Can iPhone X’s ‘Portrait Lighting’ Beat Professional-Grade Equipment?

Can iPhone X's Camera Beat Professional-Grade Equipment?
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Among the iPhone 8 Plus’ and high-end iPhone X’s most notable new features, which include wireless charging, powerful A11 Bionic CPUs and more, Apple has included an advanced, software-based Portrait Lighting mode — a camera feature designed to simulate a wide variety of studio lighting effects, which are traditionally exclusive to professional-grade photographers working behind studio doors.

Portrait Lighting mode is a powerful, depth-enhancing utility built into iOS 11.1 which, when coupled with Apple’s standard Portrait Mode introduced alongside the iPhone 7 Plus, is designed to make capturing professional-looking photos an easy feat for all. Apple has even published videos to its official YouTube channel, showcasing how to capture the best photos possible using Portrait Lighting mode on iPhone X and 8 Plus.

But how do these radically-enhanced photos actually compare with those professional photographers process from their studios?

To find out, pro-photographer Daniel DeArco has published a video to his official YouTube channel, in which he seeks to compare and contrast images captured with Portrait Lighting mode on his iPhone X with those captured using the natural and artificial lighting sources in his private studio. Watch the full video comparison below.

The Verdict

Through his analysis, DeArco interestingly concluded that although Portrait Lighting mode on iPhone X “worked well,” the feature ultimately “still can’t compare” to a studio full of equipment.

He cites specifically, that while iPhone X did capture photos boasting greater depth — and that these depth-effects often produced overall higher-quality images — iPhone X, in the end, ultimately produced photos that lacked in comparison to those captured using equipment in the studio.

Now, that’s not to suggest that iPhone X is “limited” or that photos captured using it are somehow “worse,” but DeArco’s testing certainly does remind us that no matter how advanced and powerful your smartphone’s camera technology is, pro-grade users who process images for a living, or for fun, will always be better-served relying on professional equipment.

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