This is part of the story Focal Point iPhone 2022CNET’s roundup of news, tips, and advice around Apple’s most popular product.
The iPhone 14 Pro has a number of camera system improvements that lead to it star reviewsIncluding a 48-megapixel sensor and Apple’s new image processing technique called Photonic Engine. This instantly makes the iPhone 14 Pro superior to last year’s iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Maxat least on paper.
But how big of a difference do these new hardware and software features make in the real world?
To find out, I compared the cameras on both phones in a series of challenging situations around San Francisco. All these photos were taken in the default camera app on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro The latest version of iOS 16.
you can get detailed information about Special improvements to the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera system in this deep dive by my colleague Stephen Shankland. CNET’s Patrick Holland also has it Great review for iPhone 14 Pro photos and how the Photonic Engine helps improve photo quality in challenging lighting conditions.
The iPhone 14 Pro’s 48-megapixel sensor captures more detail
In terms of hardware, the biggest change between the two phones is the 14 Pro’s new 48-megapixel sensor on the main wide-angle camera, which is physically larger than the older iPhone, making as much of a difference as the increase in photo quality. megapixels. The 13 Pro uses a 12-megapixel sensor.
using a technique called pixel binding, the iPhone 14 Pro combines four pixels into groups to capture more detailed 12-megapixel photos. If you shoot in Apple’s ProRaw format, you can also capture a full 48-megapixel image, giving photographers more flexibility when editing and restoring shadow and highlight detail, among many other benefits.
In good lighting, the 12-megapixel shots from both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro look similar at reduced magnification, and the difference may not be so easy to spot. When you push it a little, the advantages of the 14 Pro’s new sensor and image processing become apparent.
In the photos below of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the tree trunks are sharper and sharper on the iPhone 14 Pro than on the 13 Pro. Finely detailed areas like grass also retain more resolution. You can click on the image in full resolution iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro easier to compare.
The iPhone 14 Pro lens on the main rear camera also has a wider field of view than the 13 Pro: 24 mm and 26 mm. This means you can get a little more in your shot, which can be especially useful for landscape photography.
iPhone 14 Pro can take pictures with 2x zoom
The iPhone 14 Pro has one more trick: the 48-megapixel sensor can also take 12-megapixel shots with an effective 2x optical zoom. You will see a new 2x option in the camera interface. This crops the center of the higher resolution image to give more flexibility with focal length without the need for a fourth lens. The iPhone 13 Pro can also take photos with 2x zoom, but it uses digital zoom and doesn’t have the same quality or level of detail as this new technique.
I’m using the new 2x option on the iPhone 14 Pro to help with portrait mode. Instead of just offering 1x and 3x options like the older phone, it can also take photos in portrait mode at 2x. This results in shots that look more natural to my eyes. I find it’s more flattering to facial features than a wide view at 1x or a zoomed-in perspective at 3x.
iPhone 14 Pro vs. 13 Pro: Low light and night mode
The iPhone 14 Pro has a new image processing pipeline that helps improve medium and low-light shots. Combined with the larger sensor, I can see the difference compared to the iPhone 13 Pro in all the photos I take in the dark. Take a look at the detail captured in the tree branches with the skyline in the photos below.
The newer phone has better noise reduction in low light without night mode enabled. Dynamic range is also improved in low light, capturing more shadow and lighting detail than the older phone.
Especially for night shots, both phones use similar exposure times, ranging from 1 to 3 seconds depending on lighting conditions. The iPhone 14 Pro image below has a more accurate white balance overall and slightly better detail when zoomed in.
Action mode is the star of the iPhone 14 Pro’s video recording
Both the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro shoot in 4K at 60 frames per second. When shooting on the main rear camera, the video image looks similar. But the iPhone 14 Pro opens up additional video tools like Action mode. It’s like hooking up a gimbal to your phone for smooth results while moving, except you don’t need any additional hardware — it’s all done on the phone.
Action mode zooms in a bit closer to your image and drops the resolution from 4K to 2.8Ka. But I think the results are incredibly impressive, especially when compared to the same video shot on the iPhone 13 Pro.
I ran after my pup, ran along the beach, and shot a fast-moving tracking shot in front of a waterfall in the park with Action mode, and the results were remarkable. The video image from the iPhone 14 Pro looks like I was shooting with a stabilizer, even smoothing out sudden jerky movements. The video of the iPhone 13 Pro looks even more confusing. You can see examples of this mode of movement in the video at the top of this page or in the video below by my colleague Patrick Holland.
The iPhone 14 Pro has big camera improvements, but the iPhone 13 Pro is still impressive
Apple’s latest iPhone model has a number of significant advantages over last year’s iPhone 13 Pro when it comes to both photo and video capture. Most importantly, you don’t need to consider yourself a serious or professional photographer to take advantage of the 48-megapixel sensor. But the iPhone 13 Pro is still at the top of the game in most other areas, and still offers one of the best phone cameras you can get.
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models introduce extensive changes such as Dynamic Island, a new 48-megapixel camera system and Apple’s new A16 Bionic processor. All of these improvements come together to create an experience that feels fresh and snappy compared to older generations.
The iPhone 13 Pro is the best phone Apple has ever made, and it scored perfectly in our review. The new smartphone adds a third rear camera with 3x optical zoom (up to 2x on the iPhone 12), a stainless steel body and a ProMotion display with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling.
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