Fri. Sep 29th, 2023
The iPhone 14 Pro Camera: Convenience vs. Quality

After nearly a year of using my iPhone 14 Pro and its camera, I realized that I hadn’t captured many truly important moments with it. This puzzled me because the camera is good and produces superb results. So why don’t I always reach for it when I want to take a great photo? I’ve finally figured out the reasons.

In my work as a writer for Digital Trends, I often use a regular camera to capture product photos. However, there are times when it’s inconvenient, and that’s when I rely on the iPhone 14 Pro. It’s convenient for editing in Portrait mode and quick for transferring photos via AirDrop to my Mac. For example, I used the iPhone 14 Pro to capture device photos for articles like the OnePlus 11 and Nothing Phone 2 camera comparison, shots of the Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Fold 5, and Galaxy Z Flip 5, and various watch photos.

However, I primarily choose the iPhone for its convenience, not because I believe it will always produce stunning photos. Most of the iPhone photos I take require editing both on the phone and in the Photos app on my Mac to look right. Although I’m pleased with the results and find them suitable for publication, I know that other smartphones could potentially deliver better quality. But using those would mean dealing with less intuitive editing processes and more complicated transfers.

When I look at the everyday life photos I’ve taken with my iPhone 14 Pro, I often find that they are too dark. The phone’s strong contrast levels and poor exposure management result in shadowy and moody images that lack atmosphere and accuracy. While editing can help, the damage is already done, and the photos never quite reach their full potential. Despite these drawbacks, Apple has made software updates to improve the camera’s performance over time.

It’s also worth considering that other smartphone cameras have significantly improved in recent years. The competition now offers more exciting and useful camera features. As someone who gets to try many competing camera phones, I often turn to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra for its 10x optical zoom or the Google Pixel 7 Pro for its technical prowess and the ability to capture stunning photos in any situation. The iPhone 14 Pro can’t match the 10x optical zoom nor the consistency of the Pixel 7 Pro’s 3x zoom mode. Additionally, Google’s software features are more useful to me than Apple’s camera features.

Recently, when I compared photos taken with the Google Pixel Fold and the iPhone 14 Pro, the difference was obvious, and I preferred the Pixel’s photos. It’s not that the iPhone’s photos are bad, but they don’t meet the high standards I expect. This trend has been demonstrated in camera tests where the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and even the standard Galaxy S23 outperformed the iPhone 14 Pro.

In conclusion, while the iPhone 14 Pro camera is convenient, it has lost its charm for me. It doesn’t always deliver the quality and consistency I desire, and the competition offers more compelling options.