iphoneography,  News,  Opinion

New Apple iPhone X or iPhone 8/Plus – Which Should You Buy As An Mobile Photographer?

Our readership here at TheAppWhisperer.com are predominately preoccupied with smartphones as photographic devices and rightly so. The artists that we represent are some of the very best mobile photographers in the world. So the question on everyone’s mind, after the Apple keynote yesterday, is should I upgrade and which model should I upgrade to? With more choice than ever, this is by no means an easy question, we consider the key points below:

Firstly, the key point that everyone needs to be aware of is the price. The new iPhone X/8/Plus are and do cost a small fortune and essentially if you cannot comfortably afford one, then you should not put yourself under additional stress to do so. The iPhone X/8/8 Plus are initially at least, only available in 64 GB or 256 GB, the majority of mobile photographers that we represent, always err on the side of higher capacity, so with Apple missing the 128 GB out of selection this may not be an issue to you. It’s also important to note that both the iPhone 8/Plus and iPhone X with iOS 11, support High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) and High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) for up to two times compression and storage for twice the photos and videos. Meaning, you will save 50% on storage when taking photos and videos with iOS 11.

The iPhone X features an edge-to-edge 5.8 inch OLED screen, unlike the conventional LCD IPS screens of the iPhone 8/Plus. OLED, hands down is more vibrant, offering superior contrast and colour accuracy, with a resolution of 2,436 x 1,125-pixel (with a pixel density of 458 pixels-per-inch), Apple call this screen their Super Retina HD screen.  Another first for the iPhone X is that the HDR display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10. Videos naturally of course, also utilize Dolby Vision and HDR10 in their native colour spaces. Essentially, this means your photo and video content will be brighter and more vibrant than screens without HDR, are capable of delivering.  The addition of True Tone technology on board for the iPhone 8/Plus and X, dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the surrounding light for a more natural, viewing experience resulting in more uniformly lit backgrounds and foregrounds.

The iPhone 8 Plus is also a larger phone than the iPhone X, despite the iPhone X having a larger screen, something to consider for hand-held photography.

The primary (rear) camera on the iPhone X consists of two sensors, a wide angle 12-megapixel lens with a f/1.8 aperture and a telephoto 12-megapixel lens with a f/2.4 aperture. Both have optical image stabilisation (OIS), essential at the very least for use in low light. It’s a similar set up for the  iPhone 8 Plus, albeit the telephoto 12-megapixel lens has a f/2.8 aperture and only the primary wide-angle lens features, OIS, which by all accounts is essentially, a tripod substitute feature.

If you take a lot of selfies and again, many of the artists that we represent do, in order to post-process these images in ingenious ways for Award Winning Competitions/Presentation, then the new 7-megapixel TrueDepth front camera on the iPhone 8/Plus/X is a welcome addition. The iPhone X is more capable though as it enables the new Face ID features with wide colour capture, auto image stabilisation along with precise exposure control, including of course the 7MP front camera, in low light your selfies will be illuminated by front LED. 

Portrait Lighting, supported on iPhone X and iPhone 8/Plus within Portrait mode brings dramatic studio lighting effects and as Apple insists, not filters, enabling photographers to adjust the lighting effects in real time or post processing within the Photos app of their images.  Photographers can essentially capture stunning portraits with shallow depth-of-field effect in five different lighting styles. another new feature that is also likely to sway portrait loving photographers.  As Apple themselves state “Portrait Lighting is based on extensive research into the art and science of portraiture and core photographic lighting principles. It uses the dual cameras and the Apple-designed image signal processor to recognise the scene, create a depth map and separate the subject from the background. Machine learning is then used to create facial landmarks and add lighting over contours of the face, all happening in real time, giving customers even more power to express themselves through photography”.

We recommend the iPhone X to smartphone photographers, it is definitely the more capable device for photography but it is also more expensive. The iPhone X starts at $999/£999 for 64 GB, whereas the iPhone 8 with the same capacity starts at $699/£699. The iPhone 8 Plus, meanwhile starts at $799/£799. There’s $300 amiss here, between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X and rumours abound that the iPhone X will be in short supply. The decision is ultimately yours and yours alone to make, if you’ve run out of kidneys to sell, you might just need to think longer and harder about this one.


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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website— TheAppWhisperer.com— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - TheAppWhispererPrintSales.com has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: joanne@theappwhisperer.com