iPhone 14 Pro camera review – Austin Mann in Scotland

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!

In the Apple iPhone 14 Pro camera test with Austin Mann's experiences you will find some photos and data, tips for use and also disadvantages that have arisen with the 48 MP ProRAW DNG files. In this article I have summarized the most important information for you.

In the Apple iPhone 14 Pro camera test with Austin Mann's experiences you will find some photos and data, tips for use and also disadvantages that have arisen with the 48 MP ProRAW DNG files. In this article I have summarized the most important information for you.

Who is Austin Mann?

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:

Apple iPhone 14 Pro camera test in Scotland

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.

On the left, the photo displayed as a JPG, and on the right, the 48-megapixel ProRAW DNG file opened in Affinity Photo. Austin Mann also had the problem that the photo was displayed too dark (see below).

On the left, the photo displayed as a JPG, and on the right, the 48-megapixel ProRAW DNG file opened in Affinity Photo. Austin Mann also had the problem that the photo was displayed too dark (see below).

Small image section, large number of pixels

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.

It's about this part of the picture that is still large and detailed enough to be used on its own.

It's about this part of the picture that is still large and detailed enough to be used on its own.

How big are the iPhone 14 Pro photos in ProRAW format?

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:

  • Average size of a 48MP ProRAW DNG file: 80MB
  • Smallest memory usage (photo of the sky with little detail): 45 MB
  • Largest memory occupancy (a lot of detail in a photo of leaves): 115 MB
  • Average size of a 50MP Sony A1 RAW file: 120MB
  • For comparison, the 12 MP JPEG memory allocation on the iPhone: 1,5 MB to 7 MB 

The best camera setting on the iPhone 14 Pro is still 12 MP

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: 

  1. The 12-megapixel capture is very fast, so it's better for snapshots, moving subjects, and low-light photos
  2. While recording and processing 48 megapixels, better shooting opportunities could be missed
  3. The storage sizes of the iPhone and iCloud would have to be adjusted for permanent use of 48 MP ProRAW - no photographer wants to have to deal with too little storage space
  4. Capturing 48MP photos seems to have a significant impact on battery life
  5. 12 MP is sufficient for most shooting scenarios, even when high-resolution photos are required

Tip for shooting in low light: 12 MP instead of 48 MP

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.

Camera comparison of iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro

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.

Probably not as visible on the screenshot: Compared to the iPhone 13 Pro camera, the iPhone 14 Pro camera delivers a better image with more details in low light. Nevertheless, image noise can occur.

Probably not as visible on the screenshot: Compared to the iPhone 13 Pro camera, the iPhone 14 Pro camera delivers a better image with more details in low light. Nevertheless, image noise can occur.

The action mode in the iPhone 14 Pro video test

"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.

Cinematic Mode Thoughts

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.

Workflow hurdles: file transfer and editing

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."

Three wishes to improve the iPhone 14 Pro (Max) camera

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.

Notes on satellite emergency calling and eSIM

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.

Even more content in the test report

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. 

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13 comments

  1. Horst Hader says:

    Hi John,

    An interesting article. For people like me, the progress compared to the IPhone XS is more than serious. The IPhone 14 Pro is certainly not enough for professionals. But one should not forget that the IPhone 14 Pro is a smartphone(!) with a camera. For users like me, the camera performance is more than sufficient. With my IPhone 5s and my Canon SX 280 HS, I shot about 2014 photos and videos on vacation in Australia in 3000. (Videos exclusively with the IPhone 5s). And these were not from bad parents. In any case, these looked pretty good on my brother's 42-inch Smart TV as well. I'm now eagerly awaiting Jens' camera test of the IPhone 14 Pro.

    Greetings to the Sir Apfelot team
    Eyrie

    PS
    Hope your server move works smoothly or has worked smoothly.
    Are there actually also Sir Apfelot t-shirts/polo shirts?

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Horst! Yes, that's how I see it too. For me, the iPhone has been my "main camera" since the iPhone 5. It's just practical, always with me and the photos automatically end up on my Mac. I'll definitely do the camera test - unfortunately with less chic environments than Austin Mann always has available, but I'll give my two cents.
      Sir Apfelot T-Shirts?! I've been thinking about this for years, but haven't gotten any further. But if someone explicitly asks: What would you like as a motif? Just the Sir Apfelot logo on the top right? Or a snappy saying like "Have you tried turning it off and on again?"?

      • Horst Hader says:

        Hi Jens,
        Just put the Sir Apfelot logo on top right. 😊😊😊By the way, my IPhone 14 Pro will arrive tomorrow between 11:00 a.m. and 15:00 p.m. according to tracking. 😊😊😊
        It would be great if that would work with the t-shirt.

        Greeting Horst

        • Jen Kleinholz says:

          Hello Horst! We can do that with the t-shirt. 😊 I'll get on it and let you know! Hey, hold on until tomorrow!

          • Horst Hader says:

            Hi Jens,
            With the T-shirt I then have the right outfit for the iPhone.
            Hold on until tomorrow. The girlfriend already has an employment program for me.
            Greeting Horst

          • Johannes Domke says:

            I'm all for a huge QR code on the back that takes you straight to the blog home page :D

  2. Jared Kay says:

    Thank you so much for the update. I am hoping to obtain a copy of the original raw files from a new iPhone 14 so I can pixel peep in Lightroom. Would you mind sharing the raw files by chance? [email address removed]

    • Johannes Domke says:

      Hi Jared,

      You can find a download link for the mentioned raw file in the original article by Austin Mann. I think he'll prefer it if you download it from him - instead of me handing out copies.

      Best Regards,
      John

  3. Horst Hader says:

    Hi John,
    I'd love to😁😁😁
    Greeting Horst

  4. Volker says:

    Hi Guys!
    How and where do you adjust the megapixel size for the desired recording? Am I missing something or am I misunderstanding something? I can't find any setting on my 12 Pro Max.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      You can only set the 48 MP on the iPhone 14 Pro. All other iPhone models only do 12 MP and you can't change that either.

  5. Helmut says:

    Nice article. Since I'm also interested in the part right now ;-)
    What disturbs me, however, is the fact that you can't seem to get the files onto the computer without fumbling around...that kind of thing is annoying, of course. Since I would like to post-process the RAW files.

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Helmut! Thanks for your comment. But that's not really "tinkering". I have iCloud Photo Library turned on. All photos end up on my Mac automatically. Then when I want a raw from a photo, I click on it, go to File → Export → Export unedited original for 1 photo → Done. Of course, if you're working without iCloud, things get more complicated. 😊

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