iPhone SE vs. iPhone 11: Evaluating cameras from every phones


The iPhone SE and iPhone 11 hang completely different digicam hardware however every are powered by the A13 Bionic processor, making photos and movies in most cases pretty the same.

Angela Lang/CNET

No matter the overall approval ofApple’s $399 worth for its unusual iPhone SE, there used to be pretty just a fewhypothesis relating to the digicam hardware and the scheme it compares to theiPhone 11. Its rear digicam has the identical specs as these of theiPhone 8from 2017, however some theorized that it may possibly well need the sensor from 2018’siPhone XR.

It took aniFixIt teardown of the unusual iPhoneto show that the SE used to be in actuality packing the identical lens and sensor as the iPhone 8. Which scheme the overall improvements to image quality as effectively as the addition of aspects like Portrait Mode, came purely from theA13 Bionic chip. This processor is the identical one came all the scheme thru within the $699 iPhone 11.

Since everyphoneshang the identical processor, naturally I wished to evaluation photos and movies. Up to now, the iPhone 11 phones hang no longer most attention-grabbing thesimplest camerason any iPhone, however one of essentially the most attention-grabbing all-around digicam systems on any phone.

The iPhone SE has plenty to are living up to, however as you will most probably be in a position to undercover agent, it’ll poke toe-to-toe with its pricier Apple siblings. This comparability presentations that in the case of pictures and recording movies, the true consideration is no longer any longer the likelihood of megapixels or risk of cameras.  As a replace, it be all relating to the processor.

iPhone SE vs. 11: SmartHDR makes photos look implausible

The combo of the A13 Bionic chip andiOS13 completely raises the iPhone 8’s digicam hardware to the next level on the SE. The iPhone SE’s rear digicam has a 28mm f/1.8 lens, whereas the iPhone 11 has two rear cameras: a most important one with a 26mm f/1.8 lens and an ultrawide-perspective digicam with a 13mm f/2.4 lens. 

Since the 11 has an ultrawide-perspective digicam and the SE would no longer, there is rarely in actuality a lot to evaluation. But right here are a number of my favorite photos that I took with the ultrawide-digicam anyway


Here is an ultrawide-perspective photo I took of every my scallops and my friends earlier than social distancing used to be the norm.

Patrick Holland/CNET


The iPhone 11’s ultrawude-perspective lens makes the tops of skyscrapers bend against me.

Patrick Holland/CNET

After I centered on the most important cameras of every, I observed that in horny light, photos had been nearly indistinguishable. Think on the photos of a tree I took in my yard below and also you will most probably be in a position to no longer be in a web web site to command a lot of a disagreement. The iPhone SE photo is framed ever-so-a chunk of tighter than the iPhone 11. But in every other manner (even after I zoomed into every to 100% on a grand tune) I could possibly no longer undercover agent another variations.


As antagonistic to framing, there photos look the same. The left one is from the iPhone SE and the appropriate one is from the iPhone 11.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Pick a look on the photos I took of some wood slats. Over again, rather than framing, it be strong to spin attempting any disagreement. After I zoomed in, facts from every photo had been horny. Both had diminutive amounts of image noise within the shadows of the slats.

The motive photos in horny light look so the same is that whether or no longer you is probably going to be on an iPhone 11,11 Proor the unusual SE, the most contemporary version of SmartHDR is venerable to activity and optimize facts and textures. It also pushes the dynamic differ as a lot as doubtless with out the image falling apart.

Here is where we originate to spin attempting some variations between the two phones. The photo below of a tree showcases the energy of SmartHDR processing. This scene has lighting extremes with dark shadows under the tree and challenging highlights within the clouds. 

Think intently on the iPhone 11 photo and also you are going to be in a web web site to undercover agent the shadows hang extra detail and do not seem like as dark as the iPhone SE. Within the sky thru the branches, you undercover agent that every photos hang blown out highlights, however the iPhone 11 has much less. Though right here is a minor detail, it be evidence that the most important digicam on the iPhone 11 handles a wider dynamic differ greater than the iPhone SE.

Portrait mode: 1 digicam vs. 2

Both phones hang portrait mode and manufacture pleasing results. The 11 can hang portrait mode photos of folks and pets whereas the iPhone SE can most attention-grabbing attain folks, which is a grand be troubled if your an animal lover. With the portrait mode photos below, you will most probably be in a position to undercover agent that they look very the same. The iPhone 11’s portrait captures extra facts. As an illustration, look on the hair on John’s forehead. Also, the falloff over the shoulders from in-focal point to out-of-focal point areas looks extra pure from the iPhone 11 and that will most probably be because of the the indisputable reality that it uses every rear lenses to originate the form.


Portrait mode photos from the iPhone SE (left) and iPhone 11 (correct).

Patrick Holland/CNET

Deep fusion processing for medium to low-light

After we win into medium- and low-light environments, the diversifications between the two phones are even starker. That is because of the theiPhone 11 has Deep Fusion processing which improves image quality, facts and minimizes image noise. The iPhone SE lacks Deep Fusion.

The photos below are of my bike trainer taken indoors in medium lighting. Moreover the tighter framing within the iPhone SE photo, there is a necessary disagreement in the case of image quality. The photo from the 11 hang a pinch extra detail, like all the scheme thru the wall outlet.

As effectively as, the underside correct nook of the iPhone SE’s photo suffers from image noise within the shadows. I would narrate that for indoor and medium light photos, the 11 has the edge because of the its use of Deep Fusion processing

Night mode vs. no evening mode

Night mode, which is on the iPhone 11 however no longer the SE, is one other expansive disagreement between the two phones.Night mode uses adaptive bracketing, taking a series of photos with completely different shutter speeds. It combines them actual into a single photo that is brighter, has much less image noise and improved facts. Love the iPhone 11’s ultrawide-perspective digicam, your possess preferences will dictate whether or no longer having evening mode is a deal-breaker. But let’s undercover agent what it’ll attain.

Under are photos of a tree in my yard taken when it used to be extraordinarily dark. The iPhone 11 evening mode seems greater in every manner.

But that used to be a pleasing extreme manner to check the phones. Under is a a chunk of brighter low-light scene of a book, an heed descend bottle and my pc. It used to be dusky ample to position off evening mode on the iPhone 11.

As you are going to be in a web web site to undercover agent in case you look intently on the bottle of heed drops, the iPhone 11’s photo is sharper, has greater facts and coloration accuracy. Eventually, evaluation the author names on the backbone of the book. The textual utter material seems softer within the SE photo and the book’s backbone is a chunk of a particular coloration.

Rear digicam video is quite the same

Love photos in horny light, it be also hard to discern video recording between the most important rear cameras on every phones. Both phones can shoot up to 4K, 60 fps and hang extended dynamic differ (aka: “HDR” however for video). Nonetheless, the 11 provides extended dynamic differ up to 4K 60fps, whereas the iPhone SE can most attention-grabbing enhance it up to 4K 30fps.

Pick a look on the video below which comprises footage filmed from every the iPhone 11 and SE.


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iPhone SE (2020) vs. iPhone 11: We evaluation cameras to…

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As you are going to be in a web web site to undercover agent from 4K, 60fps the footage, every movies look the same. But in case you look nearer, the speaker on the shelf within the aid of me seems extra contrasted within the iPhone 11 video. The lamp over my shoulder within the iPhone 11 video is also rarely in actuality blown out, whereas within the iPhone SE video it is. That is because of the the iPhone 11’s extended dynamic differ at 4K 60fps.

To peep extra movies filmed with the iPhone SE, look the video below.

Entrance-going thru digicam: Extra detailed selfies and ‘slowfie’ video

Movies inquisitive relating to the entrance-going thru cameras, however, show a bigger disagreement in quality. The iPhone 11 has a wider entrance-going thru digicam, and it have the choice to 4K and tiresome-mo movies. The iPhone SE can most attention-grabbing shoot 1,080p video and would possibly also no longer shoot “slofies.” Both can hang portrait photos, however the iPhone 11 captures a lot extra detail (in my hair and pores and skin, as an illustration). Some folks would possibly also no longer pass over seeing all these facts in their pores and skin.

By manner of video from the entrance-going thru cameras, you are going to be in a web web site to in actuality undercover agent the adaptation in decision and hear it within the audio. Video from the iPhone 11 sounds greater and has extra readability than from the iPhone SE. Over again, check up on the video that accompanies this article to spin attempting video shot with the entrance-going thru cameras.

After doing this digicam comparability, it be glaring that the iPhone 11 has a bigger and extra versatile digicam machine. But in loads of scenarios, the iPhone SE used to be in a web web site to take photos which may possibly be as similar and challenging, regardless of being a whole lot of bucks more cost-effective than the iPhone 11.



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