DxOMark has just released its review of the iPhone SE’s main and selfie cameras. The iPhone SE has camera hardware identical to that of the iPhone XR. It’s a 12MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture, phase-detection autofocus, OIS, and up to 5X digital zoom. In today’s standards, it’s a very basic setup. Meanwhile, the selfie camera is a 7MP sensor with f/2.2 aperture and fixed focus lens.
Overall, the iPhone SE does a very good job in metering exposure and contrast. Apple’s automatic HDR is to thank for that. It works well for both indoor and outdoor images, and managed to expose darks and shadows well. Colors are a strength for the iPhone SE. DxOMark cited well represented color balance and on-point saturation.
Autofocus is strong, quick, and consistent, though sharpness is more evident in low-light shots. Noise and texture is where DxOMark saw weakness in the camera. The 12MP sensor is rivaled nowadays by higher-resolution sensors (even in the budget sector) that use pixel binning to reduce noise and improve low-light performance. Noise and loss of detail is more apparent on indoor or high-contrast shots.
Portraits from the main camera and selfie camera are passable, but inconsistent. Meanwhile, low-light photography is not the iPhone SE’s strength. There is no dedicated Night shooting mode on the SE.