I've been waiting for quite some time to see how good the iPhone 8 Plus performs in low-light. Yesterday, September 22nd, DxOMark has published their iPhone 8 Plus camera review (talking about the rear-facing cameras here). I had a good feeling that we are going to see some great performance here because of a few reasons. First of all, both cameras have an Optical Image Stabilization, the wide-angle camera has an f/1.8 lens with a new larger image sensor and Apple also included a slow sync flash, a Quad-LED True Tone flash and HDR that can also help to improve image quality in not so optimal lighting conditions.
It's important to note that the wide-angle camera has a faster lens than the telephoto camera, so their low-light performance should vary.
The iPhone 8 Plus, even before it got out, faces some tough competition from cameraphones that already shown great performances, including the Google Pixel, HTC U11, LG G6, Samsung Galaxy Note8 and Sony Xperia XZ premium among others.
The iPhone 8 Plus performed amazingly well relative to older models. DxOMark mentioned and demonstrated that in their review. You can see how well each camera performed under very low light (5 Lux according to them) and you can see how we progressed from the iPhone 5S that was very noisy, to less and less noise from iPhone 6, iPhone 6s and iPhone 8 Plus. It's amazing to see how clear the image is with almost no noise at all. Even compared to the iPhone 6s, it's a HUGE improvement. In fact, DxOMark mentioned that this is the best performance they have seen for static scenes.
Some of you might think that it's not such a big deal, but it is. I remember on my trip to Barcelona, I was so frustrated with my iPhone 5S low light performance. I already knew that once the sun start setting, I won't be able to get good shots. At night, most of my shots turned out to be very noisy and dark. The camera just wasn't able to deal with those low-light scenes. Just as a reminder, the iPhone 5S comes with a f/2.2 aperture lens and 1.5-micron pixel size. Of course sensor' technology keep improving and this has a significant impact on the low light capability of the sensor.
I just want to add that I was less impressed with the Portrait mode in low-light, it seems that whatever the camera is doing in that mode, it yielded much less impressive results and the Google Pixel outperformed it by quite a lot margin. So there is definitely something going there which I haven't figured out why yet. I just guess that if I want the best possible low light performance, I should't be using that mode.
Most of my best shots (where I was able to capture good shot with enough light available) happened at night. There is something really magical that happens at night that just makes things look more unique and interesting for many shots. This is why on my next purchase, I am putting a big emphasize on the low-light capability of the camera.
It's not that I am going to buy the iPhone 8 Plus for that reason alone.For those of you who care about low light performance and thinking about buying the iPhone 8 Plus.you can rest assured knowing that you get a superb low light performance. No doubt that the combination of everything I mentioned before really helped the iPhone 8 Plus rear camera to perform admirably well.
I highly recommend checking out the sample images and the review itself on dxomark.com. If you are not convinced by what I said and need more proofs, this is the place you should visit. I have no doubt that upcoming review will say the same, some of them already do. The thing is that not every review put emphasize on the low light performance.
I recommend checking out engadget.com review of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. There is a nice collection of camera sample there taken with the iPhone 8 Plus which can give you a good impression how good the image quality is overall, including like six or seven samples taken in low light.