iPhone SE Review SSingle Camera Secret Commitment – Taro Matsumura’s Apple Deep Reading and Look Ahead

IPhone SE review, following the last “Apple’s aim to make a strong bottom-up”, the second part, I want to touch on the camera.

Apple’s new iPhone SE. Following the SIM-free version that appeared in late April, the carrier version began to be sold

The iPhone SE is positioned as a product that replaces the iPhone 8 processor on the same A13 Bionic as the iPhone 11. In detail, gigabit LTE and Wi-Fi 6 are compatible but not exactly the same as the iPhone 11, including no U1 chip.

Anyway, hardware can be made in common with the iPhone 8, and the cost is reduced. On the other hand, the 3D Touch that can be operated by pushing in from the iPhone 8 was also omitted, and the cover glass of the display was changed.

Even if you take one SIM pin, it has been changed to a shape bent wire, it can be seen well that it is a result of performing cost cut while maintaining and enhancing the experience.
Multi-eye cameras and computation photos

In the iPhone SE with such a profile, the camera was developed with almost no effort.

The iPhone SE camera is a single camera with 12 million pixels and a 6-group lens of f1.8. The camera module is revealed by the iFixit decomposition to be the same size as the iPhone 8, and the size is smaller than the iPhone XR, which uses the same single camera. FaceTime HD cameras are the same as the iPhone 8, and they don’t support 4K shooting.

However, both the out-camera and the in-camera responded to portrait photography for people.

The camera system combined with the A13 Bionic assumes two cameras on the iPhone 11 and three on the iPhone 11 Pro, so the combination of the single camera and the A13 Bionic will be the first of the iPhone SE’s second generation.

IPhone SE that adopts a single camera. Single camera +A13 Bionic combination is the first

Portrait photography began to be implemented on the iPhone 6s Plus, but by using two cameras to separate the subject and the background and blur the background, you can cut out the subject more impressively. It is usually an expression that a camera equipped with a bright large-diameter lens or a large sensor is good at, but it is an attempt to “reproduce” it with a smartphone.

Efforts are underway to improve the image quality of smartphones that can’t have large sensors or lenses optically, especially with multiple cameras, especially from Chinese manufacturers. Huawei and others have a wide-angle, telephoto-to-use monochrome sensor, and other high-quality approaches are expanding.

In that respect, it’s very interesting that Apple, which was rather conservative, built a “camera system” that meticulously linked two or three cameras to the 2019 iPhone 11.

IPhone 11 with two cameras (top left) and iPhone 11 Pro with three cameras (top right)

On the other hand, Google has installed a machine learning processing engine for images on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3, and implemented software that can get photos that look like multiple cameras with a single camera and machine learning processing. This is a photograph which interposed the computer processing to the optical called “Computation photography”.

Apple has implemented a portrait mode for people with a single camera on the iPhone XR, which was launched in 2018. With the A12 Bionic, which significantly improved the performance of machine learning processing, the combination of in-house chips and camera software showed the potential of computation photography with Google.

The 2019 iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro combine two or three cameras with the A13 Bionic to polish photos from both optics and algorithms to create a photo that looks different than the 2018 iPhone XS.
iPhone SE camera distinctly different from iPhone 8

The iPhone SE camera is equivalent to the iPhone 8, he said. The out-camera and in-camera camera are one camera, and this is the first single-camera smartphone to be mounted on the A13 Bionic.

In other words, if there is a difference in image quality from the iPhone 8, the A13 Bionic and the camera software, it can be positioned as the result of the previous computation photo.

The iPhone SE supports portrait mode with out-of-camera. However, this is not the first time a single camera has been used to take portraits. However, portrait photography with a single in-camera that is not autofocus will be the first implementation in the history of the iPhone.

In other words, the iPhone SE’s camera algorithm has matured to the point where it can be captured without focal length information and just image recognition.

iPhone SE supports in-camera portrait shots

In addition, Smart HDR draws contours and details to one of the person’s hair, and also adjusts the background shade. It does not correspond to the photography using the night mode and ultra-wide angle or telephoto lens with a plurality of cameras in the background, but it is possible to take a picture without making it unnaturally bright even in a dark landscape.

The delicate photo that is distinctly different from the iPhone 8 can be evaluated as a notable point along with the price and performance of the iPhone SE.
Interesting product, but also conscious of the target

The iPhone SE has been looking back on two aspects: the intense bottom-up in terms of the performance of the middle-range smartphone and Apple’s commitment to the camera. In terms of these two points, the iPhone SE has come true in a very high dimension, and the product’s existence value and goal are fully met.

For those who have these needs that have made it difficult to choose an iPhone in the last few years, such as those who want to get an iPhone for the first time, people who do not want to increase the size of the terminal in the dark, those who want to maintain the operability with the home button, and those who want to keep the price down, the iPhone SE is another chance, and it is a product that can be chosen with peace of mind.

On the other hand, there is a reason why attention goes about the existence value and the meaning. For users who are already in touch with the high-end models of 2018 and 2019, the second generation of the iPhone SE isn’t necessarily a device that’s fun as smartphone hardware.

Smaller, less-priced models like the iPhone SE will also move to a new form factor without a home button by three to four years. It also depends on the success or failure of the second generation iPhone SE.

Author : Taro Matsumura

Born in 1980, he is a journalist and author. Graduated from Keio University with a Master’s Degree in Media studies. Senior Member of Keio University SFC Research Institute (visit), Director and Research Director of Castalia Corporation, and lecturer at Business Breakthrough University. His recent works are “LinkedIn Start Book”, “Nikkei BP”, “The New Age of Smartphones”, “NTT Publishing”, “Introduction to Social Learning”, and “Nikkei BP Publishing”. The Twitter account is @taromatsumura.