If you’re looking longingly at the new iPhone 14 Pro and wondering just how good the camera is, and whether it’s better than the Apple phone that’s already in your pocket, we’ve got the answer for you. Over the first few days with the 14 Pro, I’ve taken several hundred photos with it and the iPhone 13 Pro, ready to put the two against each other in a battle that’s sure to get heated.
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro camera specifications
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: main camera
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: wide-angle camera
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: 3x zoom
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Night mode
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Portrait mode
- iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Selfie camera
- iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro?
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro camera specifications
You can see a complete breakdown of what’s new with the iPhone 14 Pro compared to the iPhone 13 Pro, but we’re only concerned with the cameras for this test. Apple has made some changes with the new generation. The
The iPhone 13 Pro has three 12MP cameras on the back. The main camera has Apple’s previous generation optical image stabilization and an f/1.5 aperture, while the telephoto also has a 3x optical zoom. On the software side, the phone also has Deep Fusion and Smart
Although there are other differences, these are the major ones, and we’re not going into video performance for this test. All the photos were taken using automatic settings, and for the night shots, I let the phone set the exposure time. In some of the portrait mode shots, I did tap to confirm the subject, but otherwise, everything is left to the phone to sort out. Images have been examined on a color-calibrated monitor but resized here for friendlier online viewing.
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: main camera
It’s time for a game of spot the difference. At first glance, the two main cameras take very similar photos, and it may seem like Apple hasn’t made any changes at all. However, there are differences when you look much more closely, and they add up to a better photograph. What’s not clear is whether these alterations make upgrading worthwhile, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
The first photo is of a canal, taken around the middle of the day with overcast skies. There’s a sharpness to the iPhone 14 Pro’s photo that’s missing from the iPhone 13 Pro’s. It’s not much, but it’s most obvious looking at the pathway. The focus points are different, with the
Our second photo of lunch and a cup of coffee also shows these same qualities, but again, you won’t spot them with just a casual glance. Spend a moment and you’ll notice the plate is whiter in the iPhone 14 Pro’s photo, and the focus is generally sharper. The top of the sausage roll is in focus, but the
The third photo shows where some will prefer the
It takes an analytical eye to spot the differences between the two main cameras, but once you know where the iPhone 14 Pro’s strengths lie, they’re quite easy to point out. Having the two side-by-side, it’s the
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: wide-angle camera
If changes were hard to spot with the main camera, don’t worry, it’s easier to see where the
However, while the changes in that photo are largely positive, it doesn’t always seem to work that way, and the iPhone 14 Pro’s wide-angle camera definitely still needs tuning. This wide-angle photo of a church shows it best. The
In the final photo, it’s the same situation, where the
There are improvements here, but they aren’t across the board, and the
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: 3x zoom
Here’s where the
In the second photo, you need to look a bit harder. The improved contrast and color from the
It’s not always as noticeable, and in some shots, you’d need to see them alongside each other to pinpoint the changes. However, once you’ve seen them like this, is impossible to ignore how much better the iPhone 14 Pro’s 3x optical zoom photos are compared to the
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Night mode
Apple claims its new Photonic Engine feature means photos taken in low light, especially using the 3x optical zoom, will look better than ever. The first photo shows where this is absolutely true, but also how the photo may split opinions.
Just look at how sharp the text is in the iPhone 14 Pro’s 3x night shot, the lack of noise on the tarmac, and the clarity of the background in general. However, the vehicle is quite noisy and far less white in color than in the
Switch to the main camera and while the two photos have differences, it’s not so instantly obvious. For this photo, concentrate on the paving. The
Finally, use Night mode with the wide-angle camera, and neither phone takes great photos, with plenty of noise and a lack of detail. While the
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Portrait mode
Taking a variety of different shots with the portrait mode on both phones shows no real change in edge recognition, with both cameras capturing lines and detail effectively. The differences between the photos are similar to what we’ve seen elsewhere in the test, with sometimes minutely differing contrast and color balance levels.
However, as edge recognition hasn’t changed much between them, it’s harder to directly choose a winner without getting really close up. As we’ve seen already, the
iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Selfie camera
The winner of this category is entirely based on skin tone. Edge recognition in Portrait mode looks identical, and color balance throughout the rest of the photo is basically the same. There is a tiny change in skin tone, though, with the
It does appear the iPhone 14 Pro’s photo contains more detail, but I don’t think this is the case. When you zoom in (please leave this to me, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone), it’s actually exposure levels that create the illusion of a greater level of detail. The real test here is how both cameras will do with different skin tones, and for this reason, along with the minimal changes elsewhere, it’s another draw.
iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro?
It’s a big win for the
You can’t take it away from the
The fact the
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