How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

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Shangri La
Shangri La Contributing Member • Posts: 749
How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

I'm considering getting the iPhone X and was curious to find out its high ISO performance, which my good old HuaWei Nexus 6P was extremely good at - VERY clean ISO 1000+ files. In fact I'd be satisfied if iPhone X can come close to what my 2-year-old 6P is capable of.

So I borrowed a friend's X and took a few low light shots and asked her to email me the files. I then realized that these are HEIC files, which cannot be viewed on Windows or MAC yet. I then looked online and found a few tools for conversion.

The Jpeg file converted from an online tool did not have any shutter speed/ISO/aperture info (when viewed on MAC). Another locally installed tools allowed me to see the jpeg file's shutter speed and aperture after conversion. However, I still cannot see the ISO value. The way I view the EXIF info is right click on the file and then "get info", in MAC.

So, is there a way to see the file's ISO value, or, Apple just does not provide this info? Thanks.

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bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

Not sure how to help you here, but if you get your friends iPhone X you can change the settings so it saves jpg instead of heic.

I just took this with my X iso 1000 manual setting using apples rendering heic. When I upload the heic it should convert automatically to jpg .

iPhone x heic iso 1000 manual setting camera pro apple image processing

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noisephotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?
1

Usually when you send the photos via email in ios, they will be converted to jpgs automatically as far as I know.

I have a Nexus 5x and I compared it (in HDR+ on mode) with the iPhone X indoors. The iPhone X has better skin tones (in particular when you view the photos on the iPhone X display) and occasionally a better white balance indoors. In extreme low light conditions the iPhone X also captures more detail. Though the Nexus can capture more color detail in extreme low light conditions. Apple's HDR Auto nearly never chooses HDR, but you can choose HDR via the settings. Apple's HDR often leads to much better results than HDR off/auto, but even with HDR on, it's often not as good as Google's HDR+: Worse dynamic range ( https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60169228 ) , much slower than the Pixel phones and it leads to more noise in low light conditions than HDR off. Occasionally Apple's HDR also leads to ghosting/artifacts when there are fast movements. With HDR+ this is nearly no issue.

Apple's 2x mode is also very inconsistent. It's impossible to predict when it chooses the first or the second camera. Often it even changes the decision when you choose a different focus point. It often chooses the first camera even when the second camera would have led to more detail. One needs to choose portrait mode. In this case Apple always relies on the second camera. Another issue is that the autofocus is very bad in portrait mode.

As a whole I prefer the Nexus 5x camera because Apple's HDR is too inconsistent. But for portraits the iPhone X is much better. In particular when you choose HDR. You can even edit the bokeh with the fantastic Focos app.

bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

noisephotographer wrote:

Usually when you send the photos via email in ios, they will be converted to jpgs automatically as far as I know.

I have a Nexus 5x and I compared it (in HDR+ on mode) with the iPhone X indoors. The iPhone X has better skin tones (in particular when you view the photos on the iPhone X display) and occasionally a better white balance indoors. In extreme low light conditions the iPhone X also captures more detail. Though the Nexus can capture more color detail in extreme low light conditions. Apple's HDR Auto nearly never chooses HDR, but you can choose HDR via the settings. Apple's HDR often leads to much better results than HDR off/auto, but even with HDR on, it's often not as good as Google's HDR+: Worse dynamic range (

The Google camera app is possibly capturing more images than the iPhone hence has more see data to choose from to create a  higher Dynamics range image?

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/60169228 ) , much slower than the Pixel phones and it leads to more noise in low light conditions than HDR off. Occasionally Apple's HDR also leads to ghosting/artifacts when there are fast movements. With HDR+ this is nearly no issue.

Wonder what magic the Google camera is applying to do this. Could it be detecting frames that are out of alignment and binning ones that cannot be aligned? If so the HDR effect and image stacking NR would be reduced I would imagine and more standard image processing NR would be needed

Apple's 2x mode is also very inconsistent. It's impossible to predict when it chooses the first or the second camera. Often it even changes the decision when you choose a different focus point. It often chooses the first camera even when the second camera would have led to more detail. One needs to choose portrait mode. In this case Apple always relies on the second camera. Another issue is that the autofocus is very bad in portrait mode.

That is true hence when I want to use the 2x lens indoors, if there is not enough light I tend to use a 3rd party camera app to direct switch to that camera.

To get the best Portrait images in portrait mode there is an very narrow optimum subject distance. Sadly it had not been perfected for closer or further portraits as beyond these limits the cameras cannot accurately measure the depth as well. Maybe if Apple had incorporated their infrared dot projector and allowed for infrared reading from their rear camera a more flexible depth reading may be possible.

As a whole I prefer the Nexus 5x camera because Apple's HDR is too inconsistent. But for portraits the iPhone X is much better. In particular when you choose HDR. You can even edit the bokeh with the fantastic Focos app.

Focos is an excellent app, highly recommendedđź‘Ť. Did you bother purchasing a subscription or buy outright to get access to the pro features?

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noisephotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?
Shangri La
OP Shangri La Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

Thanks guys. That ISO 1000 shot looks decent. The sample images I took with the X should be about 1000-1500 ISO, based on EXIF of the comparison shots I took with other phones.

The Pixel 2 IMO has the best image quality by far and is nearly a perfect phone in all respects except for one thing: it doesnt have a 50mm equivalent lens. It's a real pity and a dealbreaker for me. I'm thinking about going with the iPhone X, though the Samsung S9 has me really interested with the bigger screen.

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bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

Shangri La wrote:

Thanks guys. That ISO 1000 shot looks decent. The sample images I took with the X should be about 1000-1500 ISO, based on EXIF of the comparison shots I took with other phones.

The Pixel 2 IMO has the best image quality by far and is nearly a perfect phone in all respects except for one thing: it doesnt have a 50mm equivalent lens. It's a real pity and a dealbreaker for me. I'm thinking about going with the iPhone X, though the Samsung S9 has me really interested with the bigger screen.

I never thought I would appreciate the 50mm in the iPhone X, but now I have it it is like having a mirrorless camera with two prime lenses at ones disposal. The Portrait mode feature is an added bonus!

Will the s9 have yet an even larger screen that the iPhone X?? If so how will it do it without making the whole phone larger?

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Shangri La
OP Shangri La Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

bigley Ling wrote:

Shangri La wrote:

Thanks guys. That ISO 1000 shot looks decent. The sample images I took with the X should be about 1000-1500 ISO, based on EXIF of the comparison shots I took with other phones.

The Pixel 2 IMO has the best image quality by far and is nearly a perfect phone in all respects except for one thing: it doesnt have a 50mm equivalent lens. It's a real pity and a dealbreaker for me. I'm thinking about going with the iPhone X, though the Samsung S9 has me really interested with the bigger screen.

I never thought I would appreciate the 50mm in the iPhone X, but now I have it it is like having a mirrorless camera with two prime lenses at ones disposal. The Portrait mode feature is an added bonus!

Will the s9 have yet an even larger screen that the iPhone X?? If so how will it do it without making the whole phone larger?

The S9/+ will likely have similar body/screen dimensions as the S8/+. But I have decided on the X - I've always been a fan of Android and never really liked iPhone, but this time I'll try to embrace something different. If it doesnt work out well, I have high hopes for the next gen Pixel. And IMO the secondary longer lens on a phone was one of the few real milestones in phonetography advancement. The APSC Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 also covers 28-50 though it's a true zoom. 28mm is too wide and 50mm is too long for me, but the combination of the 2 is perfect.

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bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

Shangri La wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

Shangri La wrote:

Thanks guys. That ISO 1000 shot looks decent. The sample images I took with the X should be about 1000-1500 ISO, based on EXIF of the comparison shots I took with other phones.

The Pixel 2 IMO has the best image quality by far and is nearly a perfect phone in all respects except for one thing: it doesnt have a 50mm equivalent lens. It's a real pity and a dealbreaker for me. I'm thinking about going with the iPhone X, though the Samsung S9 has me really interested with the bigger screen.

I never thought I would appreciate the 50mm in the iPhone X, but now I have it it is like having a mirrorless camera with two prime lenses at ones disposal. The Portrait mode feature is an added bonus!

Will the s9 have yet an even larger screen that the iPhone X?? If so how will it do it without making the whole phone larger?

The S9/+ will likely have similar body/screen dimensions as the S8/+. But I have decided on the X - I've always been a fan of Android and never really liked iPhone, but this time I'll try to embrace something different. If it doesnt work out well, I have high hopes for the next gen Pixel. And IMO the secondary longer lens on a phone was one of the few real milestones in phonetography advancement. The APSC Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 also covers 28-50 though it's a true zoom. 28mm is too wide and 50mm is too long for me, but the combination of the 2 is perfect.

Good going. Pretty sure you will enjoy the X. Make sure you get into some 3rd party apps to really take advantage of the rear cameras.

If 28mm is too wide and 50mm is too long then your ideal camera could and still can be the DXO one accessory. I believe the focal length is around 32mm.

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Shangri La
OP Shangri La Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?
1

Thanks. I'm researching the camera apps and editing apps specific for iOS, and will get a few to try. By too wide/too long I meant if 28/50 was the only focal length I could have. Having the option to use either I believe I'll be very happy.

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Shangri La
OP Shangri La Contributing Member • Posts: 749
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

I got an X and played around a bit. To answer my own question, install Google photo on iPhone and you would be able to see the full info. Or, iMazing HEIC Converter in Windows does the job.

A quick comparison in low light, the Nexus seems to be 2 stops better than X in low light (f/1.8, 1/4 sec, ISO 640), which is not surprising to me. I remember reading somewhere that a certain IOS app is good at taking photos in less than ideal condition. I will research on that.

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bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

Shangri La wrote:

I got an X and played around a bit. To answer my own question, install Google photo on iPhone and you would be able to see the full info. Or, iMazing HEIC Converter in Windows does the job.

A quick comparison in low light, the Nexus seems to be 2 stops better than X in low light (f/1.8, 1/4 sec, ISO 640), which is not surprising to me. I remember reading somewhere that a certain IOS app is good at taking photos in less than ideal condition. I will research on that.

On.my iPhone I use viewexif.

For improved low light performance try the Hydra app

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noisephotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

I just looked at the exif of an HDR portrait and I noticed that the iPhone X tele can even take good portraits at Iso 1000. Yes, there is noise reduction, but the colors were still very good in this case and the jpg didn't have obvious color noise.

In theory Iso 1000 from the portrait camera is equivalent to ≈ Iso 30.000 from a Aps-c camera.

noisephotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

But I think the disadvantage of jpg is that you lose the depth/portrait data when you don't use Heic and backup the jpgs on a harddrive. So when you buy a new iPhone and want to transfer old photos, then the depth data will be lost?

bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

noisephotographer wrote:

But I think the disadvantage of jpg is that you lose the depth/portrait data when you don't use Heic and backup the jpgs on a harddrive. So when you buy a new iPhone and want to transfer old photos, then the depth data will be lost?

Actually when you use the "portrait" mode on the X it saves JPG instead of HEIC so the depth information may be embedded in the jpg?. It seems to only use HEIC for standard photos at the moment. When I use the panorama on the default camera app, it too defaults back to JPG.

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noisephotographer Contributing Member • Posts: 515
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

bigley Ling wrote:

noisephotographer wrote:

But I think the disadvantage of jpg is that you lose the depth/portrait data when you don't use Heic and backup the jpgs on a harddrive. So when you buy a new iPhone and want to transfer old photos, then the depth data will be lost?

Actually when you use the "portrait" mode on the X it saves JPG instead of HEIC

It saves jpg + heic when you use portrait mode. The advantage of heic is that it saves the depth data as far as I know. When you choose jpg the depth data is not embedded as far as I know. The bad thing when you choose jpg is also that you can't save a jpg with depth effect + jpg without depth effect anymore as far as I know. But Heic also has a disadvantage. When you view Heic files on a computer (see copytrans), one needs to convert them to sRGB. Otherwise the colors will be dull. But maybe it's an issue of copytrans, I don't know.

bigley Ling Veteran Member • Posts: 4,101
Re: How to view iPhone X HEIC file's ISO value?

noisephotographer wrote:

bigley Ling wrote:

noisephotographer wrote:

But I think the disadvantage of jpg is that you lose the depth/portrait data when you don't use Heic and backup the jpgs on a harddrive. So when you buy a new iPhone and want to transfer old photos, then the depth data will be lost?

Actually when you use the "portrait" mode on the X it saves JPG instead of HEIC

It saves jpg + heic when you use portrait mode. The advantage of heic is that it saves the depth data as far as I know. When you choose jpg the depth data is not embedded as far as I know. The bad thing when you choose jpg is also that you can't save a jpg with depth effect + jpg without depth effect anymore as far as I know. But Heic also has a disadvantage. When you view Heic files on a computer (see copytrans), one needs to convert them to sRGB. Otherwise the colors will be dull. But maybe it's an issue of copytrans, I don't know.

Ahh must be hidden in the file system. When I view in  the built in photos app the view exif it must look the up resultant jpg version. I remember on my friend iPhone 7 prior to HEIC on later iOS it saved two Jpg, one with depth and one without.

Would the heic to jpg conversation be better if the heic file was emailed and then download to a computer?

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