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Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 7, 2011
5,997
1,101
If you're a longtime iPhone user like me (I started in 2008 and have used a LOT of different models) you know the photo quality, particularly (after its introduction with the 4S) the panorama quality did increase with each iteration - at least at the beginning. For example, the pano mode of the iPhone 11 (iP11 for short) was a LOT better than that of the 7+. The latter had significantly worse dynamic range in panorama mode, meaning the sky in the 7+'s panos routinely burned out, unlike in that of the iP11.

Given that the 11 is three years old now (as was the 7+ when the 11 series was released), I expected similar improvements in panorama mode. I've made some highly controlled tests: to avoid any kind of difference between the subjects, I hold the two phones firmly together. That is, my rotation speed, the any shaking in my hands etc. was absolutely the same for the two phones. I even posted a 360-degree video on how all these tests were done:

Sorry guys, there doesn't seem to be any improvement. On the contrary: the 14 Pro (Max)'s 1x panoramas are oversharpened even more than those of the iPhone 11. This is certainly very bad news: While there was a MASSIVE improvement between the 7+ and the 11, there's even a quality decrease in the 14 compared the three-year-old model.

In EVERY SINGLE of my comparative test shots, on the 14PM, the sharpening was significantly higher than in the iP11 ones! You REALLY want to compare these images, one pair at a time, and zoom into, most importantly, building walls and the like. You WILL see much stronger sharpening halos in every single iP14PM shot.

And stitching hasn't become better either. You can't rotate faster with the 14 - the "Slow down" messages seem to appear at the same time as on the iPhone 11. And if you do rotate too quickly, the stitching errors will be as bad as on the 11.

The only improvement I noticed was the significantly lower lens flare. But that's, of course, not a problem if the Sun doesn't shine into the lens. Please do compare the 8....12 images. The first was shot with the 1x camera; the other three with the 0.5x one. Lens flare is definitely less an issue with both cameras on the 14 than was on the 11.

Try zooming into for example register plates. The 14 doesn't at all have better effective, pixel-level resolution. (And yes, I did take the slightly wider 1x camera lens into account when I wrote this!)

All in all, I'll surely keep my iP11 with me for the occassional (good light - again, I haven't compared low-light panos yet; I'll post a separate article on my findings later) pano shot, at least when it comes to 1x / 3x pano shooting.

===

What about the 0.5x camera differences, you may ask - after all, the iPhone 11's 0.5x camera (as was still the case with all 12-series models) is significantly softer everywhere but the center. Well, the softness is definitely visible in the 0.5x panos - but to a much lesser degree than in videos or stills, given that the effective resolution of the iPhone panos is far worse than the file's native resolution would tell. That is, the softness isn't as pronounced as elsewhere. Nevertheless, for 0.5x panos, the 14PM may be a better choice if you can put up with the agressive (and hideous) oversharpening.

===

The full-res images, exported from HEIC into JPG at a very small compression rate (resulting in files of around 15MBytes in both cases), are as follows. I created two Flickr albumbs for the two phones. You'll want to open the two albumbs in separate browser tabs for easy comparison. Inside, in the image names, there's an index. Make sure you compare files of the same index. And, to be able to zoom to 1:1 (or ven further), you'll want to download these files via the "Download" icon. In there, select the "Original" file. Then, you'll be able to pixel peep on your desktop (or even mobile, if it does allow for zooming into such large images - that's not guaranteed because of the memory limitations!).

14: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/albums/72177720302345753
11: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33448355@N07/albums/72177720302335234

BTW, I also upload the original HEIC files to https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRvxgB8JNs8u_xJN0RzMjvBWfH0DAjAw/view?usp=sharing . Feel free to grab the ZIP!
 
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Icehart

macrumors member
May 20, 2020
75
268
The truth is nobody can tell a difference between a photo captured in IP 11, 12, 13 and 14 unless you do side by side comparison. Even then the difference is very minor. I've been posting photos in the "Photos taken with 11, 12 and 13" thread with my old IP11, and nobody has ever questioned nor told me I'm in the wrong thread.
 

Kobs

macrumors member
Sep 15, 2022
63
122
Reviews of the 14 pro and pro max in Europe, looking especially at the cameras, translated to English


 
Last edited:

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 7, 2011
5,997
1,101
The truth is nobody can tell a difference between a photo captured in IP 11, 12, 13 and 14 unless you do side by side comparison. Even then the difference is very minor. I've been posting photos in the "Photos taken with 11, 12 and 13" thread with my old IP11, and nobody has ever questioned nor told me I'm in the wrong thread.
Yup, WRT compressed formats like JPG and HEIC and good light, I perceived no difference in image quality between the 11 and 14PM using the 1x camera. (The 0.5x is dramatically improved in every respect.) Panorama shots, on the other hand, exhibit additional, aggressive sharpening in the new model; this is why the iPhone 11 panoramas are better than those of the 14PM (with the usual caveats: in good light and when lens flare can't cause problems).
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 7, 2011
5,997
1,101
Here are some examples of the difference, all from the very first comparative shot at:

11: https://flic.kr/p/2nNxdhi 14PM: https://flic.kr/p/2nNvWa3
(And, again, in the ZIP file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRvxgB8JNs8u_xJN0RzMjvBWfH0DAjAw/view?usp=sharing )

All these three pairs show that
1, the 14PM has no better pixel-level resolution
2, it has more agressive sharpening halos and
3, it at least in this pano, made substantially more stitching errors.

The latter are visible in all three(!) examples:

1, in the first pair (11 - left of entrance / 14 - left of entrance), the pillar magically became "thicker" just on top of the window (annotated by a red arrow!)
2, the 2nd pair (11 - top/14 - top) show some noticable stitching unevenness on the very top of the ceiling - see particularly the two arrows
3, the 3rd pair (11 - security closeup/14 - security closeup) show a much more "uneven" upper part of the entrance door (one of the arrows). In these shots (see the 2nd arrow pointing to the security warning), you can also see there is preactically no difference in pixel-level sharpness - the text on these warnings are not readable in either photo.

The iPhone11 did NOT make the same stitching errors - and, again, remember I rotated the two cameras "glued together", with the same rotation speed etc. so the difference isn't caused by my more uneven / hasty etc. rotating the 14PM!

Again, again and again: I moved the cameras in synch, as you can easily check in the "making of" 360-degree video.

Feel free to examine all the pano pairs!
 

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Snot Rox

macrumors 6502
Sep 16, 2014
452
427
SF Bay Area, CA
The truth is nobody can tell a difference between a photo captured in IP 11, 12, 13 and 14 unless you do side by side comparison. Even then the difference is very minor. I've been posting photos in the "Photos taken with 11, 12 and 13" thread with my old IP11, and nobody has ever questioned nor told me I'm in the wrong thread.

😮

How dare you.
 

I7guy

macrumors Nehalem
Nov 30, 2013
33,883
23,392
Gotta be in it to win it
Here are some examples of the difference, all from the very first comparative shot at:

11: https://flic.kr/p/2nNxdhi 14PM: https://flic.kr/p/2nNvWa3
(And, again, in the ZIP file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1kRvxgB8JNs8u_xJN0RzMjvBWfH0DAjAw/view?usp=sharing )

All these three pairs show that
1, the 14PM has no better pixel-level resolution
2, it has more agressive sharpening halos and
3, it at least in this pano, made substantially more stitching errors.

The latter are visible in all three(!) examples:

1, in the first pair (11 - left of entrance / 14 - left of entrance), the pillar magically became "thicker" just on top of the window (annotated by a red arrow!)
2, the 2nd pair (11 - top/14 - top) show some noticable stitching unevenness on the very top of the ceiling - see particularly the two arrows
3, the 3rd pair (11 - security closeup/14 - security closeup) show a much more "uneven" upper part of the entrance door (one of the arrows). In these shots (see the 2nd arrow pointing to the security warning), you can also see there is preactically no difference in pixel-level sharpness - the text on these warnings are not readable in either photo.

The iPhone11 did NOT make the same stitching errors - and, again, remember I rotated the two cameras "glued together", with the same rotation speed etc. so the difference isn't caused by my more uneven / hasty etc. rotating the 14PM!

Again, again and again: I moved the cameras in synch, as you can easily check in the "making of" 360-degree video.

Feel free to examine all the pano pairs!
14pm pano looks better on my Xs max without pixel peeping.
 

calstanford

Suspended
Nov 25, 2014
1,419
4,304
Hong Kong
I haven't used this function in years anyway. I bet the code is still from the iPhone 3G days.

Much better to take 48MP RAWs and have Photoshop do the stiching for ya.
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 7, 2011
5,997
1,101
14pm pano looks better on my Xs max without pixel peeping.
BTW, apart from the obvious difference between the lens' field-of-view (14's 24mm vs. 11's 26mm), which results in a somewhat wider/taller covered area (but at the same output resolution; which also means the 14's images have a LITTLE bit less pixel-level resolution than the 11, but that's perfectly normal), in which areas do you find the 14's panos better?
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jun 7, 2011
5,997
1,101
BTW, Max tech has just compared the panorama mode of the iPhone 14 Pro Max to the iPhone 14 Plus (NOT 11, unlike I did in this thread!) He wasn't very happy with the 14PM's panoramas and stated they're worse than those of the 14 Plus. Video link:
 

helloari

macrumors newbie
May 30, 2013
2
0
I like to shoot linear panoramas where I’m not rotating around a nodal point. this technique gave me great results when pointing my phone out the window of a car or train. However around February of 2022 my 13pro stopped being able to shoot this way. In the preview of the pano it looked fine but when I viewed the rendered image it was missing most of the image and kind of smooshed together.

So I assume there was a software update that affected post processing. Upgrading from 13 to 14 didn’t fix the issue. The 12 also has this issue. I’m pretty sure the 11 does not.

Anyone have a clue how I can solve this? Basic apple support was useless
 

The Game 161

macrumors Nehalem
Dec 15, 2010
30,168
19,376
UK
One area where the 11 series was better was HDR and overall shadow detail. The new models where the differences is better overall detail certainly when cropping in. Apples image processing is where the issue is as the sensors are a big difference from older models
 
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