With the addition of a 48-megapixel lens and improvements in low light performance for all lenses thanks to the new Photonic Engine, the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max bring about some significant advancements in photography technology. Working on a thorough comparison between the new iPhone 14 Pro Max and the iPhone 13 Pro Max over the last week has allowed us to determine exactly how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be.
Despite having a 48-megapixel lens, the iPhone 14 Pro models use pixel binning to merge four pixels into one, producing photographs that are just 12 MP unless ProRAW is turned on, which allows for 48 MP images. There isn’t a noticeable difference in quality between a 12-megapixel shot taken with the iPhone 14 Pro Max and one taken with the iPhone 13 Pro Max, especially in good lighting.
For better HDR, you will notice some improvements in the shadows and highlights, and the colors on the iPhone 14 Pro Max may appear to be more bright, although this change is often slight.
The largest improvement is when you enable ProRAW for those higher-quality 48-megapixel shots. The 48-megapixel image has far more information than the 12-megapixel image from the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but the file size is a significant drawback. Considering that 48-megapixel photos might be over 60MB in size, your iPhone’s storage will be soon depleted. However, if you want to capture a special moment in the best possible quality, turn on the ProRAW option, and you’ll notice a noticeable improvement above what the iPhone 13 Pro Max can offer.
Apple has developed a new 2x telephoto option that reduces the image from the full quality and uses the 48-megapixel camera. The iPhone 14 Pro models now have an entirely new focal length, whereas the iPhone 13 Pro models can only go as far as a 3x telephoto lens. The quality is greater than what you get with the telephoto lens even with the crop because it’s the main camera. A 2x telephoto is a fantastic length for portraits or if you simply want to zoom in a little.
Apple claims that the Photonic Engine, which enables Deep Fusion earlier in the computational photography process, improves all camera lenses by at least 2x, but it’s difficult to see that improvement completely in side-by-side Night Mode photos taken with the iPhone 14 Pro Max and iPhone 13 Pro Max.
There is a change in the iPhone 14 Pro Max Night Mode shots, but it is not drastically different. There is less noise and light reflection. There aren’t any significant improvements because the iPhone 13 Pro Max was already excellent; nonetheless, some of the iPhone 14 Pro Max shots may appear brighter.
Regarding video, Apple enhanced Cinematic Mode and added Action Mode, which is designed to replicate the steadiness you get with a gimbal. Cinematic Mode is now more adaptable for individuals who choose to shoot in 4K because it supports 4K at 24 frames per second in addition to the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s maximum 1080p resolution.
Action Mode is helpful for capturing a pet or a child running or for taking action shots since it does, in fact, increase stability while you’re shooting video while moving. You definitely won’t want to always have it on because it only supports 2.8K resolution, which is a drop from 4K, but it’s a great function if you require the additional stabilizing. Many times, the built-in default stabilization is sufficient and you won’t need the stabilization increase Action Mode offers.
The cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro Max are undoubtedly an improvement over those on the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but most users won’t use the additional functions on a regular basis. If you currently own an iPhone 13 Pro Max, upgrading for the camera is definitely not worth it. However, there are other features to take into account, such as Dynamic Island, always-on display technology, Emergency SOS via Satellite, and Crash Detection.
Comparing the iPhone 14 Pro Max camera to the iPhone 13 Pro Max camera, what do you think?