177Image quality ratingUBER-G SCORESCoring- / Ranking-SystemnameIQImage-Quality-based rating systemCAMERAMobile High EndCategory based on the price2019-09Device introduction dateApple iPhone 11 ProDevice brand and name

Important camera specifications and hardware score of the Uber-G camera

  • Rear view camera system (4 cameras)
    • Primary: 26 mm 12 MP 1: 1.8 wide (primary) + OIS
    • Zoom: 51 mm 12 MP 1: 2.0 zoom + OIS
    • Extra wide: 13 mm 12 MP 1: 2.4 ultra wide

The hardware of the iPhone camera is not impressive on paper. In fact, it has normal-sized sensors and relatively small openings compared to competitors. However, Apple has worked hard to make the best of it and the result is very good, as you will see shortly.

The main change that explains better low-light performance and lower average noise is the higher maximum ISO (from 2304 to 3072) of the primary camera. The telephoto camera benefits from the same improvements along with a larger aperture.

Image quality analysis

Important: Let us clarify some terms that we will use:

  • "Image processing": Software work that improves the image data quality
  • "Image filtering": Software work that changes the style (aesthetics) of the photo.
  • "Context photo: a large Approximation from what we see
    • Including how dark the scene actually is
    • Just for that context of the shot.

A note on Uber-G camera IQ Score: Our camera rating system is based on four “pillars” or partial scores that offer the much needed nuance: Day, night, Zoom and extra wide Photography.

Daylight photography

In daylight photography, iPhone users will find a typical Apple tuning style with a slight HDR exaggeration and an emphasis on texture at low noise levels.

Last year's iPhone Xs was one of the best daylight cameras, and the iPhone 11 Pro pushes things a little further, though it has a nearly identical primary camera to the Xs that is based on the specs and doesn't describe things like lens quality or sensor sensitivity .

In the first scene below, the iPhone 11 behaves nearly Just like the iPhone Xs and the only difference is the slightly higher level of artificial contrast added to the vote. Image filtering remains very mild compared to the competition.

Context: the scene as we see it

Above: When comparing with the reference image, you can see that the iPhone 11 Pro has a stronger sharpening filter that is visible in the lower left grass. That being said, the differences to the iPhone X in this scene are minimal.

Below, the Galaxy Note 10 slightly overexposes the distant houses and uses a lot of sharpening. It is clearly visible in the trees, which become noticeably lighter, partly due to ringing artifacts.

Below, the Huawei P30 takes a very good photo with excellent exposure. However, the cropped view shows that the iPhone 11 Pro has better texture and detail retention on closer inspection.

OEMs are often under pressure to do things “better”, and with no new hardware, increasing image filtering is a cost-effective option that refreshes the look a bit.

Context: what the scene looks like

Below: A cropped view shows that the iPhone 11 Pro has a stronger sharpening filter, which is visible, for example, on the tree trunk at the bottom right and on the curtains at the top right.

Bottom: The P30 Pro's slightly lower resolution (in auto mode) results in a blurred image that may be visible when you try to crop images to smaller sizes (for framing).

The scene below is an excellent example of a reinforced image filter for artificial sharpening, as you can see the ringing around the satellite dish and the electrical cables. The Apple effect is not applied indiscriminately: the roof structure remains unaffected.

The whole scene, taken with the iPhone 11 Pro

In the next scene below, we emphasize the photo functions in daylight with extreme differences in the dynamic range and many fine details. As always, the context photo shows what your eyes would see.

Context: how the scene looks with your eyes

Most top cameras will do well here, but although there is plenty of light, there are differences. For example, Google Pixel 3 struggles to capture the scene "as we see it" with our eyes. There are many places that are too dark and the noise level is relatively high.

The Huawei P30 Pro does an excellent job with details and noise levels, but the colors are slightly different (see below).

The Galaxy Note 10 (and S10) instantly capture better hues and are low in noise, but the tree leaf details aren't very good, probably due to the noise reduction algorithm, which has problems with organic shapes.

The tones of the iPhone 11 PRo are very close together, the details of the tree leaves are well preserved (with the exception of the top red leaves, which are lost on the iPhone), but the noise level is noticeably high and the only weak point is the remaining noise level is relatively high .

As expected, all the top phones do very well in broad daylight with some strengths and weaknesses, but overall things stay very tight. The advancements of the iPhone 11 Pro make it the overall winner of daylight photography because its performance is stable on all shots. If the noise level is too high for your taste, you can choose one of the competitors.

Night photography

In low-light mode, the iPhone 11 Pro even shows real progress over the iPhone Xs without the new night mode.

For our tests we have deactivated the night mode This is a long exposure mode that takes between 2 and 6 seconds to take a photo in low light. Many competing phones have had this function for more than a year.

We disable it for two reasons: First, the real low-light capabilities of the camera, not the aesthetics of image filtering. Second, because most people do not want to wait a few seconds for their pictures to be taken in low light. Night mode is a "good to have," However, it should be a last resort, not something that is enabled by default.

Not surprisingly, the iPhone 11 Pro takes better night photos than the iPhone Xs, and that's a huge relief. In general, the colors are more pinpoint than iPhone Xs and the exposure is excellent. With a little more saturation, the colors would be great, but you can just add that manually.

Context: The scene as your eyes would see it

Above: The iPhone 11 Pro does a slightly better job than the iPhone Xs with the color capture and the details / textures on the street. The iPhone's HDR style instantly makes the image appear a bit dull, as a certain contrast has been removed (We are sorryWe didn't notice that the light from the left house was on and off between the photos.

Below, the Galaxy Note 10 has a new voting style that's more aggressive with brightening the image, including slightly overexposing the light sources. The orange tone is captured better and the contrast is higher, although the entire scene is brighter.

Technically, brighter isn't always better when shooting in low light, but maintaining contrast may be more comfortable and may speed up photo editing.

Below, the Huawei P30 Pro almost turns it into a daylight photo. As you can see, exposure levels, details, and texture are good, but when using HDR, a lot of contrast has been removed from the scene and much of the volume has been lost. Some people will love this style, while others won't like it.

Also note that both the iPhone 11 Pro and the Galaxy Note 10 use shutter speeds of ~ 1/4 (ISO ~ 1200) seconds, while the Huawei P30 Pro exposes at 3200 ISO ~ 1/20 seconds. This means that Huawei has fewer problems with moving objects.

Context: The scene as your eyes would see it

In the following, the iPhone 11 Pro also performs well in the Cityscape test, which is a challenge for every camera due to the extreme differences in brightness and tones.

It's a little bit better than last year's Xs with better color pickup, like the orange light from the right. However, it added a yellow hue to the image overall. The lower contrast makes the skyline appear a bit blurry, which it wasn't.

The Galaxy Note 10 has no yellow hue, but this time it is a little too blue. The city itself is slightly overexposed, but the added contrast makes it less blurry as it should be.

Below, the Huawei P30 Pro artificially changes the colors and contrast to get a very brightened-up version of the original scene, possibly revealing / highlighting details of the scene that are present after the shot because they are usually invisible.

A closer look shows the different noise and detail profiles, whereby the Galaxy Note 10 and the iPhone 11 Pro have a good compromise between noise, brightness and preservation of the scene mood.

Huawei goes all-in on the brightness, but shows a rather blocky noise pattern because of that. Huawei can use higher ISO values ​​in some areas to recognize things that are not even visible to the naked eye. However, the volume can be lost and the mood of the scene has changed significantly.

The comparison with the iPhone Xs shows a clear progress with the iPhone 11 Pro, which is enough to (finally) catch up with the Samsung S10 / Note 10.

In low-light situations with no extreme differences in brightness (see the photo with the cut bottles below), the iPhone 11 Pro is just a little bit better than the iPhone Xs, but nowhere near the P30 Pro.

iPhone 11 Pro, auto mode

Huawei P30 Pro, auto mode

What about night mode?

The iPhone 11 is getting night mode for the first time, a feature introduced by Huawei last year and then quickly adopted by Google, Samsung, and pretty much everyone a camera should talk about.

Night mode is a long exposure mode that was originally designed to make photos brighter in low light conditions, even if night photos are not always better. Note that night mode does not act like a classic long exposure, but HDR and other effects / techniques are applied to the final image.

The images in iPhone night mode are exposed between 2 and 6 seconds depending on the user interface of the camera. The time varies depending on the scene. As we said earlier, we consider night mode as a filter, which is a great tool, however not representative of the true quality of the camera.

In addition, months after its spread by Huawei, night mode became much less relevant when the same company launched the P30 Pro, a high ISO camera that makes night mode irrelevant. Look at these two pictures that the iPhone 11 Pro has taken for night mode ~ 3 to 6 seconds. The other shot from the Huawei P30 Pro shot in 0.05 sec.

iPhone 11 Pro night mode (exposure 3 to 6 seconds)

Huawei P30 Pro auto mode (0.05 seconds exposure)

Is Wait 120X longer worth the difference in quality? The decision is up to you, but we believe that night mode is an amazing tool that should be optional. Unfortunately, the iPhone 11 Pro enables night mode and by default You have to manually disable it for each photo.

Ultra wide photography

Context: how the scene looks with your eyes

The addition of ultrawide photography is an important contribution to a higher IQ value of the iPhone camera, because it opens up a multitude of new possibilities that are often used by real users.

The Ultrawide camera module of the iPhone 11 Pro is not technologically comparable to its main camera, but this also applies to all other competitors. As a result, details are captured that are not as sharp, and photos have a higher noise.

The iPhone does a very good job with Ultrawide daylight photography and is generally better than the Huawei P30 Pro's Ultrawide camera for color recording, but the P30 Pro is slightly better with HDR and level of detail if you crop often.

However, the Galaxy Note 10 takes even better shots in daylight, with the hues closer to your eyes. This is particularly evident in the tree colors in the following example:

The difference is even greater at night, as the Galaxy Note 10 is well ahead in terms of color and light absorption and leaves close competitors behind. Note 10 is currently the recipient of our award for "Best Ultrawide Camera".

Context: The scene as your eyes would see it

Zoom photography

In terms of zoom performance, our tests show that the iPhone 11 Pro 51mm optics perform significantly better than Pixel 3 (26mm + digital zoom) and only slightly better than iPhone Xs and Galaxy Note 10 (52mm optically).

Zoom with the Pixel 3

Zoom in with the Huawei P30 Pro

However, the iPhone 11 Pro is unable to outperform better optical zoom lenses like the Huawei P30 Pro's 130 mm lens. The same applies to a lesser extent to 80 mm zoom camera modules on the market.

Conclusion and camera IQ score

MASTER_TITLEBESTDAYLIGHTS-specific category will be considered

177Image quality ratingUBER-G SCORESCoring- / Ranking-SystemnameIQImage-Quality-based rating systemCAMERAMobile High EndCategory based on the price2019-09Device introduction dateApple iPhone 11 ProDevice brand and name

Uber-G camera IQ Partial results
Day 189
night 194
Zoom 92
Extra wide 117

With the iPhone 11 Pro camera, Apple is once again competitive and is catching up with the ubiquity of ultrawide cameras on the Android high-end market for a whole year.

Each camera platform retains certain "signature" elements, such as the HDR tuning on iPhone, which makes the images a bit duller but with excellent exposure, or the Samsung tuning, which takes excellent colors, but uses over-sharpening somewhat. Huawei's tuning changes colors the most, but has exceptionally low noise in low-light conditions.


One of the strengths of the iPhone camera is that its output is very predictable, with no major surprises when it comes to color or image filtering. When the scene is brightly lit, the iPhone doesn't need state-of-the-art optics and sensors to become today's best mobile daylight camera.

With the iPhone 11 Pro camera, Apple should be able to satisfy users so well that they may not think about flying to a competitor (and the hassle associated with changing habits).

You can read full ratings the iPhone Xs camera, Google Pixel 3 camera, Galaxy Note 10 camera, Galaxy S10 camera and Huawei P30 Pro camera.

Saved in Apple> Cell Phones> Reviews. Read more about Apple, Apple Reviews, Editorspick, iPhone 11 Pro and Mobile Camera Reviews.


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