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iPhone 8 Plus Camera Review: Full test and comparison with the 7 Plus

We’ve fully tested the iPhone 8 Plus’ updated dual-lens camera and compared with the iPhone 7 Plus for photo and video quality, to see if there’s much difference. Here’s our full review, complete with samples and a side-by-side comparison.

Apple’s iPhone 8 Plus might essentially rock the same camera specs as its first dual-lens smartphone snapper, introduced on last year’s 7 Plus, yet quite a few things have changed in those 12 months. Apple has been working hard on its camera sensor tech, so those shiny handsets can capture even more accurate and better-looking photos and home movies than ever before.

As with the 7 Plus, this new model once again offers a pair of lenses. The standard wide-angle lens is responsible for the majority of snaps, while the telephoto lens takes over for close-up shots of your subject. And of course they can work in collaboration to produce funky Portrait shots, with a new Light Portrait mode on board this year’s device.

Read next: What benefits do dual-lens cameras offer compared with single-lens?

So does the iPhone 8 Plus sport the ultimate Apple snapper? Here’s the results of our testing, with photo and video samples so you can judge for yourself.

Check out everything you need to know about the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus at our Apple iPhone hub.

iPhone 8 Plus camera specs: What’s new?

A quick glance at the camera’s techy bits and you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing has changed at all. You once again have a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture lens for shooting everyday shots, backed up by a secondary 12-megapixel f/2.8 aperture telephoto lens to get closer to your subject.

Although those numbers haven’t changed at all, the sensor tech has been overhauled with visible results. The sensor is now larger than before, with faster image capture. As you’ll see when we compare the 8 Plus and 7 Plus results, this has certainly improved your final photos.

Check out our iPhone camera tips and tricks guide for a more in-depth look at the camera features.

iPhone 8 Plus camera review: Photo quality vs 7 Plus

As with previous iPhones, the iPhone 8 Plus captures photos with natural-looking colours. Vibrant hues are accurately reproduced and really pop, without looking processed and artificial. Detail levels are high too, so you can expect sharp results when viewing back your shots on a TV.

The iPhone 8 Plus offers particularly strong performance in high contrast situations. A wide dynamic range means well-lit sections aren’t overblown, instead offering carefully balanced saturation. This is particularly clear in the below photo sample. The brightly lit central tunnel has been reproduced with impressive clarity, while the iPhone 7 Plus (and many rivals) struggle to deal with this mix of dark and light areas.

iPhone 8 Plus:

iPhone 7 Plus:

If you shoot a lot of outdoor photos, especially monuments and landscapes that are framed by a bright sky, then the iPhone 8 Plus is one of the best camera phones you can pick right now.

That 2x optical zoom is as handy as the iPhone 7 Plus’ for getting up-close with your subject too, capturing them with no dip in detail levels. That’s an essential feature when you’re trying to snap interesting architecture on your travels, as an example.

When dealing with moving subjects, the iPhone 8 Plus again works wonders. There seems to be a slight improvement in shutter speed when compared with last year’s Plus, which makes cleanly capturing pets and kids much easier. Results are less blurry, as long as your subject isn’t too close to the lens.

iPhone 8 Plus:

iPhone 7 Plus:

In seriously low light, the 8 Plus and 7 Plus capture very different photos. While last year’s iPhone produced quite bright (yet grainy) results, the new model captures more natural-looking images. These are less pixelated and offer more realistic hues, although clarity sometimes takes a hit; even with grainy visuals, our 7 Plus sample photos reveal more of our subject’s finer details. No doubt a result of the shutter being open slightly longer.

iPhone 8 Plus:

iPhone 7 Plus:

However, when you’re shooting a moving subject in low light, there’s no argument over the victor. The iPhone 8 Plus’ fast shutter action means your photo will appear sharp, with little to no motion blur except for in extreme circumstances. In comparison, the 7 Plus almost always serves up a fuzzy mess.

iPhone 8 Plus:

iPhone 7 Plus:

iPhone 8 Plus photo samples

You can flip through some more of our iPhone 8 Plus camera samples in the test gallery below.

iPhone 8 Plus camera review: Video quality vs 7 Plus

Unlike last year’s handset, you can shoot up to 4K resolution video at a super-smooth 60 frames-per-second with the iPhone 8 Plus. The results are simply stunning.

That combination of fluid motion and supremely crisp Ultra HD visuals makes for incredibly natural-looking home movies. The lens deals effortlessly with changes in lighting and subject distance, while the likes of high contrast situations prove no problem at all.

Likewise, image stabilisation is strong even on those top video settings. Our test footage was a little shaky when moving and shooting at the same time, although not to a serious degree at all. While the likes of the OnePlus 5 can produce smoother 4K video, the resulting footage has a more ‘mechanical’ feel after all of that processing. With the iPhone, our samples retain that natural feel, while the worst of that unwanted motion is cleaned away.

iPhone 8 Plus video samples

Check out our iPhone 8 Plus video samples below.

Check out our in-depth iPhone 8 Plus review for all you need to know.

Interested in buying the iPhone 8 Plus? O2 is offering Apple's mighty new handset and its smaller sibling, the iPhone 8, right now on contract in the UK. Find out more about O2's iPhone 8 plans here and iPhone 8 Plus plans here.

Read next: Which iPhone is best for me? Full comparison of the latest Apple handsets

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