iPhone X = DSLR-quality... Maybe?

Ever since the iPhone X came out, almost everyone under the sun has been fixated on one thing: the camera.

Is the quality as good as a DSLR? Will you no longer have to tote around your Canon or Nikon to a photoshoot? Will there be cool lenses to add on to your iPhone X to take your mobile photography even further? (That's mainly a question I'm asking, though…)

Well, okay, for the sake of transparency, no — your iPhone X will not be able to replace your DSLR, but as the people at CNET discovered, you can get photos that are really, really close.

The photographer can manipulate focus, aperture and distance of the lens from the subject on a dSLR to control depth of field. A shallow depth of field makes the subject look sharp relative to the background. The iPhone uses a combination of software and hardware to achieve a similar effect. It makes a depth map with its dual cameras to separate the subject from the rest of the scene, then blurs out what it perceives as the background. (CNET)

To test the iPhone X camera against a DSLR, both devices were used to shoot portraiture, and while the results are quite similar, there were also stark differences that proved that the iPhone X isn't quite up to snuff in more than one area.

The iPhone X produces pleasing portraits in optimal conditions, but where it can't keep up with the dSLR is in low light. In extremely low light the iPhone can't even activate portrait mode as you'll see below, whereas the dSLR is able to take shots regardless. (CNET)

But is the iPhone X close?


In ideal conditions, the phone mimics the bokeh effect well and Portrait Mode has come a long way since the iPhone 7 Plus. If you're posting on social media or viewing on a phone screen, the shot may look pretty close to what you would get on a dSLR, especially if you're viewing photos at a reduced magnification. But if you look closely, you can see where the processing still needs to improve. (CNET)

What do you think?

Do you think the the iPhone X's camera measures up to a traditional DSLR? Or would you much rather stick to shooting with your Canon?

Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau