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USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham reviews the iPhone 8 Plus as a camera, comparing it with back-to-back images taken with the previous model, the 7 Plus, on #TalkingTech.
USA TODAY

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Let’s cut to the chase right now.

If you’ve been thinking about ditching your iPhone 7 Plus from last year for a new iPhone, specifically the 8 Plus (starting at $799) or the iPhone X coming in November because the camera is new and improved, here’s the bottom line. The new camera is indeed marginally better.

But most consumers will have a hard time seeing the difference. 

The Basics

Our tests with the iPhone 8 Plus (which has almost the same camera as in the iPhone X) showed slightly better color and sharpness, can rock it with smooth, super-slow motion that improved upon what the iPhone 7 Plus has, and offers some software trickery that can make your portraits look even more professional. Additionally, both the 8 Plus and X have the new A11 “Bionic” chip, the fastest processor ever for an iPhone, promising faster renders of high-intensity 4K video files. 

Beyond making calls, surfing the Internet and playing games, photography has become a major selling point for new smartphones, with each new model released by manufacturers said to now have their best camera ever. That’s what Google claimed with last year’s Pixel, Samsung with the new Galaxy S8 and now Apple as well. All three cameras are indeed incredible. They have better image quality now than point and shoot cameras, and they’re always with us, thus giving us the tools for more photo opportunities. 

I thought the iPhone 7 Plus was indeed Apple’s best camera to date, so for the purposes of this story, I’ve chosen to compare the 7 Plus to the 8 Plus, period.

Remember that Apple in 2016 introduced a new concept to “iPhoneography” with the 7 Plus, by putting a dual-lens system for Plus owners, offering the standard 28mm wide-angle lens (the same one as on the standard iPhone) along with a 56mm “Portrait” lens, for a more professional look for people photos. Consumers buying the Plus…