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usmaak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
845
646
I have always had Samsung phones and after seeing the presentation, I am like 95% sure that I want an iPhone 14 Pro Max (purple). The one sticking point has always been the cameras. I understand that cellphone cameras are not pro level. I use my phone more for taking pictures on the go than for just about anything else. The Note 20 Ultra that I currently have does 5x zoom and the current S22 Ultra does 10x zoom. I’d imagine that the upcoming S23 will do even more.

The S22 Ultra camera specs:
108MP Main (1x) 23mm f/1.8
12MP Ultra (0.6x) 13mm f/2.2
10MP Tele (3x) f/2.4
10MP Tele (10x) f/4.9

The new iPhone 14 Pro Max specs:
48MP Main (1x) 24mm f/1.78
12MP Ultra (0.5x) 13mm f/2.2
12MP Tele (3x) 77mm f/2.8

My understanding of cameras and what this all means is somewhat limited. Of course I go to the whole more megapixels and much longer zoom. Can someone who understands how these compare explain to me the pros and cons of the new iPhone setup?

I don‘t mean for this to be a bash apple or Samsung thread. I am mostly convinced and just want to understand the differences.

thanks
 
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jay968

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2019
452
267
California
I've been a pro photorapher since the 70s. Basically if you go by the above specs, there is really very little difference. Yes the S22 has more megapixels in the main camera which generally equates to higher resolution but in phone sensors and end use of the photos from them, it is not really a big deal. Also, the Ultra does have 2 telephotos so this might be a slight advantage. The rest of the specs are too small of a difference to matter at all.
That said, I own both an iphone 12 and a Galaxy S22. The Galaxy produces somewhat more saturated colors that honestly look a little bit unnatural but other than that there is very little difference really between the 2. I wouldn't use either for anything serious at all but do use them to make quick snaps, or to take photos of ebay items I want to sell.
What will probably give the iphone 14 the advantage here is that it is newer technology and the software that runs the camera and produces the imagery will be improved and more capable. I think that if I were to buy one of these based on the camera alone, I'd probably end up choosing the iphone 14 for that reason. It's video stabilization alone looks very good.
Ultimately, I'd choose the phone based on things other than the camera, but honestly I wouldn't care at all if cell phones dropped cameras altogether, so that's just me.

108mp vs 48mp - 108 theoretically means higher resolution, but these sensors are too small to begin with. A bigger sensor is really more important and the iphone 14 will have a slightly bigger one.
10mp vs 12mp? Ignore it. That's very close.
The smaller the f number, the more light the sensor gathers. Differences like 1.8 vs 1.78 mean nothing. They are essentially the same really. Even 2.4 to 2.8 is not really meaningful.
23mm vs 24mm? Same as above. ignore it.

Bottom line: When you can, go to a store that has both on display and try them out. See which one produces photos that you prefer. They will look slightly different and what matters is what you like. Either will be about as good as you can get on a phone.
 
Last edited:

usmaak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
845
646
I've been a pro photorapher since the 70s. Basically if you go by the above specs, there is really very little difference. Yes the S22 has more megapixels in the main camera which generally equates to higher resolution but in phone sensors and end use of the photos from them, it is not really a big deal. Also, the Ultra does have 2 telephotos so this might be a slight advantage. The rest of the specs are too small of a difference to matter at all.
That said, I own both an iphone 12 and a Galaxy S22. The Galaxy produces somewhat more saturated colors that honestly look a little bit unnatural but other than that there is very little difference really between the 2. I wouldn't use either for anything serious at all but do use them to make quick snaps, or to take photos of ebay items I want to sell.
What will probably give the iphone 14 the advantage here is that it is newer technology and the software that runs the camera and produces the imagery will be improved and more capable. I think that if I were to buy one of these based on the camera alone, I'd probably end up choosing the iphone 14 for that reason. It's video stabilization alone looks very good.
Ultimately, I'd choose the phone based on things other than the camera, but honestly I wouldn't care at all if cell phones dropped cameras altogether, so that's just me.

108mp vs 48mp - 108 theoretically means higher resolution, but these sensors are too small to begin with. A bigger sensor is really more important and the iphone 14 will have a slightly bigger one.
10mp vs 12mp? Ignore it. That's very close.
The smaller the f number, the more light the sensor gathers. Differences like 1.8 vs 1.78 mean nothing. They are essentially the same really. Even 2.4 to 2.8 is not really meaningful.
23mm vs 24mm? Same as above. ignore it.

Bottom line: When you can, go to a store that has both on display and try them out. See which one produces photos that you prefer. They will look slightly different and what matters is what you like. Either will be about as good as you can get on a phone.
Thanks for the excellent explanation.:)
 

Elwots

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2016
238
327
MKBHD mentioned in his first impressions video that the iPhone 14 Pro will only use 48mp when shooting in ProRAW, otherwise it’s still 12mp. Kinda lame if true..
 

usmaak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
845
646
I did some research and now I better understand the concept of pixel binning. And yes, the Samsung Ultra 22 does this as well. The article I read talked about why it’s done. The samsung photo app allows you to turn it off. The article shows that when it’s shut off in bright conditions, the full res and binned pictures are virtually indistinguishable. It also showed how in lower light, the full res pictures introduced noise that the binned pictures didn’t have. By default, the phone produced 12 megapixel images just like the iPhone does.

Its all very interesting and it does show how there is more involved than just the raw pixel count. The actual sensors and post processing of the images are just as important. It also shows how advertising can use the numbers to mislead. Up until the last couple of days, I just assumed that more megapixels means better camera. Yet there is so much more to it than that.
 
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jay968

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2019
452
267
California
It wasn't all that long ago when the most advanced professional digital cameras had no more than 6mp sensors. I still have 20x24 inch prints hanging in my living room from such cameras. Is there a difference if I look side by side with a 46mp camera? To my eye, yes there is but it is slight. As I said before, the bigger difference is realized when comparing cameras with different sized sensors and even though the iphone 14 does have a larger sensor than that of other cell phone cameras, it is still way too small to make any real difference.

You are right. Yes, the numbers are very much misleading. The biggest advancements in cell phone cameras is in what the software can do in its post processing.
 
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Diorama

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2017
735
1,170

If you want to spend 17 minutes looking at comparisons between photos/video on the S22 vs the 14 Pro
 

Supermallet

macrumors 68000
Sep 19, 2014
1,771
1,372
How about a TLDR 🤣
TLDW: Apple has generally better colors. Increased depth of field on larger sensor in the iPhone means the two phones are now equal is separating subject from background. Action mode is way better on iPhone. iPhone generally takes better photos at 1-10x zoom, Samsung does better at 10x-100x zoom. iPhone generally does way better than Samsung in mid to low light.

Samsung can do 8k, but Apple has smoother transitions between lenses while filming video with better color matching between lenses when transitioning.

In general he preferred the 14 Pro but if specific features that Samsung excels at are more important to you, then go with Samsung.
 

usmaak

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 13, 2012
845
646
TLDW: Apple has generally better colors. Increased depth of field on larger sensor in the iPhone means the two phones are now equal is separating subject from background. Action mode is way better on iPhone. iPhone generally takes better photos at 1-10x zoom, Samsung does better at 10x-100x zoom. iPhone generally does way better than Samsung in mid to low light.

Samsung can do 8k, but Apple has smoother transitions between lenses while filming video with better color matching between lenses when transitioning.

In general he preferred the 14 Pro but if specific features that Samsung excels at are more important to you, then go with Samsung.
Thanks!

I like the 5x optical zoom on my Note 20 but I was thinking about it last night and I realized that I really don't use it all that much. It's nice to have but not something that gets a ton of use. I've been intrigued by iPhones ever since the days when they were exclusive to AT&T. The main reason I went down the Android route was because I had Sprint and I wasn't about to move to AT&T. This is the year that I take the plunge. If I end up hating it, then I'm sure whatever I get will hold a decent trade in value for whatever Samsung has in February. I am largely Apple. I have an iPad and a MacBook Pro. I think that the iPhone will fit in nicely with them. :)
 
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