iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus cameras compared: is there really much of a difference?

iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus cameras compared: is there really much of a difference?

There's no denying that the iPhone 8 Plus has the best camera ever put on an iPhone. After all, it is the latest and greatest iPhone model yet, and Apple has thrown in improvements on both the hardware and the software front. But really, what has changed?

Is the iPhone 8 camera dramatically better than the one on the iPhone 7, or is the gap between the two only marginal? Is there any real-life difference at all? These are the questions we wanted to answer, so we took the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone 7 Plus out for a quick shootout. Here is what we observed.

Scene 1


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
One of the factors setting these two photos apart is how colors are rendered. Notice how the brown is more intense in the iPhone 8 Plus's photo. And when we zoom in, we see that details are a tad clearer, accentuated by more sharpening in the iPhone 8 Plus's shot. Overall, there appears to be a subtle difference in how the two cameras perform, at least in this particular example. In the next shot, however, the difference will be much easier to spot.

Scene 2


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
It should be clear to see that the iPhone 8 Plus delivers more saturated colors in this situation. The overall temperature is warmer, which is no surprise given that we took the photo as the sun was setting. 

Scene 3


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
That sunset we mentioned – well, here it is. Surprisingly, there's no HDR action going on as the two phones simply decided not to use the mode. But we can't complain since the two images are quite good-looking. And very similar to each other, for that matter, though the iPhone 8 Plus delivers a more pleasing shade of blue in the sky and more contrast overall.

Scene 4


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
To see whether the telephoto cameras behaved any differently, we snapped this set of shots at 2X zoom. The iPhone 8 Plus took a warmer image, much as it did in Scene 2, and the results are more faithful, as far as colors and overall appearance go. Curiously, the photo out of the iPhone 7 Plus appears sharper from up close, although it was the other way around in previous scenes. This could have something to do with the way the two phones handle digital noise, or could be the result of differences in camera hardware. We can't be entirely sure. 

Scene 5


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
Something we noticed during our shootout was that the flash on the iPhone 8 Plus produced vastly different results. Different in a good way – we can instantly tell that the colors in the iPhone 8 Plus's photo are more lifelike and accurate, looking at the skin tones and judging by the color of my jacket. By the way, these are both Portrait shots, taking advantage of the newly added option to actually use the flash when the mode is active. 

Scene 6


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
Here's one more low-light situation where we wanted the flash to shine some light at out model. As it is easy to notice, details in the iPhone 8 Plus's photo are much clearer, but the subject isn't illuminated as brightly. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however. It appears that the iPhone 8 Plus tries to strike a balance between the background and the foreground; it tries to avoid the subject's illumination to overpower the whole scene. Although we see why some might prefer the iPhone 7 Plus's look in this particular case – the subject does appear more visible.

Scene 7


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
No need for flash this time 'round, of course. This is a night-time shot where the iPhone 8 Plus behaves much as it does in previous scenes – colors are a tad more saturated while details are a bit clearer and sharper. 

Scene 8


iPhone 8 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 8 Plus iPhone 7 Plus
And before we wrap things up, here's a set of photos we took indoors. The iPhone 8 Plus went for a slightly slower shutter speed (1/5 vs 1/7 for the 7 Plus), hence delivering a photo that is a tad "brighter". Despite this, the highlights haven't suffered and even hold more detail. Both photos were taken at ISO80, yet the one out of the 8 Plus is sharper overall, presumably due to it handling digital noise differently.

Conclusion


iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus cameras compared: is there really much of a difference?
These were only half of the photos we took for the purpose of this iPhone 8 Plus vs iPhone 7 Plus camera comparison, but we'd say they suffice. Indeed, the newer model is superior, just as it should be given the technical improvements Apple threw in, but while its lead is more obvious in certain situations, it is barely noticeable in others. 

Colors out of the iPhone 8 Plus tend to be more vivid and accurate, judging by the photos that we took. This could be the result of software tweaks, of alterations in how the new image signal processor works, and of the introduction of a new color filter in the camera module. Details also tend to be clearer and sharper with the iPhone 8 Plus, although you'd usually need to zoom in quite a bit before any difference becomes obvious. In more than a few shots, we could barely tell one phone from the other.

The performance of the flash, could use some improvement. While colors do appear more natural in our flash-assisted shots, the amount of illumination wasn't always optimal. 

Overall, you should be able to see a difference in camera performance if you choose to upgrade from an iPhone 7 to an iPhone 8. If that's your primary reason for upgrading, however, and if you're hoping to see a dramatic image quality boost, you might want to wait for the iPhone 8s and iPhone 8s Plus, or whatever next year's iPhones end up being called.

Related phones

iPhone 8 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A11 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2390 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2691 mAh(21h 3G talk time)
iPhone 7 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2900 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

27 Comments

1. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1158; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

I'd give this one to the iPhone 7 Plus really, the iPhone 8 Plus delivers much more saturated photos. Only in case of using the flash does the iPhone 8 Plus seem better.

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Was about to say that. There is indeed a difference, though not much - the difference being the iPhone 7 bettering the iPhone 8 in the camera side of things.

3. Hollowmost

Posts: 413; Member since: Oct 10, 2017

Colors seems more vivid in ip8 ... Both are good

6. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Vivid? Usually they call it oversaturated

20. sissy246

Posts: 6959; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Its only oversaturated when its Samsung, vivid when its iphone I give the win to the i7+ but neither one looks very good. Lots of noise going on there.

24. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yeah, just like "natural skin tone" for iPhone, and "yellowish" for other brand :v

11. bucknassty

Posts: 1296; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

they both have the same damn camera!

4. STRANG3R

Posts: 234; Member since: Sep 24, 2015

Low light photos iphone 7 plus is batter, other conditions 8 plus little bit better

5. tech_mate

Posts: 23; Member since: Nov 30, 2016

I wonder how 8+ scored better in DxO Mark than 7+!

7. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

19. iushnt

Posts: 3054; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Great read

8. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

I've spent a little time with both of them and the 8 Plus actually takes wayyy better photos than the 7 plus with better detail, better HDR, less noise and more vivid colors

9. Soundjudgment

Posts: 370; Member since: Oct 10, 2016

I agree. The iPhone 8 Plus... bests the 7 Plus in most of those shots. Now, what year will they finally push things further... to at least 16 Megapixels in the back and 8MP in the front?

10. Dejavu_LT

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 11, 2012

Difference is so marginal, that it's not even funny :)

12. igorpro

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 02, 2017

Color on the i8 richer - it is good. But yellow tint in the photo - it is very bad.

13. rsiders

Posts: 1863; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

So Apple just gave the 8 plus a little color boost and a tad more sharpening? Cool.

14. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

You can see a difference. But it isn't good enough for a price increase.

15. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

In this phone test, you can see both the iPhone 7+ and 8+ side by side on the same stick. Other than a bit more color saturation, they look identical. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqUeTXv2lGY&t=2s Both still have terrible dynamic range, meaning that stuff farther away simply gets washed out and become unseen. The 8 actually was worse overall vs the 7 But look at the Galaxy S7 vs the S8 and you can clearly see, that like Apple Samsung also basically used a sensor with similar specs, but it is an updated sensor, but the videos and photos are far more different and can easily be told appart, even if you didn't know right away which device it came from. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R73EvY5otqQ&t=335s Apple continues to charge premium cost for a mid-ranged phone, where the 4 recent models have not had any major changes over the other. But 2 of the 4 got price increases and for what? NOTHING. All that matter is, how fast an apps opens, benchmarks, how much Apple makes and that iOS what written on my the finger of some deity.

16. uncle_gadget

Posts: 1050; Member since: Sep 20, 2017

Since the iPhone 7+ didn't have dual OIS on the rear camera, how is it they didn't have it on the 8 either, yet the price increased? Samsung never even had a dual camera ever, and the very first phone they release with it, has dual OIS. Apple goes 2 models without it? But you all say Samsung price increase on the Note wasn't justified? OK so what did we get for that extra $80? We got a new dual lens, both with optical image stabilization, we got an additional 2GB of RAM, we got a bigger display with an even higher resolution, the camera on the Note 8 is a significant improvement over what was in the Note 7, which was in fact the S7's camera, but when you do a side by side of the S7 vs the Note 7, you see significant improvement. We got premium AKG headphones in the box, with all the needed adapters. I mean look at the cable on the AKG, they are thread and won't tangle, unlike that cheap $6 headhones that comes with the iPhone still, and they own Beats. We have also newer software enhancements, which include the fact that thanks to more RAM, the Note can hold as many as 25 apps in RAM, before reopening an app requires reloading. Then to top it off, we got the choice of a 128GB SDCARD + Wireless Fast charger or a Gear 360 (2017). The retail value on Amazon is $120 for the first gifts and $160 for the second. We got a new design too. We got all that for just an $80 price increase and you claim the Note 8 at $930 costs to much, but everyone is justifying the iPhone 8 price going up and you got absolutely nothing for it. But all that matters is, how fast an app opens, benchmarks showing the A11 dusting everyone else, and how much money Apple makes and because you aren't a stockholder; you won't be getting any of it. But fans are claimed to be the most educated. Having a degree and being able to do open heart surgery, doesn't mean you can't be a complete idiot in other things.

23. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Actually the design between the note 7 and note 8 isn't that much different. Looking at pictures of both right now and they shrunk the top and bottom bezel to make the screen taller, took away the home button and moved the FPS to the back, and added dual rear cameras. That is basically it. Its not a "new" design. To be fair, the iPhone 7 to 8 didn't change design much either, with basically just the back going from metal to glass and the antenna lines changing, but that is a change, its not exactly the same, but its not a "new" design either. The iPhone 8/8 Plus got a new faster 6 core chip, which you've always touted as something new in samsung phones techie. All new GPU as well. And a neural engine. New camera features, which I've seen unbiased reports that the 8 Plus camera is indeed excellent. 4K video at 60fps, 1080p 240fps slo-mo. I have never used the AKG headphones, so I cannot make a fair judgement on them, I've heard tho that they aren't anything special from ppl on youtube. Again I can't comment on them, and I rarely use headphones anyway. I do think the display resolutions should have been upped simply to be in line with the competition, I have no issues with my 7 Plus screen tho. But I do believe they should have raised the 8 to at least 1080p and the 8 Plus to 1440p. They should have included a fast wired charger in the box. So yeah the phones were upgraded over the 7 series. As the note 8 was upgraded over the note 7. I honestly don't agree with either ones price increase tho. Neither company is hurting for money and they could easily keep the prices as they were and be fine. So unlike you, I can give an unbiased comment and not totally favor one phone over the other cause no phone is perfect. But I can't expect you Techie to give an unbiased comment, you never have.

25. worldpeace

Posts: 3092; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

"Actually the design between the note 7 and note 8 isn't that much different. Looking at pictures of both right now and they shrunk the top and bottom bezel to make the screen taller, took away the home button and moved the FPS to the back, and added dual rear cameras. That is basically it. Its not a "new" design. " actually that's a lot of design changes

26. ecmedic4

Posts: 520; Member since: May 02, 2013

Its still an iteration of the note 7 and even the edge phones before that, its not an entirely new design. Still has the dual edges, glass back, just minimized the top and bottom bezel, and because of that had to relocate the FPS and added a dual camera, the flash and heart rate monitor were already there. Same design language in other words. Not a "new" design as he implied

17. mi7chy

Posts: 53; Member since: Apr 18, 2016

Same exact camera but with slightly different processing where colors are more yellow.

18. Lumberjack

Posts: 306; Member since: May 04, 2017

White balance has been improved. Low light shots have less noise. Is front cam still yellowish? The one of i7+ is awful.

21. Kibzara

Posts: 120; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

sorry, iFans, but iphone 8's cam looks terrible (want to say that it should, as a new generation, destroy its predecessor in every scene, but it failed)... id stick to 7 plus if i were to use an iPhone...

22. darkkjedii

Posts: 30786; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Nope, both really good and well balanced.

27. DerryAhmad

Posts: 296; Member since: May 05, 2012

When Samsung phone produced colorful photos = oversaturated, When iPhone produced colorful photos = color accurate -_-

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