• Apple's iPhone 14 Pro has a camera that's quite an upgrade from the iPhone 13 Pro's. These improvements should appeal to photographers, filmmakers and creative types on TikTok and YouTube. 
  • They include updated iPhone camera hardware and a larger, 48-megapixel sensor. The 14 Pro also uses Apple's revamped image processing system, which is designed to improve image quality in darker environments. 
  • Factor in the new A16 Bionic chip, and you get features like a new video stabilization mode; the ability to film Cinematic mode videos in 4K; higher resolution Pro Raw photos; and pictures and videos with better image quality when captured in medium- and low-light situations.
  • I used the iPhone 14 Pro as my main shooter for a week to document two of my favorite places in San Francisco: the Mission District and the Embarcadero. 
  • I encountered fog, beer, a collegiate marching band and various tacos, and I used the iPhone 14 Pro to chronicle them all. I ended up with hundreds of photos and dozens of video clips on the 1TB iPhone 14 Pro review sample that Apple had lent me.
The iPhone 14 Pro and its 48-megapixel camera
  • The iPhone 14 Pro has three rear cameras: a main wide-angle camera, an ultrawide and a telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom. The lens on the main camera has a wider focal length, going from a 26mm equivalent on previous iPhone models to a 24mm one. It isn't drastically different, but it helps get more of the scene into the frame.
  • The main camera also gets a new, larger, 48-megapixel sensor. Though more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better photos, Apple divides the pixels into groups of four and combines the four in each group into one larger pixel. 
  • This technique is called pixel binning, and it's been used on Android phones for years. The results are brighter photos that have less image noise (and as a bonus, less noise-reduction blur).
  • Apple's new imagining pipeline, called the Photonic Engine, takes things further and helps improve color accuracy and protect details. Take a look below at a photo I shot of a streetcar just after sunset. 
  • Pay special attention to the texture of the pavement and the details in the leaves and building behind the streetcar. This isn't the best photo I took with the iPhone 14 Pro, but it shows how the camera handles an everyday situation when things aren't bright and sunny. 
  • The photo's contrast is a bit much, and I'd likely reduce it when I edited the picture, or set up a Photographic Style with less contrast.
Night mode on the iPhone 14 Pro
  • When the iPhone 11 series launched in 2019, it included Night mode, which takes a series of images over a few seconds and combines them to create a photo that's brighter and has better colors and less image noise. 
  • Three years later, on the 14 Pro, Night mode has blossomed even more. Capture-times are much faster. Most of the time, Night mode needed just a couple of seconds to get a good photo in a bar or other dark locale.
  • Take a look at the photo below that I took indoors at Zeitgeist in the Mission. Essentially, all the lights are pointed at the walls, leaving the middle of the bar a dark void that's a perfect place for punk Gen Xers and millennials to sip their IPAs in quiet angst. 
  • Night mode took two seconds to capture this photo. It did a great job balancing the bright lights on the red sign-filled wall with the dark middle of the bar. Though most of the people are in shadow, the 14 Pro did a solid job of capturing skin tones.
The 14 Pro's telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom
  • The telephoto camera is basically identical to the one on last year's 13 Pro, but it gets a lift from the 14 Pro's Photonic Engine. Under good lighting, like in the picture below, the telephoto camera takes good photos. Notice in particular the colors and how the camera handles skin tones.
Your selfies look better with the iPhone 14 Pro
  • The TrueDepth camera got an upgraded lens with a brighter f1.9 aperture. The selfie camera has autofocus for the first time ever on an iPhone. The autofocus works great for group selfies.
The iPhone 14 Pro shoots excellent videos
  • All the improvements to the cameras and processing also make videos look even better. Apple made it so that Cinematic mode can now record in 4K and at 24 frames per second. 
  • There's a new video image-stabilization tool, called Action mode. When you shoot a video, you can toggle it on and the phone crops in a bit to keep the image centered and the horizon level. 
  • If you're shooting in 4K, Action mode drops the resolution to 2.8K, but the results are still impressive. Though other phones, like the Galaxy S22 Ultra, have similar stabilization functions, it's wonderful to see the tool come to the iPhone. And it works across all three rear cameras.
  • During my Action mode tests, I was reminded of just how good the image stabilization is in regular video mode. Check out the video below to see the clips I shot with the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. The clips included videos shot in Action mode, slow motion, regular video mode and Cinematic mode.

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