Chapter in this post:
With the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max Apple has not only a new design and new Features enabled by iOS 16 introduces, but also a new camera system. The Apple iPhone 14 Pro (Max) has three camera lenses with a 48 MP sensor as well as telephoto and ultra wide-angle lenses. Photos can even be taken in Apple's ProRAW format or in DNG with a size of 8.064 x 6.048 pixels. For videos, there is cinema mode with 4K resolution at 24 fps and Action Mode for gimbal-like image stabilization. But how does the iPhone 14 Pro camera fare in the test? Austin Mann found this out!
Briefly to classify why we use another blog for an article about the test and experiences with the Apple iPhone 14 Pro camera. On the one hand, the new Apple smartphone will not be launched until tomorrow - so we are currently unable to carry out our own test due to the lack of relationships with Apple or retailers.
On the other hand, both Jens and I like taking photos with the iPhone, but I don't think either of us would call ourselves professional photographers. And this is where Austin Mann comes in, who was able to test the iPhone 14 Pro before the release. He is professional photographer who in his Articles covers many areas. We quoted him here in the past:
After photographs from the Ruaha National Park in Tanzania, photos from the Glacier National Park in Montana, USA and photos from India, a test report from Scotland now follows. Austin Mann goes into the megapixel number of the photos, shows how many details are preserved in their image sections and what you can do with the 48 MP photos in ProRAW format. He also provides a detailed 48 MP recording as ProRAW DNG for download so that interested parties can experiment with it themselves.
In the article linked above you will find numerous other images as well as information about which properties and settings of the camera system were used for this. Among other things, a section of the image is shown that apparently only makes up a small part of the original photo.
However, since this was recorded with 48 MP and a size of 8.064 x 6.048 pixels, the "small" image section still has a width of over 3.000 pixels. This is not only enough for printing in the standard photo format, but also for embedding on websites. With regard to full 48 MP photos, Austin Mann mentions that he has one developed as a wall-filling print.
Austin Mann gives various examples of the iPhone 48 MP DNG file size, as well as a comparison with the RAW files of the Sony A1 with 50 megapixels. The following data is found in the paragraph related to this subtopic of the iPhone Photographer Review:
While there are some advantages from the new 48 MP camera of the iPhone 14 Pro (Max), Austin Mann mentions in his review that he switched back to the 12 MP setting after just a few days. He expects to leave it at that, only moving to 48MP ProRAW shooting when he really needs it.
He gives the following reasons:
In the evening and at night, as described in the review, it is better to switch from 48-megapixel to 12-megapixel mode. Especially when moving objects, animals or people are photographed or other movements are involved (waves on the sea, photos on a swaying boat, pictures from a vehicle, etc.), the iPhone camera reacts faster and faster with less MP captures more detail.
Austin Mann's iPhone camera test reports usually include comparison shots. In the current article about the experiences with the iPhone 14 Pro camera, for example, he shows a photo of a landscape and road that are illuminated in the dark with a bicycle lamp. The recording with the iPhone 14 Pro is much sharper and more detailed than that with the iPhone 13 Pro. Both were created using handheld devices without a tripod. The recording without artificial light was also compared - but with a lot more details, a similar image noise can be seen in the comparison.
"The action mode speaks for itself...", says the test report and below is a video with comparison shots embedded - once without activated image stabilization (shaky) and once with activated image stabilization (smooth). Since I don't want to steal the video from the website and I didn't find it on YouTube or Vimeo to embed, I can't show it to you. But you can find it in the linked test report.
In addition, a few notes on the action mode in the Apple iPhone 14 Pro camera are given. So it needs enough light. Exactly what that means is hard to pin down, as it appears to have worked in a cloudy landscape; but not in daylight inside an airport. In addition, the professional recommends using the 0,5x zoom level, because the outer edges of the image are cut out to create a stable frame. The more picture there is, the better it can be cut out.
The cinema mode is not dealt with too extensively, but it is positively emphasized that it now supports 4 fps in addition to the 24K resolution. This is the standard in many cinema productions, which is why the previous restriction to 30 fps on the iPhone was counterproductive. As the next step for the iPhone towards a usable tool for filmmakers, Austin Mann would like a ProRes Cinematic Mode in his test report.
In addition to many advantages and improvements, the negative aspects were not left out in the said test. A big problem for photographers could be e.g. B. the transfer and use of the files, especially with regard to the ProRAW photos. Because in addition to iCloud, transmission via cable should also work. But that turned out to be more difficult than expected. In the end it helped to activate the airplane mode so that the photos app loaded properly - that is, to put it simply, a big botch.
After the transfer, however, there were problems opening and using the files. Viewing them in Apple Photos and zooming to 100% was said to be very slow. The use from the Finder out and opening it in Adobe Bridge wasn't that satisfying either, albeit easy and quick. The DNG files appeared very dark (as shown above) because the ProRAW profile could not be loaded. As a conclusion, Austin Mann writes (translated): "I'm really excited about the new cameras, but now I'm increasingly worried about media management and post-production, so I'm hoping those things get tackled soon."
A comprehensive test of the iPhone camera by a professional naturally also reveals disadvantages and the development of ideas for improving the system. And so Austin Mann also expresses three wishes for better use of the iPhone 14 Pro (Max) camera, which Apple could even implement with software updates in iOS: A night mode with a red display (as with the Apple Watch Ultra) for enhanced night vision, a better digital workflow for file transfers and photo editing, and an ability to quickly toggle between 12MP and 48MP right in the camera app.
In addition to photography and the post-processing of iPhone photos, the iPhone 14 Pro test report also briefly dealt with other functions of the latest Apple smartphone. Since Austin Mann is always visiting remote regions without mobile communications for his photo projects, he has a Garmin inReach MINI with him for emergencies and for individual text messages. In an emergency, the iPhone 14 could now also be used.
However, US models no longer have a SIM card slot, which makes it difficult for travelers to use mobile phone tariffs in some countries. As Austin Mann travels to African countries from time to time, local SIM cards are a must for him. He has not yet found an eSIM replacement for some countries. Therefore, the focus on eSIM use may limit users from the US - and in the future also users from other regions, as Apple could in the long run say goodbye to the physical SIM everywhere.
In his Articles Austin Mann shows more data, photos and thoughts on the Apple iPhone 14 Pro camera test. So check it out if you are interested in the topic. Among other things, you will find a large overview of the camera data that he read out with the help of Halide. In addition to the ISO range, there is information on the focus length, aperture, flash, minimum and maximum exposure and so on. The data is broken down for all four lenses - three on the back and one above / in the display.
After graduating from high school, Johannes completed an apprenticeship as a business assistant specializing in foreign languages. But then he decided to research and write, which resulted in his independence. For several years he has been working for Sir Apfelot, among others. His articles include product introductions, news, manuals, video games, consoles, and more. He follows Apple keynotes live via stream.