The iPhone 14 Pro Camera — Our Thoughts & What You Need to Know

Lo and behold, our first impressions of Apple's latest flagship from a team of photographers and filmmakers.

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The new iPhone season is a hoot. After watching the keynote today, here are some of our final thoughts and opinions from real-life mobile creators working in the tech industry.

New phone season feels like a holiday — because it is. A bountiful harvest of never-ending upgrades, added features, and stellar new chips to impress our intelligently inferior population.

A classic late-summer feel means long-waited Apple events: cold lighting, exciting animations on screen, and a flooded Twitter feed.

After watching the keynote today, here are some of our final thoughts and opinions from creatives working in the tech industry. Lo and behold, our first impressions of Apple's latest flagship from a team of photographers and filmmakers.

Let's dive in.

The Basics

Described as the "most innovative Pro lineup yet," our team is stoked to get our hands on what could be the best smartphone camera on the current market.

Like last year's announcements, the entry-level iPhone 14 series comes in two versions, split into various body sizes for your preference. Regardless of which model you choose, these military-grade devices are designed to last with ultimate durability and protection. Additionally, they come in 5 gorgeously eye-catching colors for any stylish user wanting a bit of spice.

Physically speaking, every new phone model holds an astonishingly large notch that takes up valuable real estate on the back of the phone's body. While visibly noticeable, it offers added protection for us clumsy folk.

Inside the iPhone 14 Pro models is Apple's A16 Bionic chip, a key feature to note first and foremost. Apple has focused on its new chip's power efficiency, display, and camera. The six-core CPU includes two high-performance cores that use 20 percent lower power and four efficiency cores that use a third of chips from competitors. This makes dynamic movements and graphic design all the more swift and responsive. Fast and efficient? We love to see it.

What You Need to Know About the Camera...

Tim Cook and his team know how to make the most versatile pocket-sized camera, even outweighing some mirrorless cameras in many aspects.

Say hello to their all-new 48MP primary camera with an advanced quad-pixel sensor. Apple's increasingly larger sensors and more advanced lenses are paired with their powerful Apple silicon to perfect low light scenarios. With a 65% larger sensor, the iPhone 14 Pro raises the bar for what 48 megapixels can do — delivering 4x the resolution in ProRAW for mind-blowing detail in every image.

Their latest Deep Fusion is implemented earlier in the capturing process to enable more colors and brighter details. The most significant step for low light Photonic Engine will be the furthest step forward in curating images with the most advanced smartphone technology.

With this highly formative quad-pixel sensor, the primary camera combines every four pixels into one large quad pixel equivalent to 2.44 µm. Thus, every photo will, by default, be resolved at a manageable 12MP, allowing the user to capture better detail with even more light.

Apple seemingly loves to hammer in the 'Pro' element of the new Pro lineup, as the ProRAW mode can now also capture uncompressed 48MP photos to enable much more editing potential.

This means a lot of data information for every photo.

But what's a tremendous primary camera if the front camera gets no love? Happy to see Apple report an ultra-fast F/1.9 aperture for a 38% better camera to encourage true depth capabilities under a better hybrid system. Better selfies and up close detail for social lives? We love that.

Macro seems to be even better this year, with reviews showing even greater detail available to the naked eye. The ultra-wide lens appears heavy with updated specs and is twice as bright as previous generations.

Finally, the low light capabilities look near impeccable. These increasingly large sensors, with even more advanced lenses, are paired with their powerful Apple silicon to promise an even better low-light camera. Within these computational capabilities, Apple offers the new Photonic Engine to promise a better mid- to low-light performance across all three cameras — this means a 2x boost to the primary camera, 3x on the ultrawide, and 2x on the telephoto camera, as well as a 2x improvement on the front-facing camera.

At A Glance…

  • 12MP Main: 26 mm, ƒ/1.5 aperture, sensor‑shift optical image stabilization, seven‑element lens, 100% Focus Pixels

  • 12MP Ultra Wide: 13 mm, ƒ/2.4 aperture and 120° field of view, five‑element lens

  • 2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 5x

  • Sapphire crystal lens cover

  • True Tone flash

  • Photographic Styles

  • Wide color capture for photos and Live Photos

  • Lens correction (Ultra Wide)

  • Advanced red‑eye correction

  • Auto image stabilization

  • Burst mode

No USB-C?

The rumors were correct: no USB-C has been introduced to the latest lineup. Years of impending wants and pleas, yet to no avail. The typical iPhone lightning cable shall suffice.

Video Features

Introducing the ultimate filmmaker tool for mobile creators. That is if you're willing to upgrade to the Pro-level models.A sparkling 4K resolution of up to 40 frames per second for Cinematic Mode, including the new Action Mode for improved video stabilization.

Second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization and the intelligent processing of the A16 Bionic chip's Neural Engine (more on that later) provide a new Action Mode for video stabilization when moving at speed across rugged terrain. Apple swears this removes the need for added mobile accessories, like a smartphone gimbal, but we beg to differ. A beginner-level toggle switch must be supplemented with additional gear to suffice for upper-funnel professionals.

Cinematic Mode
also offers 14 frames per second or 24FPS (the cinematic standard) which is a massive leap for industry-leading quality and performance. Might the buttery smoothness of this camera footage blow us away? We'll have to wait and see.

Battery Life, Storage, & Other Details

A new and improved all-day battery life, they say? I'll believe it when I see it, but this is an exciting performance enhancement I can certainly stand behind. Like me, we'll need rockstar battery health to keep up with those who are chronically online for work all day.

Brighten up your screen with over 2000 units of power; that's twice as much as previous models. I can see this being super helpful for post-process editing and offering an improved display during harsh lighting environments when shooting.

The iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max will also include an always-on display that works with the new lock screen widget for iOS 16. This means more updated support information for reminders, calendar events, and weather without the iPhone having to wake up to display it. There's even a sleep state for iOS 16 wallpapers that will darken them to use less battery power. Hey, I'm all for energy conservation.

Apple Pro Raw
operates on a more professional level than ever before. With more depth added, one can finally count greater flexibility with its deeper pixel pattern, enhancing detailed attributes with outstanding noise reduction. The power of the A16 is an unprecedented level of detail.

Zoom in as wide as possible, and you’ll see more points than you might want. It’s a good problem to have. This also allows for better, more efficient cropping uses to further power the creativity of even the most pro users.

Furthermore, you no longer need to fiddle with a physical SIM card; can I get a 'hell yeah' for more effortless connectivity and automated features?! I'm frankly over the unnecessary use of extra gadgets and gizmos; a more streamlined user experience is vital for technological growth.

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