many years. Previously only plasma TVs could achieve one of the two, the former, which is why I own a plasma TV.

Why Apple is making that claim for the little OLED display used in the iPhone X is beyond me, and why that little OLED display, and perhaps any others used in Android phones, actually does shift is even further beyond me. For many years I used to be hardcore in following the development of TV displays and this is the first time I have ever heard someone making such a comment about OLED.

Tip: How to LOCK FOCUS & EXPOSURE with the iPhone camera app.
1) Tap and HOLD FOR 1 SECOND will lock focus and exposure (it will say "AE/AF Lock" on the screen)
2) Then sliding your finger up and down the screen will adjust exposure. When you let go, that adjusted exposure is locked in place.
3) You can now compose the photo without the focus and exposure changing.
4) That focus and exposure will stay locked for as many photos as you like. Once you tap on the screen again, the lock is removed.

So, you can lock focus AND exposure SEPARATELY...and then take as many photos as desired with those settings!

Usman Dawood's picture

Can't tell you how helpful that was I didn't know that. Thank you so much and thank you for commenting on my video too. Properly appreciate it.