Here’s one nice thing about Apple launching the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus in September: late summer and early fall are, hands down, some of the best times to travel around New Mexico, where Outside is headquartered, and test the new camera. The state’s already beautiful light gets even more saturated, temps start to cool so people want to play outside, green chile is roasting at farmers' markets, and events like the State Fair draw crowds to Albuquerque. This year, I took full advantage of the season to look at the iPhone 8 Plus’s most important camera updates. (Stay tuned for a review of the X later this year.)
First impression: there’s no doubt that the iPhone 8 Plus makes better pictures than the 7 Plus. Are the file's leaps and bounds better? No. Do they rival what you’ll get with a high-end mirrorless or a DSLR? No. But it’s obvious that Apple has made some improvements. The lenses stay the same on the 8 Plus—it's still equipped with a 28mm f1.8 and a 56mm f2.8—so it’s a bigger sensor and improved software that make the difference.
The sensor is still 12 megapixels, but it’s physically bigger than what’s inside the 7 Plus, and faster, so it can take in more information, and more information leads to better photos. Most of the photos in this gallery are unedited, unless I note otherwise. You can see that they’re sharp, accurate, and do a good job of not blowing out the highlights and providing good detail in the shadows.