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iPhone 8 Plus Camera: We Put It To The Test

Your pics, only more professional.

12/10/2017 1:35 PM AEDT | Updated 12/10/2017 1:35 PM AEDT
HuffPost Australia
Portrait Mode is designed to take better photos of the things you love. Like people. And cake.

Let's face it: what do you look for when you're in the market for a new smartphone? Sure, you may consider the storage space or the speed but when it comes down to it, the first question most people ask is 'how good is the camera?'.

It was the first question we asked when the iPhone 8 Plus was released a few weeks back and so we've been having a play to fill you in.

Portrait Mode was introduced with the 7 Plus but what's new is the introduction of Portrait Lighting. It pimps out the feature even further, but as a recap, Portrait Mode essentially lets you take cool portraits (hence the name) of a subject.

What it does is makes the the person or thing is in focus and the background or non important matter is out of focus. The result is a pic that looks super professional, like it was taken on a DSLR.

Now with the addition of Portrait Lighting you can play around with the brightness and shade even further to get a really good shot.

There are five lighting modes:

  • Natural Light. Your subject's face in sharp focus against a blurred background;
  • Studio Light. A clean look with your subject's face brightly lit;
  • Contour Light. Dramatic shadows with highlights and lowlights;
  • Stage Light. Your subject's face spotlit against a deep black background;
  • Stage Light Mono. Like Stage, but in classic black-and-white.

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I snapped this pic of my friend Deni really quickly while walking down the street.

The one tricky thing to get used to with Portrait Mode is that it's a lot more 'zoomed in'. This is because the subject is meant to be a certain distance from you (fairly close but not too much), and then the background a certain distance from the subject, for the best result. This takes a little getting used to but definitely produces the best images.

Apple suggests shooting against a non-solid background to get the most out of the depth effect, so try to position your subject against a busy background or a colourful setting. It's also suggested that when using Stage Lighting, try shooting a photo slightly below your subject's face level.

These extra effects make this smartphone the ideal camera for parents, proud pet owners or anyone who enjoys taking photos, really.

It also has a really impressive video offering. It suggested you take video in landscape to get the full effect and there's a whole bunch of new features when it comes to filming, too. They welcome 4k video (which means it's faster and better quality) and they have improved on the slo-mo feature as well as the optical zoom -- the dual-lens camera means you can now get videos with optical zoom at 2x, so zooming in isn't totally grainy.

Apple suggest these camera tips:

  • For iPhone 8 Plus users: Tap 1x or 2x in photos and videos for optical zoom at 2x; press and hold to zoom up to 10x;
  • iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus use Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync. True Tone flash with Slow Sync is useful in low light when you want a brighter foreground subject with a properly exposed background;
  • Swipe to the left to Access Your Camera even faster with iOS 11;
  • Want to take a picture while you are recording? Grab it by tapping the white circle to the left of your record button;
  • Use Burst mode to continuously capture 10 photos per second, just go to the Camera app and hold the shutter;
  • Tap the screen and hold to lock exposure and focus -- this is especially handy when you're shooting a specific point in a scene with a lot of movement;
  • To display a grid that can help you align shots, go to Settings > Photos & Camera, then turn on Grid;
  • Lock the Auto Exposure and Auto Focus by pressing and holding anywhere you want on the display.

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