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iPhone XR Detailed Camera Review

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iPhone XR Detailed Camera Review

“Music” Hey guys It’s Sagar from Tecworkz, and here is my camera review of the iPhone XR. I got this phone on the launch day, but I have been travelling ever since, So I did not get a chance to shoot and upload its unboxing video for you guys.

I took this phone on a road trip with some of my friends. So I got a chance to take a lot of image and video samples with it. I wish the Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6T were also available when I was on this trip.

It would have given me some really good images for a comparison video. Anyways, Before we get to the image and video samples from the XR, let us first get its specifications out of the way. iPhone XR essentially packs in the exact same 12 megapixel primary camera, with F/1.

8 aperture, 26mm wide lens, larger individual pixel size of 1.4 micron, Optical Image Stabilisation, and twice the number of autofocus pixels as we saw on the iPhone XS Max. It doesn’t have a secondary telephoto lens, but it can still take portrait images using Apple’s new computational photography algorithms.

It packs in all the same software features like Smart HDR, Depth control before and after taking a portrait shot, portrait lighting effects and so on. You can shoot 4k videos at 24,30 and 60fps and 1080p videos at 30,60,120 or 240fps.

Only things missing from the rear camera are the ability to take portrait images of objects or non human subjects, and 2 extra portrait lighting effects that are available on the rear camera of the iPhone X, XS and XS Max.

At the front, we have the exact same 7 megapixel true Depth camera sensor like on the XS and XS Max, with F/2.2 aperture, Smart HDR feature, and ability to shoot 1080p 60fps videos. With specifications out of the way, let us now check out the image and video samples from the iPhone XR.

But before that, make sure to hit the subscribe button, so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing videos coming up on this channel. All of these images are shot in the auto mode, with Smart HDR turned on.

Thanks to the new larger sensor, there are a lot of details in these images. Everything in these shots look crisp and sharp, as you would expect from a camera on a flagship smartphone. I personally feel that these images should have a bit more contrast, as some of the images might look too flat at times.

Colours also look good but they are a bit warmer and slightly saturated, compared to the actual scene. Despite of this, the overall images are good and very pleasing to look at. There is no secondary telephoto lens, so you cant take 2x optically zoomed images.

But you can still take 2x digitally zoomed images with this single lens. In fact, you have the option to digitally zoom in by 5x. These images are not as detailed and clear as the images from the telephoto lens of the XS and XS Max, but in bright daylight, most of these digitally zoomed images look good enough.

Now on this years iPhone lineup, Smart HDR is one of the best addition. It offers an amazing dynamic range, in any lighting situation. Without this feature, the coconut trees in this image would have been completely black, and due to the bright sun in the background, the sky would have also be completely blown out.

These are 2 images with and without smart HDR turned on. Look at how much details and colours the Smart HDR mode brought back from the shadows in the trees. And here is another great shot. Without the Smart HDR turned on, camera would have exposed just for the Sea (which is the brighter part of this image), or for the shade in the foreground.

But thanks to the Smart HDR mode, everything is properly exposed, and the colours are also looking really good. Here is a quick test to check the focusing speed of this camera. It is quick at switching the focus from far to near objects and then back again.

And as you can see, it is equally good at handling the quick change in the exposure of the scene. I take a lot of close up and macro shots, so quick and accurate focusing plays a big part in taking images like these.

Thanks to wide F/1.8 aperture and bigger sensor, background in all the closeup shots is blurred out very nicely, leaving the subject in perfect sharp focus. Coming to the portrait shots. XR uses the single wide lens to gather all the depth information it needs for these portrait shot.

It is really good at detecting the edges and separating the subject from the background. And while its not perfect, it still does a good job keeping the hair, ears and glasses in focus, most of the times.

I like the compressed background in the portrait shots from the iPhone XS and XS Max, but I hate the fact that you have to keep a considerable distance between you and your subject, while taking these portrait shots on those phones.

Since the XR uses all the information from the single wide camera, you can get pretty close to your subject. Another advantage of using the primary camera for taking portrait shots is that, since this cameras has a larger sensor and wider aperture than the telephoto lens, you get better portrait images in lower light.

I wish Apple allowed us to switch the normal and telephoto lens, while taking portrait images on the iPhone XS and XS Max. There is however one downside with the portrait mode on this phone. It will only let you take portrait images of humans.

For some reason, it needs to detect a Human face in order to take a portrait mode image. This is a huge disappointment for me, coz I like to take portrait images of various things or non human objects.

I did manage to trick the camera into taking portrait images of statues and mannequins, but it is pretty inconstant while doing so. As a workaround, you can you Halide Camera app to take portrait mode images of pets and objects.

It’s a paid app, and they have found a way to capture the depth information available from the images of the iPhone XR. Here are a couple of examples of the portrait mode images of objects taken with this app.

If a 3rd party app can find a way to add this functionality, I am sure Apple can do it with their native camera app, and I hope we get the ability to take portrait mode images of pets and objects in one of the future software updates.

As the light starts to go down, iPhone XR still manages to capture detailed and good looking images. Since it is a flagship device, it doesn’t struggle in lower light as some of the mid range smartphones.

Thanks to a larger sensor, wider aperture and optical image stabilisation, there are a lot of detail and clarity in its low light images. Smart HDR is active in these situations as well, and it makes sure that there are no over exposed parts in the low light images from this phone.

Optical image stabilisation negates the blurry and shaky images, even if the shutter is open for slightly longer time to let in more light. You can use the digital zoom in lower light as well. Even the iPhone XS and XS Max use the digitally zoomed images from the primary sensor when the light is low.

So you are not missing the secondary telephoto lens in these situations. You can use flash in very low lighting situations, but just make sure to keep some distance between you and the subject, else their skin tones will be completely blown out.

The 7 megapixel front facing camera also delivers great looking selfies. Beauty gate issue if you want to call it that, has been fixed with the iOS 12.1 update, and the selfies are crisp and sharp. The frame is pretty cropped in, so getting your friends in one shot is a bit tricky.

This camera also shows the same amazing dynamic range, thanks to the Smart HDR mode. This image was taken at sunset, with sun just outside the frame. Even then my face is perfectly lit, and the background is not over exposed.

You can take portrait images with the true depth selfie camera, and the results are just as good as the iPhone XS and XS Max. It is much better at detecting the edges and separating the background compared to the iPhone X.

It even does a great job around transparent and tinted glasses, which is one of the areas where the iPhone X struggled a lot late year. You can take usable good looking portrait selfies even in lower light.

These low light portrait selfies, or portrait selfies in general are not as good as the ones from the Pixel 3, but let’s leave that argument for another video. Here is a video sample from the front facing camera of the iPhone XR.

This is the same 7 megapixel True Depth camera that we saw on the iPhone XS and XS Max. And you can see how this phone handles the overall exposure of the background, and overall colours of the scene.

Coming to the video footage, Just like the iPhone XS and XS Max, the iPhone XR is one of the best in its class. It can shoot 4k 30fps videos with an amazing dynamic range. Stabilisation is really good, thanks to optical image stabilisation combined with Apple’s cinematic stabilisation.

You can also shoot 4k 60fps videos, which you can playback as they are, or even slow them down to have a nice cinematic video sequence. I have shot these video clips in various lighting situations, and it should give you a fairly good idea of the video performance of this phone.

For slow motion, you have the option to shoot at 120 or 240fps in 1080p resolution. And you get to choose the parts of the video that you want to slow down, later on. Single camera on the iPhone XR is the same, and just as good as the primary camera on the iPhone XS and XS Max.

It does not have the secondary telephoto lens, and it might not be able to take portrait images of pets and objects, via the native camera app. But it is still better than the 2 higher priced phones when it comes to taking portrait images in less than ideal lighting conditions.

To be honest, if you know what you are doing, it is difficult to take a bad image with this iPhone XR. Even without the secondary lens, I would rate this camera to be just as impressive as the dual cameras on the iPhone XS and XS Max.

If you are using an iPhone 7 or any phone from before that, and you are looking to upgrade, iPhone XR will give you a much needed bump in the camera performance. So after looking at over 70 image and video samples, what do you guys think about the cameras on this new iPhone XR.

Let me know in the comments section. By the way, if you don’t agree with my analysis or my views about these image and video samples, you can always go back, mute the video, watch it in the highest resolution that your device supports, and draw your own conclusions that way.

That is it for this video guys. Please hit the like button if you enjoyed this video, and subscribe to the channel for more quality tech videos like this. You can also check out some of the other videos from the channel.

This has been Sagar, and i’ll catch you guys in the next video. Take care.

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