It may take a while for travel photographer Austin Mann to learn how to work the new iPhone X without a home button.
Yet it took him no time at all to be dazzled by the flagship handset as a camera.
The condensed version of the story is this: fresh, fast and beautiful.
“For me, I think it’s safe to say this upgrade to iPhone X is the most exciting phone upgrade I’ve experienced since switching from my Blackberry 7230 to the original iPhone in 2007,” Mann said on his website, a go-to resource for iPhone users wanting to learn how to make better pictures. “After being conditioned to a tick-tock upgrade cycle with a radically new iPhone design every two years, the last four years have felt a little uneventful.
“The iPhone X is the most radical change we’ve seen since the introduction of the Plus, and maybe ever.”
There maybe a fair amount of gushing over the iPhone X this holiday season. Lines of people camped outside Apple Stores last Friday, a spectacle that had faded over the last few new products.
Even more will now clamor thanks to early reviews that, much like Mann’s feelings, sang praises for innovation long overdue and that it’s a grand well spent.
If iPhone photographers are still on the fence about an upgrade, Mann’s review may push them towards the X. This is what Mann liked about the iPhone X.
Shooting one-handed with the iPhone X is “more nimble and discreet” thanks to a size that falls in-between the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. The screen stretches edge-to-edge making it actually three-tenths of an inch larger than the screen on the iPhone 8 Plus.
Significant upgrade to telephoto lens
The telephoto lens, first introduced on the iPhone 7 Plus, has a wider aperture to let in more light and, for the first time has image stabilization.
“The faster telephoto lens affects everything shot in 2X, including time-lapses,” He said. “I really like to shoot time-lapses that fade from sunset into the night, but they often get unusably noisy toward the end.”
Faster Portrait Mode
The f/2.4 telephoto lens and image stabilization help the response time for Portrait Mode, especially in low light, Mann said.
Mann found less risk of motion blur and minimal noise thanks to the fast f-stop on the 52 mm lens.
This under-appreciated change to the iPhone caught Mann’s eye as it should everyone’s. Dolby Vision, he wrote, uses metadata to automatically optimize the picture for every screen. This means brighter colors, richer blacks and gives shooters an assurance their work will be properly rendered no matter the screen.
“I’m still adapting to its new interface,” Mann said, “but the size is right, the screen is great for sharing photos and the improvements to the telephoto lens make it a no brainer.”
You can read Mann’s review, which includes video, and view his Guatemala pictures on his blog.