Smartphones are now becoming much more powerful than they were years ago. They are also able to capture incredible photos and video thanks to new technologies such as dual cameras, high-resolution displays, and advanced AI algorithms.
On September 7th, 2022 Apple announced iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. “Powered by A16 Bionic, the fastest chip ever in a smartphone, iPhone 14 Pro introduces a new class of pro camera system, with the first-ever 48MP Main camera on iPhone featuring a quad-pixel sensor, and Photonic Engine, an enhanced image pipeline that dramatically improves low-light photos” stated at their press release.
Undoubtedly with the iPhone 14, Apple has made impressive camera upgrades on both sides of the device. iPhone 14 Pro & Pro Max though are the only editions that curry this 48-Megapixel sensor compared to iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Plus editions. This post highlights the performance and the feature set of the iPhone 14 Pro camera setup to find out how good it really is.
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Lenses
iPhone14 Pro is another generation of iPhones with significant camera hardware changes. In addition to other advancements made possible by the upgraded hardware, the 14 Pro delivers a high resolution following the introduction of a bigger sensor in the 12 and 13 Pro models.
The iPhone 14 Pro comes with an updated triple lens system that includes a wide-angle lens, telephoto lens, and ultra wide-angle lens. We have the ultra wide 13mm lens, wide 24mm lens, and 77mm telephoto. The main camera uses a 1/1.28-inch type sensor paired with a 24mm equivalent F1.8 lens.
Concerning image quality the amount of detail captured in these 48MP RAW images is incredible. You can still shoot nice JPEG images at 12MP but to get the full potential of the camera hardware you will have to shoot raw images which are only available in 48MP resolution.
Another huge benefit of that 48-Megapixel larger sensor is that it allows for better zoom capabilities. Instead of digital zoom, it uses so-called life cropping, which means it is just cropping that 48MP shot. That means that even 2X optical zoom which is preset in the camera app offers a real 12-megapixel resolution. The picture quality is excellent. It is better than the real 2X optical zoom or 50mm equivalent camera on 12 Pro. The amount of detail is good enough for the intended purposes. Digital zoom goes up to 15x.
With its new 12MP ultra-wide camera, the 14 Pro now offers an impressive 13mm equivalent field of view with very solid image quality. It’s not quite as high-quality as the main camera, but still, it is more than adequate for the intended purposes. The most important thing about the 12MP ultra-wide camera is that it offers a very dramatic field of view which gives you a lot of creative options. The telephoto camera has the same specs as the one on 13 Pro but the overall image quality seems to be a lot better. We have the 77mm focal length as a replacement for 50mm or 13 Pro.
Similar to previous iPhones, profiles are excellent in terms of dynamic range and editing options. To maintain the detail in both highlights and shadows, they combined several photos with various exposures. The results are excellent when you combine that with the primary sensor’s naturally good dynamic range. Although the colors are still extremely vivid, we are quite satisfied with the accuracy. It is capable of capturing photos that look quite natural in most circumstances, even when taken on a gloomy day. Although the skin tones have improved, there are still some circumstances in which they could not appear to be very natural. However, these events don’t happen very frequently.
The performance in low light is excellent. The night mode with long exposure and stacking is often used by 14 Pro. It functions nicely in combination with a bigger sensor. Nearly no noise is present. Importantly, it is not attempting to transform the night into a day, and the colors appear to be natural. Lens flare used to be a problem with iPhones at night. It may still happen, but it substantially decreased.
Video footage in low light is also a positive surprise. Although long exposure cannot be used in the video, it still looks fantastic. Very little detail is lost as a result of the denoising, and there is very little noise. When using the majority of artificial lighting, it also achieves the proper white balance. Overall, the iPhone 14 Pro’s low-light video is one of its key strengths.
Video recording has always been a strength of iPhones and it still is. When recording videos, the primary camera uses a straightforward four-to-one pixel building, producing a substantial level of detail. An obvious advantage of the 24mm focal length for the video is the additional crop that is required for stabilization. After stabilization, we get a focal length of around 26 to 28mm. The HDR effect is significantly reduced in some settings while using film Pro as opposed to the regular camera app. Although there is a slight oil painting effect on the 2x video, it is not too bad. The quality of the ultrawide video is excellent. 3x video is also acceptable. Digital zoom goes up to 9x.
iPhone 14 Pro camera is capable of recording 4K and 1080p videos up to 60fps (frames per second). Both resolutions are supported by the A16 Bionic chip. In addition, the phone supports slow motion 1080p video up to 240 fps. By smartphone standards, the 4K video coming from the iPhone 14 Pro is quite good, but the hardware is capable of far greater results than the current software enables.
Stabilization on iPhone 14 Pro
Much like the 13 Pro 14 pro uses sensor stabilization on the main camera. Static shots and panning are super smooth. The party trick is the walking stabilization which is still super impressive. Just a few years ago, this kind of stability would be impractical without a gimbal. Although digital image stabilization is used by the ultra-white camera, it is more than adequate at that angle. The telephoto camera’s stabilization is also good. At a focal length of 77mm, the lens stabilization efficiently stabilizes static images, which is essentially all we should ask for.
Regarding autofocus, there isn’t much to say about autofocusing. It works perfectly fine. Even in low light, the focusing is incredibly quick and accurate. The same is true for both stills and video. In low light, the telephoto lens slows down a tiny bit, but it is still excellent. Focusing is also used by the ultra-white camera. The adapter field on that one is so deep that it operates without a hitch. The macro capabilities are likely the primary driver of autofocus. It has a very close focus range and can capture these macro images from an interesting angle. Because of the significant distortions at this focal length, it is not appropriate for all subjects.
iPhone 14 Pro Display
The advanced display is another factor that significantly influences iPhone photography. While the display is still 6.1 inches, 460 pixels per inch, and has a refresh rate of 120 hertz, it now has a brightness of 2000 nits, which is advantageous for taking photographs outside. Everything looks fantastic on this screen as usual. Although the Dynamic Island functionality is fantastic, we haven’t seen any dynamic interactions that relate to photography. Possibly in iOS’s lighter versions. Like Dynamic Island, Always on Display is a nice feature that is finally accessible on the iPhone but is unrelated to camera capability. Overall, the display is fantastic; it is a superb OLED panel with wonderful contrast and brightness as well as vibrant colors.
iPhone 14 Pro Battery
The battery, which is currently not so fantastic, is another element that indirectly impacts the camera experience. The battery capacity of the 14 Pro has increased to 3200 mAh, although there appear to be some concerns with iOS 16 hopefully, these will be fixed soon. Battery life is not bad though and it will still get through a full day of heavy use.
To sum up, the bigger 48MP sensor is a significant improvement. It can venture well into the field of specialized cameras when used in combination with a 24-millimeter focal length and pro-RAW. That is an amazing accomplishment! It’s also fantastic that 2x zoom is coming back. The steadiness is excellent, and the low light is excellent. The ultrawide camera is now more advanced than ever and produces generally excellent photos. iPhones’ continued strength in the video. Although the jpeg isn’t too bad, after seeing what the RAWs are capable of, we believe that more work needs to be done. The gap between the RAWs and the jpegs is enormous. There should be at least 48MP JPEGs available.
Along with the display and powerful processing, we also appreciate the rest of the iPhone. Since the iPhone 10, we believe it to be the most intriguing iPhone, and the camera plays a significant role in that.