Apple iPhone 14 Pro has a camera issue that makes the smartphone to fail while competing with Google Pixel 6a, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra in the “scientific testing” of smartphone cameras.
iPhones are one of the pioneers in technology for its ground-breaking features and constantly ranked on the top-most in terms of brand, performance, privacy and camera quality. That’s what we thought. But, there’s a small crack in aspects of its camera, as a new testing shows iPhone’s flagship model – iPhone 14 Pro couldn’t reach the base expected level and six other smartphones had surpassed the model in a scientific test, including Google’s Pixel 6a, Pixel 7 Pro, and Samsung’s S22 Ultra.
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max got a 48 MP main camera, a huge bump from its earlier 12 MP cameras and still, the smartphone was left behind Google’s 4-year-old camera-sensor that’s used in Google Pixel 6a.
Camera technology has enormously improved by deliberately shrinking on its size. Smartphone cameras largely competes with professional cameras for its efficacy to match with the latter one. Although, there’s a huge difference between a nominal professional camera like Sony A1 or Nikon’s Z9 and smartphone’s camera.
Professional cameras are nothing but a sensor that captures and reproducing the light details of the frame and better the sensor is, the better the photo quality would be. This makes them to picturize the reality as it is. On the other hand, smartphone camera have no light-capturing form of pictures, but all software-based processing.
Smartphone’s camera sensor instead takes several samples of the frame in rapid succession and at different speeds and processes them altogether, does some photo-correction works like noise reduction, HDR processing and tone mapping, etc. before rendering you the best quality picture, that’s convincing for you.
The thing is that few of the smartphones compile the images too much perfect that gets way away from showing the originality. Rather than picturizing exactly what’s visible in the naked eye, modern camera-software of smartphones do a little extra to make you look good, compromising the originality or naturalistic feel.
The Camera testing – ELO
A good camera quality is assessed by how much ‘realistic’ detail it can provide by a click and by realistic, no HDR effects, noise reduction or any other filter comes into place. In a video by YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), the iPhone’s 14 Pro has performed comparatively less in a scientific testing, where the model fell into the middle tier of smartphones, though it’s the top-notch of Apple’s.
In a so called “blind camera testing” by MKBHD, wherein images taken in flagship models of every brand are put into the run for the best ELO rating. ELO is a method of analysis for calculating relative best elements from the input, which is used in games like chess.
Standard ELO Ratings of 1200 or higher generally represent a player who has a basic understanding of strategy and tactics plus a little intuition. 1600 generally represents a strong player. 2000 is an excellent player.
All the existing DSLRs have a score above 2500 and a smartphone nearing to 2000 can be considered the best of the kind. And here are the results of the smartphone’s performance.
iPhone 14 Pro’s Camera Problem
As you have seen, six smartphones exceed the performance of iPhone’s camera and the reason found to be is that iPhone 14 Pro’s computational software processing meant for boosting the images light quality.
Apple iPhone has a Smart HDR that combines multiple photos for a best featuring single image and the phones overdoes this process, making it unreal.
For example, iPhone evenly lights the faces of people – same light for the entire face. In the pictures by Pixel 6a and iPhone 14 Pro below, you can see that Pixel 6a clearly showing a shadow at the right side of the face while iPhone 14 Pro didn’t.
Also, HDR effect outruns the original, making the photos artificial. At low-lights, you can see Pixel 7 Pro has a more naturalistic look than iPhone 14 Pro (picture below).
However, iPhone 14 Pro does better in daylight or in outdoors in clear sky delivering a brighter and warming picture than Pixel’s, as you can see in the below image. (first image – Pixel 7 Pro ; second – iPhone 14 Pro)
Be informed that the other details of assessing the camera’s features like auto-focus, video quality, and more are not put into this test. Therefore, the testing literally analyzes of clicking only pictures.
The underperformance or low ELO score doesn’t mean iPhone 14 Pro not making up the quality but it does stive to picturize the level of originality or reality of the captured surroundings on comparison. As its fully comparatively judged, iPhone 14 Pro is still a top-leading smartphone with a strong camera, but there are quite few other phones in the market functioning better than iPhone 14 Pro.
In simple words, it’s good for ordinary people who just want to click pictures for Instagram or YouTubers but not for professionals.
This could be disappointing for the iPhone lovers, but the fact is fact. If you’re looking for a good camera phone, it’s better to go with Google’s Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 Pro, thereby you could save a bunch of money than that for iPhones.
Hope, Apple recovers this in its iPhone 15 series.