Despite the overall approval of Apple’s $399 price tag for its new iPhone SE, there was a lot of speculation about the camera hardware and how it compares to the iPhone 11. Its rear camera has the same specs as those of the iPhone 8 from 2017, but some theorized that it might have the sensor from 2018’s iPhone XR.
It took an iFixIt teardown of the new iPhone to show that the SE was actually packing the same lens and sensor as the iPhone 8. That means all the improvements to image quality as well as the addition of features like Portrait Mode, came purely from the A13 Bionic chip. This processor is the same one found in the $699 iPhone 11.
Since both phones have the same processor, naturally I wanted to compare photos and videos. To date, the iPhone 11 phones have not only the best cameras on any iPhone, but one of the best all-around camera systems on any phone.
The iPhone SE has a lot to live up to, but as you will see, it can go toe-to-toe with its pricier Apple siblings. This comparison shows that when it comes to photography and recording videos, the real consideration isn’t the number of megapixels or number of cameras. Instead, it’s all about the processor.
iPhone SE vs. 11: SmartHDR makes photos look fantastic
The combination of the A13 Bionic chip and iOS 13 absolutely raises the iPhone 8’s camera hardware to the next level on the SE. The iPhone SE’s rear camera has a 28mm f/1.8 lens, while the iPhone 11 has two rear cameras: a main one with a 26mm f/1.8 lens and an ultrawide-angle camera with a 13mm f/2.4 lens.
Since the 11 has an ultrawide-angle camera and the SE doesn’t, there isn’t much to compare. But here are a couple of my favorite photos that I took with the ultrawide-camera anyway
When I focused on the main cameras of each, I noticed that in good light, photos were nearly indistinguishable. Look at the pictures of a tree I took in my backyard below and you won’t be able to tell much of a difference. The iPhone SE photo is framed ever-so-slightly tighter than the iPhone 11. But in every other way (even when I zoomed into each to 100% on a large monitor) I couldn’t see any other differences.
Take a look at the photos I took of some wood slats. Again, aside from framing, it’s hard to see any difference. When I zoomed in, details from each photo were good. Both had small amounts of image noise in the shadows of the slats……Read More>>