When it comes to background blur, or what we photographers like to call bokeh, it’s a well-known thing that smartphones aren’t the best. In the recent years, however, they have improved, thanks to the dual camera systems and pixel separation algorithms. They have improved so much that some may be tempted to say they are on par with some of the best professional cameras out there. Marques Brownlee decided to see for himself if that was the case and compared the current best smartphones on the market against the Hasselblad X1D.
The iPhone X, the Note 2, and the Pixel 2 all are fantastic smartphones with more than capable cameras. They all can separate the subject from the background in one way or another to create some sort of fake background blur to mimic the effect of the shallow depth of field we can create with a bigger sensor camera.
In the video above, Brownlee shows how they stack up against one of the most portable medium-format cameras, the Hasselblad X1D. Putting them next to such a camera makes it even harder for smartphones to keep up, or at least it should. But looking at the results, in some scenarios, the phones actually perform quite well and I’m sure some people that don’t know anything about photography wouldn’t quite notice the difference. As a photographer, it’s clear that the camera still has an advantage, especially for non-human subjects as shown by Brownlee.
What do you think of the results? Do you use the portrait mode feature often or do you think it’s just a gimmick? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.