With the iPhone 14 Pro series almost available to customers, one of the most important iPhone third-party camera apps, Halide, is back with its preview article about the hardware changes. Here’s what you need to know from the camera specialists about the new iPhone 14 Pro.
While Halide’s Sebastiaan de With praises the next step of photography with the new iPhone 14 Pro, there some important context and hardware changes that are actually a step backwards.
For example, the Main camera is the one seeing the biggest changes. With a 2mm wider lens, the aperture is smaller – slower – meaning the lens collects less light than the previous generation sensor for itself. With explains that “this was probably necessary to work with a larger sensor.”
But while this could be a problem, Halide expects this Wide camera to collect up to 20% more light compared to last year’s camera, thanks to its larger size.
On the brighter side, Halide is astonished “by the improvement in the camera sensor’s ISO range (…) Given high ISO values are accompanied by more noise, it’s highly likely this ISO range is made possible by how its higher resolution sensor combines 4 pixels into one, vastly reducing noise.”
The Halide camera experts also highlight that users can’t natively shoot 48MP JPGs and it’s unclear whether third-party apps will be able to bypass this limitation. If not, then users will only have the choice of using the ProRAW option for full 48MP images.
Another hardware change is that the focus distance has taken a step back from 150 mm (5.9 inches) to 200mm (7.8-inches). With explains:
While two inches doesn’t seem like much, if you were frustrated by your iPhone 13 switching between the ultra-wide (‘macro’) lens and regular camera, it’s possible this could happen a little more often new iPhone. The new lens design just can’t focus as close as the 13 Pro’s. We’ll be interested in seeing how much they’ve mitigated this in software.
While the Telephoto lens is unchanged from a hardware perspective, the Ultra Wide lens does see a spec bump.
Across the board, we are seeing what should be solid low-light improvements. A larger sensor and higher ISO sensitivity should allow this camera to further mature to be a good option for high-quality images. Apple actually claimed the greatest improvements to this camera in its keynote, claiming ‘up to 3×’ better images. We will have to see what that entails in testing.
Last but not least, the front-facing camera also got some love with variable focus and autofocus, in addition to an improvement in aperture. Halide says it still needs to see “how much of a difference or need there is for autofocus.”
You can read Halide’s full preview of the iPhone 14 Pro cameras here.
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