I am a fan of smartphone photography. I come from an era when to change the ISO, I had to change the film. The idea that I can shoot high quality, colourful, perfectly exposed images and video from a device a few mm thin is very appealing to me, and of course to many others.
My weapon of choice has always been the iPhone and recently I upgraded my iPhone SE to the iPhone 8. The primary reason for this was for shooting video, but of course, the iPhone 8 is also a great camera for stills. This article is not a review but my impressions of the capabilities of the iPhone 8 as a tool for photographers. Note I am not using single lens 8 not the dual lens 8 Plus
The Camera Specs
Going by basic camera specs alone the iPhone 8 does not seem much of an upgrade. The same 12mp count of several previous generations, indeed many similar specs to the iPhone 7. However, the specs are quite a step up from the iPhone SE. The f1.8 aperture gives a little extra room in low light, optical image stabilisation helps boost the low light capability and gives video creators more flexibility. It is also capable of capturing a wider color gamut than previous models.
The two real standout features for the iPhone 8 over previous models come in the video. First is the ability to shoot 4K in 60fps. Even a few years ago this was the preserve of hugely expensive commercial grade video cameras such as REDs.
The second was to upgrade the 240fps ultra slow motion from 720p to 1080p Full HD. To counter the poor low-light capabilities of slow motion there is also a reasonably capable continuous lighting system built into the iPhone’s flash.
A final thing to note is the powerful CPU and GPU combination that the latest iPhones use. We will come to their importance a little later.
The Apps That I Use on iPhone 8
As with any smartphone camera, the key to unlocking the true capabilities of the hardware lies in third party apps.
I use two different ones for photography and one for filmmaking. The first photographic app is the DJI Go app. This is required for the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 that I reviewed recently but can also be used as a standalone app without the gimbal. I explained the power of that app in my review.