IPhone XS photo samples. First iPhone XS Sample Photos Captured by Travel Photographer…

iPhone XS Max camera review: An easy-to-use camera that won’t fail (or amaze) you

As the biggest and baddest coming from Cupertino, the iPhone XS Max simply can’t be ignored. Today we are here to tell you all about its camera and how it compares to its competition.

Apple iPhone XS Max

The iPhone XS Max has an easy-to-use camera that won’t ever really fail you, but it’s also not the best at anything.

What we like

Portrait mode above average

Super simple camera app (it just works)

What we don’t like

Lackluster HDR and overall dynamic range

iPhone Xs Camera Review!

Video image stabilization could be improved

Some settings not accessible via camera app

Apple iPhone XS Max

The iPhone XS Max has an easy-to-use camera that won’t ever really fail you, but it’s also not the best at anything.

As the biggest and baddest phone coming from Cupertino, the iPhone XS Max simply can’t be ignored. We may be Android enthusiasts, but we can’t deny Apple smartphones’ camera prowess.

Does the iPhone XS Max camera compare to its Android counterparts or is it all hype? I took the iPhone XS Max for a stroll and got acquainted with its camera. Let’s find out how well it does against our beloved Android camera phones.

It might seem odd to publish an iPhone XS Max camera review on an Android-focused website, but we believe it is important to be educated on both sides of the spectrum in order to make an educated decision. This is not a fight between operating systems. I will be grading images, not the phone, and thus, will hold no preference over Android or iOS.

Photos have been resized for quicker loading times, but that is the only editing these images have undergone. If you want to pixel peep and analyze the full resolution photos, we have put them in a Google Drive folder for you.

iPhone XS Max camera specs

  • Dual 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras
  • Wide-angle: ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Telephoto: ƒ/2.4 aperture
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • 2x optical zoom
  • Digital zoom up to 10x
  • Dual optical image stabilization
  • Six‑element lens
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • Hybrid IR filter
  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels
  • Tap to FOCUS with Focus Pixels
  • Local tone mapping
  • Exposure control
  • Auto image stabilization
  • Photo geotagging
  • Extra modes: Panorama, Smart HDR, Burst, Timer, Live Photo, Portrait, Advanced red-eye correction
  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG
  • Video resolution: 4K@24fps, 4K@30fps, 4K@60fps, 1080@30fps, 1080@60fps, 1080@120fps, 1080@240fps, 720@30fps
  • Video features: Extended dynamic range for video up to 30fps, optical image stabilization for video, 2x optical zoom, digital zoom up to 6x, time‑lapse video with stabilization, cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p), continuous autofocus video, playback zoom, video geotagging, stereo recording
  • 7MP camera
  • Backside illumination sensor
  • ƒ/2.2 aperture
  • Modes: Portrait, Animoji, Memoji, Smart HDR, Burst, Timer, Exposure control
  • Retina Flash
  • Auto image stabilization
  • Video: 1080p HD video recording at 30fps or 60fps, extended dynamic range for video at 30 fps, cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)

iPhone XS Max camera app

I have a love-hate relationship with the iPhone XS Max camera app, but let’s keep things in order and start with the good. The iPhone camera app is lovely for the everyday user. It is clean, simple, and pretty self-explanatory. The shutter button, camera rotation, and image preview buttons are accompanied by a carousel of shooting modes. These include photo, portrait, square, pano, time-lapse, slo-mo, and video.

Additional settings will show up along the opposite side of the screen. You can adjust exposure by tapping to FOCUS and dragging your finger up and down. Anything you need is usually just a tap or two away. It all seems pretty straight forward until you need to do anything a bit more specialized.

The fact there isn’t even a manual mode in the iPhone XS Max goes to show who this camera smartphone is for. You are meant to press the shutter button and trust that ‘it just works’. Edgar Cervantes

Often you are left wondering where the hell the Settings button is. There isn’t one! The fact that many options require leaving the camera app and looking for them in the Settings creates a discontinuity issue I am sure will leave many users confused. Let me give you a few examples so you can understand what I mean.

At one point I wanted to force HDR on, but the option was nowhere to be found. I had to google it to find out you have go to the Camera section of the Settings and turn off Auto-HDR. Only then will the option to force HDR on appear. If you need to switch the resolution and frame-rate of the video recording, that’s another long trip to the convoluted Settings app.

That there isn’t even a manual mode in the iPhone XS Max camera app goes to show who this camera smartphone is for. It is a phone for the general consumer and not meant for that much creative freedom. Instead, it offers great camera results with the least required thought and effort. You’re meant to press the shutter button and just trust it works.

  • Ease of use: 10/10
  • Intuitiveness: 9/10
  • Features: 7/10
  • Advanced Settings: 5/10

First iPhone XS Sample Photos Captured by Travel Photographer in Zanzibar [PICS]

Travel photographer, Austin Mann, again has provided an exclusive look at what the latest iPhone camera can do. This time, he has taken Apple’s iPhone XS out into the field, capturing a variety of images in Zanzibar.

The exclusive real-world images was shared with PetaPixel via a gallery on Flickr. Mann tested the Portrait mode in the iPhone XS with a variety of shots outdoors, and also took images of sunsets and more.

Check out some of the embedded images from this Flickr gallery below, and tell us what you think:

Austin Mann is no stranger to getting an early first look at iPhone cameras before anybody else. Last year, he reviewed both the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X cameras, while he also got access to the iPhone 7/7 Plus and iPhone 6s/6s Plus and iPhone 6/6 Plus cameras in years’ past.

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iPhone XS Camera Review: Truly Impressive

The iPhone XS has a lot of things going for it. It has one of the best displays on any smartphone ever, it’s performance is beyond amazing, it has an impressive battery life, and awesome sounding stereo speakers. Along with all of that, Apple made some pretty big claims about the iPhone XS camera. So, if you’re wondering if the iPhone XS camera is all that great, well, we’ve tested it pretty thoroughly and here are my thoughts on it.

Rear Cameras

On the back, the iPhone XS features a 12MP f/1.8 12MP f/2.4 set up that’s similar to the iPhone X. However, Apple has made certain improvements here. For starters, the pixels on the sensor are now larger and deeper than the iPhone X, so they capture more light. Plus, there’s Smart HDR now to ensure the iPhone XS captures even more details in shadows and highlights. We tested out the rear camera in multiple conditions.

Good Lighting

In good lighting, the iPhone XS takes some pretty amazing photos. There is a lot of detail in the shots, color balance is usually on point, and thanks to Smart HDR, the shadows have ample detail. It’s a really good camera in good lighting as you can tell from the sample shots I’ve attached below. I did notice that the iPhone XS does saturate colors a tad more than what the iPhone X used to do, and I’m not sure how I feel about it because it’s not so oversaturated that it looks like a Samsung photo, but it’s not always true to life either. That said, the photos from the iPhone XS in good lighting conditions are definitely pretty amazing, and they won’t disappoint.

That said, I noticed that in indoor lighting, especially with yellow lights, the iPhone XS sometimes messed up the color balance and ended up making people’s skin appear pink and quite weird, but that only happens very rarely.

Low Light

In low light, the iPhone XS’ bigger and deeper sensors definitely do make quite a difference. Photos from the iPhone XS in poor lighting conditions turn out really nice, even though there is, obviously, noise due to the increased ISO. However, that’s not really something I can complain about because every single smartphone in the world has those issues with noise in low light, and the iPhone XS is on the end of the spectrum with the phones that perform the very best in low light, so that’s definitely great. Take a look at some of the sample shots I’ve taken for testing the iPhone XS’ camera capabilities in low light.

Portrait Mode

The Portrait Mode on the iPhone XS is one of the best I’ve seen. I’m not kidding, I’ve used the Pixel 2 which happens to be my favorite camera smartphone of all time, but the iPhone XS outdoes it. Portrait mode photos from the iPhone XS have plenty of detail, and excellent color balancing which is something I really like. Plus, the edge detection on the iPhone XS is really good. I mean, sure, it messes up sometimes (every phone does), but the iPhone XS portrait mode is a lot more consistent at taking better photos with more details than the competition. Plus there’s a Depth Control feature now which will let you adjust the background blur in portrait mode photos after you’ve shot them. That might sound a lot like Live Focus from Samsung or whatever, but it’s actually pretty different and quite a bit more advanced. However, as impressive as Depth Control is I didn’t find myself using it that very much.


In terms of videos, the iPhone XS is capable of shooting 4K video at up to 60FPS, and videos from the iPhone XS just look stunning. Believe me, I’ve taken a bunch of videos with the phone and everything is on point. The colors look beautiful, the sharpness is amazing, and there’s a lot of detail. Plus, the phone also handles HDR pretty well, so that’s great. In fact, personally, I think the iPhone XS is the best in terms of shooting videos of the phones I’ve tested so far.

Front Cameras

On the front, the iPhone XS comes with a 7MP true depth camera that comes with support for Portrait Mode, and the new Depth Control feature is here too. Again, I didn’t find myself using it very much, but as far as selfies are concerned, the front camera on the iPhone XS is definitely pretty good.

I did notice that photos from the front camera do end up with slightly reduced details most of the time, which is basically what Beauty Gate is all about. We have a dedicated article on Beauty Gate that you can check out if you’re interested in a detailed look into it.

Other than the slightly lower details though, the iPhone XS front camera is pretty great. There’s ample lighting, and the photos look really good. Plus the Smart HDR really makes a difference in the shadows and highlights of images.

iPhone XS Camera Review: Definitely Awesome

Overall, the cameras on the iPhone XS are definitely pretty great. Pictures from the iPhone XS have ample detail, the colors look great, and overall they are just very pleasing to look at. Even with the front camera, the lack of details is not very evident when you’re just looking at the photos on a smartphone, which honestly, is where you’ll be looking at most photos anyway. The point is, personally, I’m very impressed with the cameras on the iPhone XS, and I don’t think they leave a lot to be desired. That said, I’m looking forward to the Pixel 3, so we can see if the iPhone XS can hold its own against what is likely to be the best camera on a smartphone.

iPhone XS photo samples

Apple’s new iPhone 11 Pro is all about cameras. With three 12mp/4K cameras on the back, it is a full lens kit in your For my video I decided to not only test out the new iPhone 11 Pro camera but also compare it to an iPhone X and iPhone XS I was lucky enough to have access to (thanks Stetson!).

Check out the video below if you haven’t already and then continue below for the analysis and results.

In Portrait Mode, the iPhone 11 Pro absolutely blew away the iPhone X. This was especially apparent when utilizing the mode to blur the background on subjects like flowers or trees that have significantly more complex shapes. Looking at the photo from the iPhone 11 Pro, we can see it is able to blur the background between almost every stem and flower. In comparison, the X has far less separation between the foreground and background and also blurs a few of the wrong flowers.

The iPhone XS achieved similar depth and background separation as the 11 Pro but suffered to define the edges.

When it came to dynamic range, both the iPhone XS and 11 Pro had less contrasty images than the iPhone X. They consistently had more details in the highlights when the X would blow out and just be white. (Notice the spots of sunlight on the brick wall)

The iPhone 11 Pro’s dynamic range wasn’t always instantly better than that of the XS. But upon closer inspection, photos taken on the 11 Pro preserved more details and color information in the shadows. (Notice the gaps of the plastic crates in the above image)

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Iphone Xs Portrait photography ���� #shorts #photography #iphone

If you want to download and take a look at the original full-res images to compare them for yourself, I uploaded a bunch to a Google Drive.

iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone X XS — Video Quality

Now for video quality. The most surprising thing I noticed while comparing the video from these three iPhones was that the iPhone XS was consistently the sharpest of the three. This was primarily due to the lower dynamic range of the iPhone XS however, Apple might still need to make some changes to the 11 Pro’s sharpening algorithms.

Looking at the still frame I took from 4K footage, the iPhone 11 Pro actually doesn’t look as good as the XS. The video from the 11 Pro was flatter overall — not a bad thing now that Apple has added video editing to the iPhone. The iPhone X is also a flatter image but mainly due to a lower black or white point and not because the phone captured more details in the highlights or shadows.

Low-light video quality has been significantly improved in the iPhone 11 Pro camera over both the XS and X. Taking a look at a frame from some 1080p/120 slow-mo clips that I shot at dusk, the amount of noise in both the iPhone X and XS is astounding compared to the 11 Pro.

Add-in that the iPhone 11 Pro camera was able to almost always shoot at a higher ISO — thus faster shutter speed — and the result is clear motion with less blur. This was great with slow-mo as well as when filming a fast-moving subject at regular framerates.

How good are three cameras?

Now for the big question that everyone has about the iPhone 11 Pro: what is it like shooting with three cameras? Actually pretty helpful to be honest. Having the ability to shoot a scene with three 3 different focal lengths is handy.

The iPhone 11 Pro’s new ultrawide camera could definitely use some improvement though. First off, it has a fixed FOCUS meaning you can’t get to close to your subject without it being blurry. This is a shame because one often-used aspect of an ultrawide lens is the ability to get almost uncomfortably close to your subject.

Secondly, the 11 Pro’s ultrawide camera lacks optical image stabilization. While this isn’t that big of a deal — noticing camera shake with a 13mm focal length is pretty hard anyway — it could enable some incredible features (take a look at what GoPro has been doing with their cameras).


I wish I could offer a better takeaway than “the iPhone 11 Pro camera(s) have better image and video quality than previous iPhones” but essentially that is my findings after several days of testing. The iPhone XS was consistently closer in quality (especially dynamic range and sharpness), but still almost always was edged out by the newer 11 Pro.

If you have either an iPhone X or XS, however, I don’t see upgrading as a necessity. Both of those iPhones still capture great-looking images. Unless your job relies on you taking photos or video with your phone, getting a new iPhone 11 Pro (instead of waiting until next year’s iPhone 2020) won’t seem like that big of an upgrade.

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I personally will be staying with my iPhone XS Max for the foreseeable future. The loss of 3D touch on the new iPhones is something I don’t want to accept until Apple adds a few more exciting features to make the sacrifice worth it.

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Gabe S. Author

YouTuber, tech lover, and FAA Part 107 pilot. I try to help others use technology for creative purposes rather than being used by it.