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iPhone XR: This is what you can expect from the camera

Apple's iPhone XR shares the same wide-angle camera as the iPhone XS and XS Max. But it's cheaper than any…

Apple’s iPhone XR shares the same wide-angle camera as the iPhone XS and XS Max. But it’s cheaper than any of the two phones. If you decide on the iPhone XR and iPhone XS (the Max Camera has exactly the same specifications and features as the usual XS), wonder if there is any difference in the camera, read on.

Pre-orders for iPhone XR start Friday, 19 October, 12.01. PT. CNET’s own Bridget Carey went with the new iPhone XR and all its wonderful new colors.

First, here’s what we know will be the same:

  • Both the iPhone XR and XS have the same 1

    2-megapixel wide-angle camera (26mm at f1.8) with optical image stabilization for photos and videos

  • TrueDepth Camera 7- 19009005 megapixel camera with movie stabilization (1080p / 720p)] Videos play up to 4K resolution (24, 30, 60fps) with stereo recording
  • Smart HDR, Apple’s new way to process HDR images

The Looks like much in common. Both phones also share the same computing photography pipeline with the A12 Bionic chip and image signal processor.

But the big difference is that the XS and XS Max has an extra 12 megapixel f2.4 camera on the back, which is used for 2x optical zoom. It is also an important part of portrait mode, because it uses a phone sensor to help create a depth map that determines where your subject is relative to the background.

To be clear, I have not yet used iPhone XR and what’s clean. Based on my experience of iPhone XS, Apple’s specifications for iPhone XR, my own camera expertise and a healthy degree of speculation.

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Portrait Mode May Be Limited on iPhone XR

Without the second telephoto lens, the iPhone XR is dependent on software and its only rear lens to create portrait mode. Other simple lenses, such as Google Pixel 3, also provide a similar effect through software and processing.

We’re not sure until we’ve tested it, but portraits taken on the iPhone XR can look a little different from those on XS.

A portrait taken on iPhone XS with the background slurry set to f / 1.4.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

Portrait Lighting is Apple’s name for the effects you can apply to portrait mode photos, either before or after the shot has been taken.

On iPhone XS and XS Max – like previous iPhones with portrait mode – you can choose five different lighting effects: Nature, Studio, Contour, Stage Light and Stage Light Mono.

A portrait of a wax image by Steve McQueen, taken in portrait mode on the iPhone XS with Stage Light Mono.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

The iPhone XR rear camera will only have three of these effects: Nature, Studio and Contour. However, you can still change bokeh (backlight) using controls as you can on iPhone XS and XS Max. This allows you to adjust bokeh somewhere between f1.4 and f16, which simulates the shallow depth of field effect you get from switching aperture on a DSLR lens.

It seems that iPhone XR’s portrait mode will not work on topics other than people, as suggested by a initial reaction .

Other phones with single cameras can make bokeh on any subject, not just on people. We’re not sure if the iPhone XR can do the same until we test the camera itself.

Here’s how to change the depth effect on iPhone XS.

Lexy Savvides / CNET

It’s the same selfie camera as the iPhone XS and XS Max

The 7-megapixel TrueDepth camera is shared between the three phones. So it does not seem like there will be any surprises here in how the camera does itself. You can still take pictures with portrait mode using the front camera. You will also be able to use all five light effects in portrait mode.

And with the TrueDepth camera, it also means you can make Animoji and Memoji to your heart content on iPhone XR.

 Apple Event-091218-iphone-xr-0583


The front facing camera on iPhone XR.

James Martin / CNET

Zoom is more limited

The iPhone XS and XS Max have 2x optical zoom from the phone’s sensitivity but can also achieve up to 10x digital zoom. But XR is limited to 5x digital zoom for still images. That means you will not be able to get so close, but digital zoom tends to make the pictures messy and overworked the more you increase the magnification.

Videos will also be limited to 3x digital zoom, instead of 2x optical zoom that extends to 6x digital zoom available for recording on iPhone XS and XS Max.

iPhone XR does not have 3D Touch

This means you can not get quick access to start the camera in different modes if you’re used to 3D Touch. By pressing and holding the camera’s icon on iPhone XS and XS Max, you can start the camera directly in self-portrait, video capture mode, scan a QR code, or take a portrait photo.

Once we have received our iPhones, ll run real camera reviews to see if there are other differences between the iPhone XS, XS Max and iPhone XR cameras. Here are more sample images and details about the differences between the iPhone XS and X cameras .

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