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1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
I'm gonna be comparing the iPhone 14 Pro against Panasonic Lumix LX100 Mk.II which is arguably one of the best compact point & shoot camera on the market, and I think the results show that iPhone can really replace even the best compact camera on the market, for the average user who just want to get like vacation/family photos.
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So yea I know some would claim the Leica Q2 is a Point & Shoot, some would argue the Sony RX1RII is a Point & Shoot, maybe you're thinking of the Fujifilm X100V or Ricoh GR3, maybe you even think the Nikon 35Ti is a point & shoot and those all have better image quality. Sure they do but firstly they're mostly bigger cameras, and in the case of the Q2, it's extremely big and heavy for "P&S" and secondly, I think normal people don't buy fixed lens cameras, normal people want zoom lenses.

And when it comes to P&S with zoom lens, the best would be Sony RX100 Mk.5A and this Lumix LX100 Mk.II AKA, Leica D-Lux 7. But the LX100 is just slightly better because of the bigger sensor. Basically this is the Point & Shoot with a standard 24-75mm optical zoom, with the largest sensor on the market. And interesting enough, iPhone now zooms out to 75mm so I think this is the most sensible camera vs. phone comparison to make.

Besides, there's already plenty of senseless comparisons of iPhone 14 Pro versus Z9, R5, A1 etc... obviously iPhone is not gonna win those, and nobody will be looking to replace any of those with an iPhone.

I shoot both in RAW but all other settings on auto, I only turn on the camera and shoot, I don't care what settings or exposure the camera chooses, I equalize exposure and WB in post by boosting exposure on whichever is darker.
Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 1.26.38 PM.png

First up main lens 24mm equivalent in good lighting. I think the iPhone wins because its 48mp and the P&S is like I dunno 14mp or something.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 1.28.29 PM.png

Second, 75mm zoom, rather close but I think the LX100 wins, there's just slightly more detail. Plus the aperture/sensor equivalent advantage of it at 75mm is much larger, I'd have expected a larger image quality advantage honestly, but there's hardly any.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 2.10.53 PM.png

50mm, pretty close but the LX100 is just slightly better, there's a little bit of smearing on the iPhone.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 1.29.13 PM.png

Main camera, low light, iPhone wipes the floor with computational voodoo magic.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 1.30.07 PM.png

Even lower light, with night mode on iPhone. Somewhat close but the iPhone is cleaner with less noise. I'd call a draw here. Dropping to 12MP definitely has a negative impact on image quality, and the sacrifice is definitely technical limitation. Since the length of exposure means there won't be enough RAM to store this many 48mp individual exposures for computational merging.

Screen Shot 2022-09-26 at 1.31.23 PM.png

Last up, macro. the LX100 gets surprisingly close, but the iPhone is even closer. The iPhone gets so close it covers the light from its own shadow so I backed it off to ~same distance as the LX100. The cropped 12mp sensor on iPhone means there's less detail. I'd call it a draw again since the big lens on the LX100 now shows significant optical aberrations at this focus distance, and perhaps overall looks less detailed.


In conclusion, whenever iPhone can use the main camera and 48MP ProRAW, it wins. Whenever it can't, no so much. Also there's no comparison of the default jpeg engine, I think it should be pretty clear that iPhone will win in terms of dynamic range of just "getting the shot", but it sucks for artistic purposes with over sharpened and flat looking images. So I guess if you like to just be able to see everyone's face clearly in your photos, the iPhone is better. However for an enthusiast/professional like myself, the fact the iPhone has its own RAW editor makes the P&S not very attractive at all.

My observation with the iPone ProRAW files is, these files just have INSANE dynamic range, they hold up EASILY with +3 exposure push for night mode and +5 for 48mp normal mode. If we had to be pushing exposures in these files I'd say the iPhone would have an even bigger advantage.

original raw files:
 

krebphone

macrumors regular
Mar 8, 2019
106
346
Great comparison, thanks for posting it. The result from the 75mm shot was surprising, I didn't think the iPhone would be so competitive.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,897
24,439
Thanks for sharing. I wonder how much computational photography plays into how well iPhone performs. There's a clear hardware advantage on the Lumix and it's impressive how modern smartphones close that gap through software.
 
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1096bimu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 7, 2017
437
539
Thanks for sharing. I wonder how much computational photography plays into how well iPhone performs. There's a clear hardware advantage on the Lumix and it's impressive how modern smartphones close that gap through software.
the main camera hardware is ~1 stop slower
yet the results can be ~2 stops better so I'd say there's roughly 3 stops improvement from the computation
 
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arazeleternal

macrumors member
May 17, 2016
90
125
Interesting comparison. I wasn’t able to tell much difference, but then again my eyes ain’t that great either, and I’m mildly colorblind so differences in color are hard for me to see as well.

Though, I will say, nice Asuka figure in the first photo. Another Evangelion fan.
 
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