iPhone X Low Light Photography Test Demonstrates Improved Telephoto Lens

The 2016 iPhone 7 Plus was the first Apple smartphone to feature a dual lens camera, and this year's iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X followed suit, improving upon last year's design with larger sensors and better signal image processing. The iPhone X also benefits from added optical image stabilization and larger aperture on the telephoto lens.

In what may come a surprise to most casual snappers, the telephoto lens in Apple's dual camera isn't always activated when the 2x zoom is selected in the native Camera app. In some low light scenes, iOS opts to crop a wide angle image instead in an effort to obtain a better image with less noise and a lower likelihood of blurring.

With this in mind, Studio Neat designer Dan Provost recently conducted an experiment to see how much the telephoto lens in the iPhone X improves upon the one in the iPhone 7 Plus. To do this, he looked at how much light is required before an iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X switches to the telephoto lens when the 2x zoom mode is selected. This would show Provost if the frequency of cropping an image is at all reduced in Apple's latest smartphone.
I placed an object (in this case, an old Rolleiflex camera) on a white backdrop, and flanked it on both sides with two LED studio lights. I set up the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X on tripods (using the Glif, natch) and positioned them to keep the framing as similar as possible. Then, starting from a completely dark room, I slowly raised the light levels and observed when the lens switched on each camera. The results are in the video below.

As the embedded video demonstrates, Provost discovered that the iPhone X switched to the telephoto lens much more quickly in his artificial low light scenes, requiring approximately 2 fewer stops of light before switching to the telephoto lens, compared to the iPhone 7 Plus.

"This is obviously great news, and speaks to how improved the second lens is after just one year," says Provost. "In my own use of the phone for the past couple weeks, it does indeed seem to be the case that I am very rarely presented with a 2X cropped image."

You can learn more about how Provost conducted his photography experiment over on the Studio Neat website.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iOS 11, iPhone X

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iPhone X Low Light Photography Test Demonstrates Improved Telephoto Lens

The 2016 iPhone 7 Plus was the first Apple smartphone to feature a dual lens camera, and this year's iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X followed suit, improving upon last year's design with larger sensors and better signal image processing. The iPhone X also benefits from added optical image stabilization and larger aperture on the telephoto lens.

In what may come as a surprise to most casual snappers, the telephoto lens in Apple's dual camera isn't always activated when the 2x zoom is selected in the native Camera app. In some low light scenes, iOS opts to crop a wide angle image instead in an effort to obtain a better image with less noise and a lower likelihood of blurring.

With this in mind, Studio Neat designer Dan Provost recently conducted an experiment to see how much the telephoto lens in the iPhone X improves upon the one in the iPhone 7 Plus. To do this, he looked at how much light is required before an iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X switches to the telephoto lens when the 2x zoom mode is selected. This would show Provost if the frequency of cropping an image is at all reduced in Apple's latest smartphone.
I placed an object (in this case, an old Rolleiflex camera) on a white backdrop, and flanked it on both sides with two LED studio lights. I set up the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone X on tripods (using the Glif, natch) and positioned them to keep the framing as similar as possible. Then, starting from a completely dark room, I slowly raised the light levels and observed when the lens switched on each camera. The results are in the video below.

As the embedded video demonstrates, Provost discovered that the iPhone X switched to the telephoto lens much more quickly in his artificial low light scenes, requiring approximately 2 fewer stops of light before switching to the telephoto lens, compared to the iPhone 7 Plus.

"This is obviously great news, and speaks to how improved the second lens is after just one year," says Provost. "In my own use of the phone for the past couple weeks, it does indeed seem to be the case that I am very rarely presented with a 2X cropped image."

You can learn more about Provost's iPhone X low light photography experiment over on the Studio Neat website.

Related Roundups: iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iOS 11, iPhone X

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Shares Two New Tutorials for Memories Feature in Photos App

Since May, Apple has been sharing a series of iPhone 7 photography tutorial videos both on a dedicated photography how-to website and its YouTube channel, and today, there are two new tutorial videos, this time featuring the Memories function in Photos.

The two new videos walk users through customizing Memories in the Photos app and then sharing Memories on social networks. Each video is 40 seconds in length and includes quick step-by-step visual instructions.



Apple first started highlighting the Memories feature in both a full-length iPhone 7 ad and its first Memories tutorial video, both of which were released yesterday.

Many of Apple's photography tutorials are simple and are aimed at users who are not familiar with the photo taking capabilities of their iPhones. Topics covered include how to shoot a close-up, how to shoot a vertical panorama, how to shoot a selfie with a timer, and how to shoot without a flash. Some also include general photography tips and cover topics like portraits, unique angles, street light, action, and more.


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May Cover of Food Magazine ‘Bon Appétit’ Shot on an iPhone 7

Food magazine Bon Appétit has used an iPhone to shoot the cover photography for its latest travel issue. The Condé Nast-owned publication follows in the footsteps of magazines like Billboard and Condé Nast Traveler, both of which have recently run covers shot on iPhones.

Bon Appètit has used iPhone-shot photos in the past – including in last year's Culture issue – but this is the first time photography shot using Apple's smartphone camera has graced the cover. The image, taken by Peden + Munk on an iPhone 7 Plus, shows a woman holding a strawberry Paleta, on location in the Tlacoula Market of Oaxaca, Mexico.


Peden told TechCrunch that the iPhone's portability and the "comfortability [of] not having some humungous lens in your face" allowed them to work with a tiny crew, so it felt like a "throwback to the early days" of their career.
"It didn't feel like a big magazine cover shoot where there were a bunch of assistants and light reflectors," Peden said. "It felt very comfortable and natural."
The photographers also said the VSCO app allowed them to edit photos while at their favorite bar or brunch spot, rather than having to drag out their laptop.

Creative director Alex Grossman said it made sense to lead with an iPhone picture for the May travel issue, given the close connection between photography and travel. The iPhone 7 "works really well picking up people and places", said Grossman, and while it's not completely comparable to "a $25,000 DSLR", when shot in the right conditions, "99.9 percent of people out there" are unlikely to notice the difference.

Apple is a Bon Appétit advertiser, and an Apple ad on the back cover of the May issue highlights the fact that the cover photo was taken on an iPhone.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tag: photography

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Life’s a beach: Australia’s top 10 beaches named in new study

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When you have 11,761 beaches to choose from, it’s difficult to settle on a favourite.

Luckily the University of Sydney’s coastal studies unit and Tourism Australia teamed up to compile a list of Australia’s best 101 coastal hang outs. And they’re pretty special.

To compile the exhaustive list, geomorphologist and marine scientist, Professor Andy Short OAM and conservationist, Brad Farmer, combined their wealth of experience to create an authoritative guide on what makes the best of the best beaches.

Beaches were ranked according to capacity for tourism, economy, lifestyle, leisure, surfing and play. Read more…

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These striking photos showcase Australia’s unique ecology

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Australia’s unique ecology and environment arguably make it quite the easy place to photograph.

It’s why there’s a host of spectacular images from the Ecology in Action Photographic Competition, run by the Ecological Society of Australia. It’s just announced its winners and finalists for 2016, and there are plenty of visual treats to devour.

The competition aims to highlight the diversity of the country’s ecology, while also celebrating the important work that ecologists do out in the field. Categories include “Out Standing in the Field”, which looks at ecologists in action; and “Niches & Hollows”, covering adaptive behaviour and biodiversity.  Read more…

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‘America’s Next Top Model’ is still a thing, and here’s the Cycle 23 trailer

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Apparently, 22 cycles weren’t enough – so get ready for Cycle 23 of America’s Next Top Model, which will premiere on VH1 on Dec. 12.

While Tyra Banks is listed as executive producer and does make a cameo in the trailer, this will be the first cycle in which she is not the show’s host.

Despite that, the high-action trailer has it all: crazy photoshoots, sassy judges, celebrity guests and drama between the contestants.

Is it bad I kind of hope this cycle is awful so I can dramatically recite my favorite ANTM quote?

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2 cats are recreating all your favorite movie scenes

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The only thing that could make your favorite movies better? If cats were playing the lead roles.

New Instagram account moviecats is posting photo recreations of famous movie scenes just about every week, and they’re all starring two adorable Burmese cats named Tara and Willow.

Week 1: Guess the film! #catsofinstagram #cat #cats #movie #movies #moviecats #burmese #film #filmcats #quiz

A photo posted by Movie Cats (@moviecats) on

The cats’ humans, David and Sarah Chapman, are from Nottingham, England. The couple was inspired to start the project for a pub quiz that David manages, reports BuzzFeed. Read more…

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25 striking wildlife photos that show nature at its most tranquil and brutal

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LONDON — The winners of the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have already been declared, but now you can have your say, too. 

You have until Jan. 10, 2017 to cast your online vote for the Museum’s annual People’s Choice Award.

Members of the public are encouraged to choose their favourite from 25 images, which have been shortlisted from nearly 50,000 worldwide submissions.

Here are this year’s breathtaking contenders: 

“Confusion” by Rudi Hulshof, South Africa

Image: Rudi hulshof / Wildlife Photographer of the Year Read more…

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