Apple last week launched its new 2020 iPhone SE, a low-cost $399 smartphone that features iPhone 8 components, including the same camera sensor as the iPhone 8 (a 12-megapixel lens that features an f/1.8 aperture and a 28mm focal length, narrower than the 26mm focal length of the 12-megapixel wide-angle in Apple’s flagships), but upgraded with the same A13 chip available in Apple’s flagship iPhones.
MacRumors took the weekend to see how the iPhone SE’s camera measures up to the iPhone 8 and iPhone 11 Pro.
Though equipped with iPhone 8 hardware, the iPhone SE has more advanced photographic capabilities that are enabled by the powerful A13 Bionic chip inside, such as Portrait Mode and Smart HDR, so for the most part, the iPhone SE’s camera quality is superior to the iPhone 8 but inferior to the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro…
The iPhone SE is a passable camera of course that’s going to take great every day shots, but those seriously interested in better iPhone photography should take a look at the iPhone 11 over the iPhone SE.
MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone SE camera is certainly excellent for a $399 smartphone. As for the iPhone 11 Pro camera, check out Austin Mann’s full review (and all of his beautiful images) in which he writes:
In short, if you are a serious photographer, get a Pro. Think of the extra cost as buying an extra lens — it’s worth it.
If you’re considering an iPhone 11, it has a great camera and is a big upgrade from any previous iPhone, even last year’s XS in some aspects. The most significant missing camera feature on the iPhone 11 is the lack of the telephoto lens, so if you really love/want the telephoto, you’ll need to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro.
For those debating between iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max:
The 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are identical in terms of camera performance (same lenses, sensors, and so on). While the iPhone 11 Pro is more nimble and lighter, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a larger screen (viewfinder/display for editing/sharing) and has even more battery life.