Apple iPhone 14 test: a smartphone still under control, but without surprise

The iPhone 14 has a photoblock similar to the one on the iPhone 13, with two modules aligned diagonally. We still regret the absence of a third focal length, which would have helped set it apart from the previous model (it’s reserved for Pro models, at a much higher price). We note that Apple promises, on the wide-angle module side, the integration of a sensor with a definition still fixed at 12 megapixels, but whose pixels are announced at 1.9 μm, against 1.7 μm last year. The associated optics open at f/1.5 instead of f/1.6. In short, small changes that give hope for better control of low light.

On the other hand, faced with smartphones over €1000 that compete with it, it must be remembered that the iPhone 14 lacks versatility: the telephoto lens of its competitors is reserved for Apple’s Pro models.

Wide-angle module: 12 Mpx, f/1.5, eq. 26 mm

The iPhone generally shines in the exercise of the wide angle, and it is clear that they always succeed. It must be said that faced with a Galaxy S22 that tends to deliver noisy images, the iPhone 14 wins here. The accentuation is slightly more pronounced and increases the readability of small elements. The colorimetry also increases in accuracy. If we compare the images of this new iPhone with the images of the iPhone 13, we see a slightly higher contrast, but not more.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/1.8, ISO 64, 1/180 sec., 23 mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/1.5, ISO 40, 1/187 sec., 26 mm eq.)

that pixel binding powered by the Galaxy S22+ shows its effectiveness against the iPhone 14. The exposure is better, the contrast more marked and the sharpness higher. The result is certainly correct, but behind the tenors of the market. However, we note that the smartphone performs a little better than its predecessor, in particular managing to offer less desaturated images.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/1.8, ISO 200, 1/4 sec., 23mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/1.5, ISO 640, 1/30 s, 23 mm eq.)

Ultra-wide-angle module: 12 Mpx, f/2.2, eq. 13 mm

The ultra-wide angle of the iPhone 14 delivers daytime shots that are satisfactory, to say the least. They have a high level of detail, sufficient microcontrasts to reveal the finest elements, despite some inaccuracies in terms of colorimetry. In comparison, the images of the Galaxy S22 (recorded naturally in 12 Mpx) show less sharpness and a treatment that favors the vibrancy of colors with their accuracy.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/100 sec., 13 mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/2.4, ISO 64, 1/199 sec., 13 mm eq.)

The trend is quite different at night, where the processing from Samsung makes it possible to find more details. Apple’s photo suffers from a significant noise, and to get rid of it, it is necessary to go through a night mode, which requires a long exposure… and increased motion blur.

Samsung Galaxy S22+ (f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/100 sec., 13 mm eq.)

iPhone 14 (f/2.4, ISO 3200, 1/30s, 13mm eq.)

Front and video module

The iPhone 14, like the iPhone 14 Pro Max, benefits from a new front camera called as always TrueDepth and maintains a definition of 12 Mpx. The sensor is nevertheless connected to an optical aperture of f / 1.9 instead of f / 2.2 and achieves a very useful autofocus. Images are well exposed, highly detailed and portrait mode retains its usual precision, albeit with some hiccups on messy hair. When it comes to selfies, Apple isn’t in the megapixel race, but allows you to achieve some of the most natural photos on the market, with the added bonus of interesting lighting effects.

On the video side, the iPhone 14 films up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) at 60 fps. A mode that does not happen alone because the smartphone benefits from the Cinematic mode (4K at 30 fps) that allows you to create a depth of field effect and inaugurated last year, but also from the Action mode. This stabilization promises to use the entire main sensor of the smartphone for stabilization inspired by action cameras. And we have to admit that the effect is convincing. Be careful, you need a properly lit scene for the mode to work, and recording is limited to 2.8K at 60fps.

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