Camera test

IPhone 11 Pro Camera Test Concludes “Close to Digital SLR” Results

Yesterday we reported on an iPhone 11 Pro camera test that pitted Apple’s flagship iPhone against a $ 7,500 Canon 1DX Mark II DSLR. YouTuber Matti Haapoja concluded that the performance of the iPhone was “appallingly close” to that of the high-end DSLR.

Today, another photographer also concluded that the contest between the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera and its Canon EOS 5D MkIV DSLR was “a close affair” after a lengthy photo shoot in the Scottish Highlands…

To be completely fair, CNET Andrew Hoyle says he treated iPhone photos in exactly the same way he did his DSLR shots.

For the most part, I took photos in raw format using the Moment app and processed the images in Lightroom Mobile on the phone itself. Since this is how I work with my pro equipment, it seemed like the fairest comparison. Keep in mind that nothing you see here is “off camera” (unless otherwise noted). Instead, I want to show what can be done with the phone’s camera when you take the time to create an image.

Some pictures, it must be said, look quite ordinary. A photo of a bay seen from above in good lighting, for example, is the kind of photo that any modern smartphone camera can handle with ease. But the photo below is tough, with some brilliant highlights and deep shadows. Shooting with a smartphone will often result in blown reflections or lost shadow detail. But here, the sensor handled both, allowing both highlights and shadows to be recovered during processing.

 Highlights and shadows

In a photo of a McLaren he had just borrowed for the trip, he said there was not much to choose between the two.

 Camera test iPhone 11 Pro - Andrew Hoyle

It was a small quarry, just off the main road. Large mounds of rubble and rocks were piled around, and there was an excavator of some kind left unattended. I didn’t know if I was allowed on the site, but there was no door, no signs and no one around. I decided to quickly flip the car into a position I liked and jumped in to shoot.

I love the contrast of the vibrant McLaren against the colorless rubble. I took this using telephoto mode on the phone, raw, and made some basic exposure and contrast changes in Lightroom. I also lightened the front wheel slightly to show its details.

Here is (right) an almost identical photo taken with a Canon 5D MkIV and a 70-200mm lens. It is remarkable that there is so little difference between the two images. On the contrary, I prefer the image of the iPhone for the appearance of the reflections on the front of the car. This is a great example of how a phone camera can compete with professional photographic equipment when you take the time to make it.

The most impressive part of its iPhone 11 Pro camera test is a night shot. Let’s start with a photo of the iPhone XS Max, which doesn’t have Night Mode:

 Andrew Hoyle CNET iPhone XS Max

Then the unedited version of the iPhone 11 Pro, straight from the camera:

 Andrew Hoyle CNET iPhone XS Max

And finally, the edited version of Hoyle:

 Andrew Hoyle CNET iPhone 11 Pro camera test - edited

With a few exposure adjustments in Lighroom, I changed the image of the 11 Pro in this one. A lot of fine details are blurry – as you would see when shooting at a high ISO speed on a DSLR. But it’s amazing how much light was captured in what was essentially a completely pitch black night.

The edited photo of the iPhone XS Max it shows is completely unusable.

Hoyle said he was amazed at how close a call was between the iPhone and the DSLR.

I’ve been looking to see if a phone’s camera can capture a trip like this as well as my DSLR could and I honestly think that’s a close affair. I was very impressed with the images I took with the iPhone and there were a lot of images that I couldn’t tell if they were taken with the phone or the professional camera. It’s not something I imagine saying a year ago.

If I had also been able to use my Moment and Lee Filters gear with the phone, I think it would have been even closer. I took my DSLR with me on a trip and fully intended to take some extra pictures for fun, but found that I just didn’t have to take it out that often. I was confident that the quality of the iPhone would be enough to get what I wanted.

While it’s true that the iPhone won’t completely replace my professional gear when I do photoshoots for CNET, I can confidently say that I will definitely choose the phone over my bulky DSLR when I go for short breaks. . Instead of a full kit of equipment, this little rectangular slab that fits in my pocket can do very well on its own.

Discover all the photos on CNET.

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