Chapter in this post:
Actually, I wanted to have delivered a review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max for a long time, but somehow I haven't made it in time. But one can summarize that it has a tried and tested good design, a great display and the camera has also become noticeably better again - compared to the iPhone 12 Pro Max. What I find most exciting about the new iPhone Pro, however, is the mode for macro photography. And this time I gave him the “Pick of the Week” award.
The photos here in the post have not been cut or edited in any way. I know the cropping isn't always the best and the colors may not be great, but that's easy to do later. I wanted to include the original photos in the post so that you can get a realistic picture of the results that fall out of the camera. To make the photos "web-compatible", I simply scaled them down to 1200 pixels wide and then exported them as JPG.
You can also see edge blurring in most photos, which is normal when taking macro photos with a smartphone. The closer you get to the object, the stronger this blurring becomes.
Ever since the iPhone 5, I've been wishing that Apple engineers would manage to get closer to the object with the smartphone. So far I have waited in vain - it actually got worse and there was only some improvement with the telephoto lens of the later iPhone models.
In practice, I often helped myself by getting an insect - or whatever I snapped - by cropping the picture. Of course, this depends on the resolution and at some point the motifs become too pixelated even for display on the web.
In addition, the telephoto lens in the iPhone (up to model 12) is noticeably weaker and can therefore hardly deliver good macro photos in poor lighting conditions.
The macro photo mode has been available since the iPhone 13 generation and is only reserved for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models. The reason for this is that only these models have an ultra-wide-angle lens with autofocus.
It sounds like you have to activate the mode separately, such as panorama mode or RAW photos, but in practice this is not the case. If you get very close to an object with the iPhone, this will always be kept in focus. So you can just keep taking pictures.
The question is not that easy to answer because I did not measure the distance accurately. I guess it's in the 1 to 2 cm range though. In the following photo you can see a seam of my jeans that is about an inch long. So you can get very close. With my iPhone 12 Pro Max, I have to keep a distance of about six to eight inches. Such macro shots are completely impossible.
If you use the macro mode in everyday life, you quickly realize that it is sometimes not that easy to get the subject right into the picture. The camera app switches back and forth between the lenses depending on the incidence of light. This also happens when taking photos with the iPhone 12 Pro, but if you have a greater distance between the subject and the iPhone, you will not notice this switch.
In macro photography, however, switching lenses means that the subject is suddenly no longer in the frame. So you have to bring the subject back into the picture and as soon as you realign the camera, the fun happens again sometimes.
I tried to photograph a drop of water on a leaf once, but because the camera was constantly switching and the wind moved the leaf, it was almost impossible. Out of almost ten photos, only the following photo was halfway usable.
I still have two small system cameras, but I haven't touched them in years. I'm just too spoiled by the iCloud photo library and the ability to always have a camera with me with my iPhone.
Since it now also has a macro mode and thus also enables very acceptable macro photography, I am twice as enthusiastic about the photographic possibilities that the iPhone offers. If you add the stunning night mode, which takes impressively good photos even in very dark conditions, then I can't really imagine a better camera in my pocket.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.