DxOMark: iPhone X Video Quality Falls Short

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

According to DxOMark, Apple’s $1,000 iPhone X didn’t grab top marks for it’s video quality, but that it’s still a top performer for still image photography. Does that mean that it’s a failure for mobile filmmaking? Not exactly.

Shooting 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, the iPhone X is a very capable performer for smartphone video enthusiasts. Capturing movies outdoors or in bright light exposures are very good and handle extremes of brightness very well, with the same good detail preservation in the shadows and highlights as we saw with stills.  – DxOMark report

Though DxOMark acknowledges the iPhone’s capability to shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, for the purposes of their tests, the smartphone was measured at 1080p at 30 frames per second like all devices tested. With an overall average score of 97, the iPhone X was second to Google Pixel 2 thanks to it’s still image score of  98.  The scores reflected the new criteria that DxOMark has established for mobile devices. The iPhone X ‘s score is driven by a top photo score of 101, but when it came to video, the image quality rating of the iPhone’s camera rating drops to 89.

The phone has as its key strengths good exposure, fast convergence during lighting changes, and accurate color rendering. DxOMark also rating the iPhone X as having fast and accurate autofocus, as well as effective video stabilization.

In very low light, videos are often slightly underexposed, but exposure convergence is both fast and smooth during lighting changes. A buildup of luminance noise is evident in low-light conditions.

But in low light, the iPhone’s video quality comes in slightly underexposed, which prompts the iPhone’s exposure compensation utility to kick in, which causes inviting more noise to the party. This is where the iPhone X’s overall score drops to 66, compared to 91 indoors and 108 outdoors. The underexposure is especially noticeable between 1 and 5 Lux, but the report says the image is usable. Low light also effects the iPhone’s ability to to track autofocus and to remain sharp.

As for video image stabilization, the iPhone X does offer optical image stabilization that is effective with a score of 91, but DxOMark says that there is some vibration evident when using a walking motion. Other scores include 81 for overall exposure, 86 for Color, 84 for Autofocus.

The report summarizes that the iPhone X’s main strengths lie in a good dynamic range, and in color rendering of videos with good saturation and a neutral white balance for most lighting conditions. The report also concludes  that while the iPhone X falls short of the Google Pixel 2, it ties the Huawei Mate 10 for the second highest score for overall mobile image quality. In short, DxOMark states that the $1,000 phone can “deliver the goods.”

However, while the iPhone does do well in the DxOMark testing, its video image quality is identical to the iPhone 8 Plus. So for mobile filmmakers, the lower cost alternative makes a lot more sense. Sure, it isn’t as sexy as the iPhone X with its OLED screen, but that doesn’t do much other than add a status symbol.

For my money, and if these scores hold up, I’m going with the iPhone 8 Plus.

Pros

  • Accurate color rendering and white balance in most lighting conditions
  • Good exposure with fast convergence during lighting changes
  • Fast and accurate autofocus performance
  • Effective stabilization
  • Good detail preservation

Cons

  • High-frequency oscillations during walking movements
  • Luminance noise visible in low light
  • Slight loss of sharpness during tracking in low light

You can read more about DxOMark’s test results here.

About doddle 16509 Articles
Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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