An In-Depth Look at the iPhone 14 Pro’s Many Cameras
I shoot a lot of iPhone photos. In the last five years, I’ve taken a bit over 120,000 photos — averaging at least 10,000 RAW shots per iPhone model. I like to take some time — a few weeks, at least — to review a new iPhone camera and go beyond a first impression.
I took the iPhone 14 Pro on a trip around San Francisco and Northern California, to the remote Himalayas and mountains of the Kingdom of Bhutan, and Tokyo — to test every aspect of its image-making, and I have to say that I was pretty blown away by the results of the main camera.
There are photos in this review that are truly difficult to tell apart from a very nice dedicated digital camera. I am not in the market for a new iPhone this year, but these images are making me impatient for the iPhone 15 Pro.
One interesting choice Apple made is to change the equivalent focal length of the main camera for the third time: to 24mm from 26mm in the iPhone XS and subsequent models, and 28mm in all preceding iPhones. For my tastes, that camera is moving in the wrong direction from a focal length perspective. Still, it is somewhat offset by a cropped 52mm 2× capture mode and upgraded processing of images shot with the 77mm 3× camera.
For those hoping that iPhone 14 Pro would do away with heavily processed shots, we have some rather bad news: it seems iPhone 14 Pro is, if anything, even more hands-on when it comes to taking creative decisions around selective edits based on subject matter, noise reduction and more.
This is not necessarily a bad thing.
There is a compelling case to be made for the more aggressive and better processing of 14 Pro images, but there are also some bizarre decisions here that make it seem like the camera is drawing an imagined reality. I hope for a gentler approach in the future, or full access for third-party camera apps to truer 48 megapixel RAW sensor data without the adjustments of ProRAW.