Apple introduced the dual camera system with iPhone 7 Plus and although many Android handsets had been offering dual lens cameras since long before that, it was the iPhone 7 Plus, which for the first time, introduced a telephoto lens and used it to perform various neat tricks like the 2X zoom and the beautiful portrait mode effect. The dual-camera system was major selling point for iPhone 7 Plus and hence, this year again, the dual-camera system returns with the new iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.
Personally, I have never been much of a fan of portrait mode, however, I do like the ability to utilize 2X optical zoom which is way better than using digital zoom. I like the 2X optical zoom feature as it allows me to take great macro shots which otherwise would not have been possible. That said, a recent discovery regarding the telephoto lens on iPhone X has me a little worried. Studio Neat’s Dan Provost discovered that iPhone X might not switch to telephoto lens even when you are manually telling the camera to do so. In his article Dan wrote,
When you zoom-in to 2X, the camera does not always switch to the telephoto lens. In some cases (typically in low light scenarios), you will be presented with a cropped image from the wide angle lens instead. This was sacrilege to camera nerds, but Apple would argue that if the cropped image looks better in those low light situations, then that is the correct approach.
What he says is that in low light situations, even when you want to use the telephoto lens, the camera uses the primary lens and shows you a cropped version using the digital zoom, making it seem like that the photo is being taken using the telephoto lens. It’s because the telephoto lens on iPhone X has smaller aperture and captures less light thereby resulting in noisy photos in low-lighting conditions. Hence, the iPhone X doesn’t allow users to switch to the telephoto lens in low-lighting conditions.
However, when Provost compared iPhone X’s telephoto lens with the one on iPhone 7 Plus, he found that the iPhone X required less than a quarter of the light as compared to iPhone 7 Plus to automatically switch to Telephoto lens. That’s a really good news and I think that the inclusion of OIS in the telephoto lens on iPhone X has a lot to do with it. Still, the fact that iPhone X automatically switches between the two lenses depending on ambient lighting might anger some users who like to manually control their camera settings. If you are an iPhone X owner, do let us know if this new finding worries you or not? Be sure to drop your thoughts in the comments section below.