The iPhone 14 cameras’ 48 megapixel resolution distinguishes the Pro model.
When compared to the cameras found in the iPhone 13 models from the previous year, there is a greater degree of differentiation between the cameras found in the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro. In 2022, Apple will release a new series of camera phones, and we’re here to break them down and tell you what’s new with them.
Now that it’s September, Apple will likely release an updated version of the iPhone soon. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro are new this year. These phones are designed to appear quite a bit like the 13 series from the previous year from the exterior, but there are some significant modifications on the interior of the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max models in particular. We’ve got you covered if you’re interested in knowing more about the phones in general; in this section, we’ll take a closer look at the cameras.
The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus Have a Camera Capability That Exceeds the Needs of Most People
When it comes to the capabilities of their cameras, Apple’s iPhone 14 and 14 Plus, which are priced lower than their more expensive counterparts, come out (slightly) on the losing end of the competition. That is not a problem because they have a good amount of image and video capability.
The “normal” iPhone 14 models, just like the iPhone 13, come equipped with a pair of cameras: one has an extremely wide angle of view, while the other has the traditional wide angle view (26mm), which has become the de facto standard view for smartphones. A lens with an aperture of f/2.2 is included inside the front-facing selfie camera, which can also be used for FaceTime calls.
Every one of the lenses is supported by a 12MP sensor, the same as what’s seen in the iPhone 13 series. The sensor-shift stabilisation that has been included, on the other hand, should result in steadier handheld video and crisper results when utilising the Night mode in low light. The primary rear camera also has a slightly brighter aperture, measuring in at f/1.5, although the difference in its light-gathering capabilities when compared to the f/1.6 lens on the iPhone 13 is very insignificant.
The computational photo modes are still in effect. The previously stated Night mode allows users to take photographs in low-lit areas such as street corners. A portrait mode that allows you to take photographs with a blurred backdrop and bokeh and lighting effects that you can modify is also included.
In terms of video, even the most fundamental iPhone 14 models can capture in either standard dynamic range (SDR) or high dynamic range (HDR) using 4K at 60 frames per second. Despite this, the cinematic mode has been improved. The function first appeared a year ago and provides the bokeh effect to video. However, it could only be used at 1080p24 with the 13 series. Dolby Vision colour is supported in either the traditional appearance of 24 frames per second or the more video-like 30 frames per second, and the resolution has been upgraded to 4K with the release of the iPhone 14.
This year introduces a totally new gameplay mode called Action. This function is a rebuke to action cameras and claims to record smoother footage in conditions that are often unsteady. The resolution is capped at 2.8K60 because it reduces the field of view captured by the lens in order to compensate for the effects of digital stabilisation. We have seen standalone cameras utilise similar approaches to stabilise handheld video. Sony’s ZV-E10 vlogging camera employs the technology and trims footage in order to stabilise handheld video using the technique. It is an intriguing feature, and it is possible that Apple aims to take a chunk out of GoPro’s market here, but thrill seekers are still better off with a ruggedized Hero10 Black with its great stabilisation and 5.3K60 video standard to chronicle their experiences.
Apple Introduces the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max, Embracing Quad Bayer
In comparison to previous years, there is a significant increase in the amount of distinction between the cameras found on the normal iPhone 14 and those found on the iPhone 14 Pro. To start with what should be clear, both the 14 Pro and the 14 Pro Max have a triple rear camera. The ultra-wide lens now has a macro setting, which is absent from the more basic handsets. In addition, the primary lens is accompanied by a telephoto that magnifies the image by a factor of three and offers the same field of view as a 77mm lens for full-frame cameras. (Yes, 77mm lenses exist.)
The main rear camera on the 14 Pro is supported by a 48MP Quad Bayer sensor, while the wide, telephoto, and selfie lenses on the device all have 12MP resolution. This particular kind of sensor takes the 48-megapixel worth of data and reduces it to the 12-megapixel level. (When shooting in ProRaw mode, you’ll have access to all of the pixel data.)
The lens itself is a 26mm, and despite the fact that its aperture of f/1.78 implies that it does not capture as much light as the ordinary iPhone 14, we anticipate that Apple chose for the design so that it can better take use of the pixel-rich sensor. The quality of the optics and the image processing are important, since we have seen other devices with Quad Bayer processors that only offer a significantly greater level of detail.
We won’t know the true value of the 48MP mode on the iPhone 14 until we put it through some tests. If it’s anything like the DJI Mavic Air 2 drone with its Quad Bayer camera, then the boost in image quality won’t be all that significant. Notably, Google has followed a route quite similar to that of Apple by moving from a camera with 12 megapixels on the Pixel 5 to a camera with 50 megapixels on the Pixel 6 Pro for much the same reason.
Nevertheless, we see some potential in the feature. It is a benefit for working in low light (the 77mm f/2.8 lens collects less than half the light as the f/1.78 main lens), and we expect it will come in useful when 3x is too long but 1x is too wide. Apple is leveraging it for a 2x digital zoom from the main lens.
All of the computational tricks that the normal iPhone 14 is capable of, such as Night mode, Portrait mode, and Cinematic bokeh, are also available on the 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. Raw capture is now available for still images; the Apple ProRaw format offers shots with a resolution of 48 megapixels and a colour depth of 12 bits. This provides twice as much area for editing as a HEIF and four times as much as an 8-bit JPG would.
The video features of it have also been improved. Creators who want to make the most of 10-bit colour and greater versatility while editing video and colour grading in Final Cut Pro may make use of the ProRes 422 recording option. However, I will caution video people not to get any device with a capacity of 128GB. Apple places a restriction on the lowest capacity ProRes model at 1080p30 resolution. If you upgrade to a storage capacity of 256 gigabytes or greater, you’ll be able to acquire ProRes 4K, which is definitely what you desire. It is one of the major drawbacks of Apple’s walled garden. Support for USB-C SSDs for external storage would bypass the issue, but Apple is still sticking with the Lightning interface, so producers who want 4K ProRes will need to pay for more storage up front.
A Greater Focus on Efficiencies Than New Developments
The specifications and feature lists are as remarkable as they have always been, but I’m looking forward to getting some hands-on experience with the cameras on the iPhone 14, so I can see how they perform in real-world settings. Some useful capabilities that were previously unique to last year’s 13 Pro handsets have found their way into this year’s basic 14 models. Of these features, sensor shift stabilisation is the one that makes the most substantial impact in terms of how it affects day-to-day photography. Because the Cinematic mode for video will appear far better on a large screen when rendered in 4K than when rendered in 1080p, we will be looking to Gen Z filmmakers to adopt it.
The 48-megapixel sensor is included on the 14 Pro and the 14 Pro Max. This is the feature that draws the most attention. However, the Quad Bayer technology is more about generating a better 12MP shot than it is about utilising all of those pixels, and if you use your phone in JPG or HEIF mode (the default), you will get 12MP photographs. We are quite interested to find out how the 48MP ProRaw will perform in terms of detail as well as how editable they are.
There is nothing revolutionary about its camera compared to the ones seen in earlier iPhones. For example, the iPhone 4 was the first model to bring high dynamic range (HDR) photography, the iPhone 7 Plus was the first model to provide portraiture with a blurred backdrop, and the iPhone 11 was the first model to introduce photography in night mode. Having said that, Apple was not always the first to market with these capabilities; nevertheless, the company has always done an excellent job of refining them and making them easier to use, and we anticipate that this will continue to be the case with the iPhone 14 series.