iPhone 11 Pro Diary: I’ll be buying one, for exactly the reason I expected

I wrote back in July about ‘the feature that will likely have me buy the iPhone 11,’ namely a wide-angle lens.

A wide-angle lens was the one missing camera feature for me. The photo above, and the gallery below, are all shots taken with a wide-angle lens (in this case a Sigma 10-20mm on a Nikon D3). None of those shots would have been possible on any current iPhone. Adding a wide-angle lens would make the iPhone a much more versatile camera.

And that’s what we saw yesterday…

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The focal lengths are reported as 13mm, 26mm, and 52mm. Update: It appears Apple is already citing 35mm equivalents, making the ultrawide even wider than I had thought.

A 13mm lens is wide. The widest DSLR lens I’ve ever used was 10-20mm, and although I did very occasionally shoot at 10mm, it was far more common for me to shoot at 20mm. The camera I carry these days is my Sony a6300 with its 16-50mm lens (24-75mm equivalent), so this gets me even more range at the wide end.

The second reason I still travel with a dedicated camera, however, is low-light performance. I’ve been impressed with NeuralCam, and Apple’s Night Mode should, given Apple-integrated hardware and software, be even better. So I think there’s now a high chance that the iPhone 11 Pro could be the only camera I ever need to take with me on a trip.

As for the rest of it, there was nothing else that sold it to me – indeed, I mentioned earlier that there are only two reasons for me not to buy the cheaper base-model iPhone 11: the bezel size, and the telephoto camera.

To be honest, the ultra-wide lens alone is enough. Even if that works as my travel camera in the day, and I still have to take out the Sony at night, that still justifies the upgrade to me. There’s a huge benefit to me in being able to wander around a city with nothing to carry, just my iPhone in my pocket. But if Night Mode is good enough for blue hour shots too, I will be a very happy man.

I’ll be placing my order on Friday (5.8-inch, Space Gray, 256GB). As for the camera results, night and day, watch this space…

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!


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