December 7, 2023
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

My iPhone 14 Professional and its digicam have been with me for nearly a yr now, however as I seemed for pictures to share on this retrospective in regards to the digicam’s capacity, it grew to become clear I hadn’t used it to seize many actually essential moments.

It struck me as odd. In any case, it’s a very good digicam, and the outcomes after I do use it are sometimes excellent. Plus, I’ve beloved iPhone cameras prior to now, so why don’t I all the time attain for it each time I need to take an awesome picture? I feel I’ve lastly discovered the the reason why.

When the iPhone 14 Professional will get it proper

Once I take pictures of merchandise for articles on Digital Tendencies, I often use a traditional digicam, however there are occasions when it’s inconvenient, and the telephone I attain for is the iPhone 14 Professional in these conditions. There are a number of causes for this, together with how correct and easy is is to edit the Portrait mode and the way fast AirDrop makes it to switch the ensuing pictures to my Mac mini.

Need some examples? The machine pictures for my OnePlus 11 and Nothing Cellphone 2 digicam comparability, these photographs of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Galaxy Z Flip 5, some photographs of watches just like the Garmin Epix Professional (Gen 2), a lot of the pictures of the Motorola Razr 40’s lock display screen, and even the multitasking picture in my evaluation of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 had been all taken with the iPhone 14 Professional.

The factor is, I selected the iPhone extra due to its comfort than any perception it could all the time take a surprising picture. All of them required enhancing each on the telephone and within the Images app on my Mac to get them wanting proper to my eyes. And whereas I’m actually happy with the outcomes and clearly think about them greater than adequate for publication, I’m positive I’d get higher outcomes with different smartphones, however then I’d must fiddle round with much less intuitive enhancing and extra annoying transfers.

Images in the true world can disappoint

If I seize my iPhone 14 Professional to take pictures for work, why do I not all the time use it to take pictures in on a regular basis life? It’s a very good query, as on a technical stage, the iPhone’s digicam is wonderful — from its lack of noise, nice white steadiness, and correct colour copy to its versatility and reliability for enhancing and switch. However after I look by lots of the pictures I do take with it, the issue is usually proper there slapping me within the face.

If Samsung’s Achilles’ heel is oversaturation, then the iPhone’s fault is making pictures too darkish. The iPhone 14 Professional takes pictures with such robust distinction ranges and such poor publicity administration that many photographs are too shadowy and darkish for my tastes. Element will get misplaced, and pictures can find yourself showing a lot moodier than the real-life atmosphere, robbing them of environment and accuracy. Certain, you may change elements by enhancing, however the harm has already been finished, and the picture by no means fairly reaches its potential.

This doesn’t all the time have an effect on pictures, nonetheless, and software program updates have made the digicam carry out higher over time. In some conditions, the iPhone 14 Professional actually is all of the digicam you want. I made a decision to make use of it after I went alongside to a automobile meet and was very proud of the photographs it took within the early night gentle. It did so with little or no fuss, so all I had to consider was composition. In a manner, it’s the identical purpose I just like the iPhone 14 Professional for work photographs — it’s all simply really easy. However simple isn’t sufficient if I’m not beguiled by the outcomes.

The competitors has gotten so much higher

The back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, showing the camera lenses.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

Might my apathy even be on account of different competing smartphone cameras enhancing so much over the previous few years? And that they now present extra thrilling and helpful digicam options than the iPhone? I’m spoiled in that I get to strive so many competing digicam telephones out, and can typically flip to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely for its versatile 10x optical zoom or the Google Pixel 7 Professional for its technical prowess and skill to take a surprising picture in nearly any scenario.

The iPhone 14 Professional can’t compete with the 10x optical zoom, and though the 3x zoom mode does take nice pictures, it’s simply not as constant because the Pixel 7 Professional. Google’s software program options in Google Images and on the Pixel itself are extra helpful to me than Apple’s digicam options too. I don’t take a lot video and have by no means touched Cinematic mode outdoors of evaluation functions. I notice others could get some use from it, however I wouldn’t even discover if it all of the sudden disappeared from my telephone. If Cinematic mode is the iPhone’s “large” distinctive function, its attraction is misplaced on me.

A person holding the Google Pixel Fold, showing the camera module.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

Once I used the Google Pixel Fold just lately, I took just a few pictures with each it and the iPhone 14 Professional back-to-back, and so they had been the newest ones to make me query the iPhone’s attraction. The distinction between them is clear, and I’d share the pictures taken with the Pixel over the iPhone.

The iPhone 14 Professional’s pictures aren’t unhealthy, they’re simply not so good as I feel they need to be. And, worryingly, we’ve confirmed this development in a number of back-to-back digicam checks, with the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely and even the usual Galaxy S23 beating the iPhone 14 Professional.

The iPhone 14 Professional digicam has misplaced its appeal

A close-up of the iPhone 14 Pro's camera module.
Andy Boxall / Digital Tendencies

The iPhone 12 Professional was completely my go-to digicam telephone, however I by no means loved the iPhone 13 Professional digicam in fairly the identical manner. I puzzled if I’d simply gotten out of the behavior of continually utilizing it and that my confused emotions in regards to the iPhone 14 Professional had been influenced by my disappointment within the 13 Professional.

This isn’t the case, and I feel I’ve labored out what it’s that’s stopping me from loving the iPhone 14 Professional’s digicam. It has misplaced a few of its character and appeal, one thing that was evident within the change between the iPhone 12 Professional and 13 Professional, and its pictures endure due to it. A digicam wants character, and whereas the iPhone 14 Professional is nice at taking technical, scientific pictures of merchandise I exploit for work, it’s not all the time superb at capturing the true world round me right away, stunning manner anymore.

For the iPhone 15 Professional, I’d like to see a few of that lacking appeal return, a zoom to compete with Samsung, and to have an all-around extra constant digicam that I need to use in my on a regular basis life — not only for pictures of telephones and watches. The iPhone 14 Professional is excellent at taking them, however it was superb at all the things else too. For the approaching yr, I’d just like the iPhone to be my go-to digicam once more, and I hope the iPhone 15 Professional will ship.

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