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On Trial: The iPhone XS Camera

November 18, 2018

When it comes to cameras, I’m one of those Bloggers who uses a cellphone for everything and there are a few reasons for that, the main one being that my EDS and Fibromyalgia just don’t like lugging round more equipment than the bare minimum.  These days with cellphone cameras packing a pretty decent punch, they’re keeping people like me pretty happy when it comes to taking decent pictures and building in edit-ability.  The front runners as we know are always Samsung and Apple (Apple fangirl over here) but Huawei are coming up trumps with their latest offering and the camera capability is even being compared to that of a DSLR.

With Apple now churning out two Key Notes per annum and with it that usually means two specs of iPhone, one on the “budget” end of the Apple spectrum and one more high end, products have never been more accessible.  For 2018 Apple have focussed more on the iPhone X spec and scrapped its previous fascia for this new edge to edge design.  When Three UK invited me to East London to take an iPhone XS out for a spin I jumped at the chance to photograph some of the most vibrant street art in the UK, after all, where else does the art change as quick as the staircases in Hogwarts?

Arriving at Old Street I was given a quick tour of the new functionality in the iPhone XS, basically if you shoot in Apple’s Portrait Mode (a Blogger’s staple) which blurs the background and sharpens the foreground – nine times out of ten, the iPhone XS floods this mode with light and allows you to sharpen or thicken the level of blur enhancing the effect.  Pretty neat right?  It’s a small change, and it’s the only change, but trust me, it makes a huge difference.  Just the amount of light that makes it into the shot is worth it.

The iPhone XS also seems a little more intuitive when you ask it to focus on something too, obviously the iPhone X was almost a prototype for Apple, it was completely new technology and as an iPhone X owner I’m a fan, but having used the iPhone XS I can see those refinements in action and see how well they work.  What the iPhone XS is good at doing is picking up depth and both perceiving and translating that into an image.  It’s also able to filter light across an image to great effect in the same way you might use it in a selfie to create a halo, by splitting the colours like a rainbow.

Shooting with the iPhone XS as a point and shoot camera is a dream.  There’s no facility to shoot in raw like there is with the Huawei P20 Pro or Mate 20 Pro so it comes down to weighing up what you use the phone for in its entirety.  Personally I’m an Apple fan girl through and through and I’m not sure anything could make me part with any of my Apple products; even when I’ve hated them, I always end up loving them.  Apple’s choice of apps and ease of use far outweigh those of the Android platform for me.

The iPhone XS though is one of those that you just click with, the absence of the home button might frustrate legacy iPhone users for around two hours, then you’ll forget you ever used one.  Editing images is easy within the camera software itself, however if you’re an avid photographer caught without your camera and find yourself shooting on this device, you can always shoot on raw via the LightRoom app; something photographer (and now mate) Rob Percy taught me.

Basically if you’re wondering whether it’s worth an early upgrade then it comes purely down to affordability.  I loved it and the ease of use and slick new touches were great, it’s less of an upgrade and more of a refinement, to me, it’s what the iPhone X should have been when it was released last year.  If you can afford it go for it, if you can’t then wait, there might be something better round the corner when your upgrade is due.



2 responses to “On Trial: The iPhone XS Camera”

  1. faye says:

    Thanks for the info – my upgrade is due next week and I was tempted by this but it’s pretty pricey even on my business contract but I think I may bite the bullet and go for it. I am trying to take more and more pictures for work so anything that helps me improve on these is a good thing!

    • pixie.tenenbaum says:

      Considering it’s a cellphone camera and how small it is for being packaged as part of a call making device, it’s such an awesome piece of kit. If you’re anything like me and struggle to carry multiple pieces of equipment, or you just like to point, shoot and upload, it’s a no brainer really. You’ll love it! I swear it’s a little lighter than its predecessor too.

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