iPhone XS, XS Max and XR and Their Compatibility with Beastgrip Gear

Update 10/29/2018:  Upgrade Insert V2 is available for purchase individually and is included with every Beastgrip Pro sold on our website. 

Update 10/02/2018: We’ve received and tested the new iPhone XS, and XS Max. They fit perfectly with the clamp, easily align with the lens mount and we’re confident that the iPhone XR will be the same, based on all of the specs that we’ve found. These new iPhone models have brought a few challenges that lead us to create a simple upgrade part for the Beastgrip Pro that brings an improvement for all iPhones overall.

Camera differences

Unlike the older iPhone models, the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR have a focal length equivalent of 26mm (vs 28mm on the older models), the physical size of the camera bump increased on both the XS and XS Max (vs the iPhone X). The combination of the new focal length and larger size of the camera bump requires us to make some changes to ensure that all external optics perform properly.

The solution

We have a simple solution: an improved rubber insert that will optimize the performance of the new iPhones, especially with our upcoming Pro Series 3X Telephoto Lens. This new insert has a larger cutout that accommodates the larger camera bump, allowing your camera to get closer to your lens in the Beastgrip Pro. The improvement from this upgraded insert is great for all phones, but is only critical for the new Pro Series 3X Telephoto lens because of its complexity, which makes it extremely important to ensure that it is aligned perfectly with your phone camera for the best performance. 

Beastgrip Pro upgraded iPhone insert

Beastgrip Pro upgraded iPhone insert

Pre-orders for the Pro Series 3X Telephoto lens will receive the insert for free, and we'll include them with every new Beastgrip Pro purchase as soon as they're available. If you already own a Beastgrip Pro, you can order them as an upgrade at any time. We expect to have the upgraded inserts available on or before November 10th, 2018 (the same time as our Pro Series 3X Telephoto lenses will ship).

This upgraded insert will also work perfectly with other dual camera iPhone models and of course, will work with any other lens we have.

BeastCage models

Since the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR have a slightly different camera position and size, we will be releasing a dedicated cage for each of them, as noted below:

Beastcage 7/8 (for iPhone 7 and 8)
Beastcage 7/8 (for iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus)
Beastcage X (for iPhone X)
Beastcage XS (for iPhone XS)
Beastcage XM (for iPhone XS Max)
Beastcage XR (for iPhone XR)


Original post 09/12/2018:We’re extremely excited for the new iPhones to be released! All Beastgrip gear should be fully compatible with iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

Check out the Apple Keynote event below, if you haven’t already:

New features we’re excited about

There are too many new features to list here without writing a ridiculously long post, but here’s a quick highlight reel for the most important new camera features that we’re excited about and why:

Larger sensor and deeper pixels

Although they didn't mention how much larger the new sensor will be and how much it improves the performance, we know for a fact that a larger sensor and larger pixels (like the Google Pixel XL) make a substantial difference in image and video quality, especially in low light. 

iPhone XR’s Portrait mode and Bokeh Depth Slider

Dual camera iPhones use both cameras for Portrait mode and the Bokeh Depth Slider, which unfortunately makes them incompatible with external optics. The iPhone XR, however, looks promising since it can use these features on a single camera. 

Smart HDR

Smart HDR is Apple's new algorithm that uses machine learning to take better photos by analyzing the environment and making optimizations for exposure, white balance and more. 

60% greater dynamic range

More dynamic range  = more editing and color grading capabilities. We've already seen a noticeable increase in the latest iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X and are intrigued to see the upgrade on these new iPhone models.

Better low light handling

Currently smartphones in general are lacking in low light photography and videography. Although they didn't mention how much better the new iPhones will be at handling low light environments, any improvement in this field is worth getting excited for!

We’re even more pumped to see even better performance with the DOF Adapter MK2, and our upcoming BeastCage and Pro Series lenses.

True Tone display

According to Apple, the True Tone display renders colors more accurately in all environments, which should continue to be a huge win for phoneographers to get a more consistent white balance and monitor/preview your footage.

A12 Bionic chip

Most of us use our phones for both shooting and editing with powerful apps, like the upcoming BeastCam photography and filmmaking app or LumaFusion editor, to create and edit high bitrate, 4K footage, which uses a lot of battery and resources. This new chip is said to be up to 2X as fast as the previous one and saves battery life at the same time - score!

Say hello to more responsiveness, app loading and longer battery life.

Stereo recording

Although we still recommend using an external microphone for the best audio performance, the built-in stereo recording is a great feature when you don’t have a microphone available and is definitely worth noting. 

Up to 512GB internal storage

Storage used to be a big issue for phoeographers having to constantly stop and transfer files to a hard drive or computer, and now with large internal storage options like this, not so much. 

Super Retina and Liquid Retina displays and bigger screen sizes

While these aren't really "camera-related" features, they should make the screen much brighter, colorful and easy to look at, which can be very helpful for monitoring/previewing your photos and videos.

What we wish they improved

It's apparent that Apple is focusing head-on with the computational photography software they build into the iPhone. While this incredible and we love the opportunities that software brings us for the future, we were really hoping for more hardware camera upgrades that would improve the low light shooting capabilities and RAW video recording support.

RAW video support

RAW video recording would allow us to edit videos much, much better and since they've released RAW photo support a few years ago, we thought that RAW videos were coming soon. We're crossing our fingers for this in the next release and strongly believe that this is the biggest game changer that they can do for iPhone videography.

Low light handling

While it may seem odd that we're considering this as something we wish they improved since we mentioned it above in the list of improvements, the fact that they didn't spend any time to explain how much better it is than before leads us to believe that it's not a very big difference as we re hoping for. We'll see soon for ourselves though!

Compatibility with Beastgrip gear

Although we won't know for sure until we get the new phones in our hands and test them, based on the photos and specs, all of our current products should be fully compatible with the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. 

Beastgrip Pro

The Beastgrip Pro is our universal smartphone lens adapter and accessory rig, and the rock-solid foundation of most professional iPhone rigs in the industry. We designed it to be compatible with as many phones as possible and the new iPhones should be no exception.

BeastCage

The BeastCage is our upcoming dedicated smartphone cage, designed precisely for specific phone models as a hassle-free, foolproof solution. We're already almost finished with the design for the iPhone 7/8, 7 Plus/8 Plus and X and we expect the iPhone XS to fit in the iPhone X cage that we designed. But even if it doesn't, we'll have a new one created for it, as well as designs for the iPhone XS Max and XR as well.

Conclusion

Although we were really hoping for raw video support and much better low light performance with these new iPhones, we're still beyond excited to get them in our hands and test them with our gear! Stay tuned for an update on this post as soon as we get them in our hands. BG

Happy Shooting!

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