Social media has been buzzing leading up to Apple’s first keynote in the Steve Jobs theater at the company’s new headquarters in Cupertino, California. As a result, the even didn’t hold many surprises. Tim Cook said it’s “the biggest leap forward since the original iPhone.” 

I could write a detailed post about all of the updates to the new iPhones but I’ve decided to focus specifically on the features that matter most to photographers.

Apple has embedded within its phones a new kind of computer chip, called A11 Bionic. This chip allows the cameras to render graphics faster and focus more quickly in poor lighting while also boosting image sharpness and texture.

In terms of everyday photography, the new phones should produce improved colour, capture better shots in low light, and record smoother high-resolution video.

iPhone Photography and Video Highlights

Improved Cameras

A larger and faster 12MP sensor. A new colour filter. Deeper pixels. And a new telephoto camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).

Portrait Lighting

Depth-sensing cameras and precise facial mapping create striking studio‑quality lighting effects. Apple emphasized this isn’t the work of filters after the photo has been taken but instead the analysis of the scene and automatically making adjustments to actual image information like exposure and highlights in different areas to result in the dynamic lighting effects.

Dual OIS

Both rear cameras have optical image stabilization and fast lenses for outstanding photos and videos even in low light.

Can a camera capture more than meets the eye? To find out, Apple integrated faster, optically image-stabilized cameras with the advanced machine learning of the A11 Bionic chip. The result is a photography system that sees more, understands more, and does more.

  • 12MP wide-angle and telephoto lenses
  • ƒ/1.8wide-angle aperture
  • ƒ/2.4telephoto aperture
  • Dual optical image stabilization

Wide Angle Camera

An ƒ/1.8 six-element lens, optical image stabilization (OIS), and a larger, faster 12MP sensor make the most popular camera in the world even better.

Optical Zoom

The wide-angle and telephoto cameras on iPhone X enable optical zoom, as well as digital zoom of up to 10x for photos and 6x for videos.

Telephoto Camera

Using a state-of-the-art seven-magnet solution, iPhone X includes a second OIS system in the powerful ƒ/2.4 telephoto camera. Together the two cameras enable optical zoom to bring you closer to your subject. And deliver amazing shots with Portrait mode.

Portrait Mode

Portrait mode gets even better, with sharper detail, more natural background blurring, improved performance in low light, and access to the flash when you need it.

Portrait Lighting. Real-time studio lighting effects. (Beta)

Apple’s iPhone 8 Portrait Lighting lets mobile photographers mimic studio effects. The feature uses machine learning to analyze in real time the images taken with the camera, letting you change the lighting effects either in preview, or after you’ve taken the photo using the Photos app. Based on core photographic lighting principles, Portrait Lighting combines complex software and hardware like depth‑sensing cameras and facial mapping to produce the effect of real studio lighting.

New advanced ISP. Photo ops, optimized.

The intelligent, Apple-designed image signal processor detects elements in the scene — like people, motion, and lighting conditions — to optimize your photos even before you take them. It also delivers advanced pixel processing, wide colour capture, faster autofocus, and better HDR photos.

Dual OIS. For images that shine in low light.

One of the hardest things in photography is getting great photos and videos in low light. Optical image stabilization in both rear cameras makes it effortless. So when the day ends, your creativity is just beginning.

New filters. Better flash. More fun.

From the moment you capture a photo to your final edit, iPhone X makes it even easier to create spectacular shots. And next-generation HEIF compression technology lets you take new photos with the same quality as before at half the file size. So snap away.

Live Photo Effects and New Filters

Transform a Live Photo you love into a fun video loop. Make it bounce back and forth. Turn fireworks into bright streaks across the sky with a beautiful long exposure effect. And apply new filters for more natural skin tones or to add classic looks to portraiture.

Quad-LED True Tone Flash with Slow Sync

Slow Sync flash combines a slow shutter speed with a short strobe pulse. It’s useful in low light when you want a brighter foreground subject with a properly exposed background. And the Quad-LED True Tone flash delivers illumination that’s up to two times more uniform, helping to reduce hot spots.

Videos that belong on the big screen.

Whether you’re a proud parent, a film student, or a working director, iPhone X lets you shoot phenomenal movies. An Apple‑designed video encoder performs real-time image processing for optimal quality. And with HEVC compression, you’ll get the same video quality as before at half the file size.

  • 4K video – up to 60 fps
  • Slo-mo 1080p – up to 240 fps
  • Time‑lapsevideo

Steadier videos.

Advanced video stabilization uses a new, larger sensor and the powerful ISP to stabilize everything you’re shooting. And optical image stabilization is designed to reduce motion blur and handshake in low-light videos. So your movies look steady even if your hand isn’t.

Price and Availability

The iPhone 8 starts at $699, iPhone Plus at $799, and iPhone X at $999. The iPhone X will be available to pre-order on October 27, with deliveries beginning on November 3. The iPhone X will be sold in 55 countries around the world. 

What are your thoughts about how you might use the newest iPhones for photography and video? Are you upgrading? Leave a comment below.

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The Things That Matter to Photographers From Apple's September 2017 iPhone Event
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The Things That Matter to Photographers From Apple's September 2017 iPhone Event
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I could write a detailed post about all of the updates to the new iPhones but I've decided to focus specifically on the features that matter most to photographers.
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Lens Flare Travel
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