In October, Google launched the Pixel 7 Pro, its latest high-end flagship smartphone. The Pixel 7 Pro came out just weeks after Apple introduced the new iPhone 14 Pro Max, so we thought we’d compare the two smartphones’ cameras, pitting the high-end iPhone against the high-end Pixel 7.
On paper, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 Pro have similar camera systems. The iPhone is equipped with a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP Telephoto lens, and a 48MP ultra-wide lens, which Apple calls the “main” camera. The Pixel 7 Pro has a 12MP ultra-wide lens, a 48MP telephoto lens, and a 50MP wide-angle lens. The Pixel 7 Pro wins in terms of raw megapixels, especially for the telephoto lens.
What we’ve learned from camera comparisons over the years is that high-end smartphones all take similar photos, and they all look great. For the most part, you’ll get amazing photos with both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 Pro, although there are some differences to watch out for.
With standard photos, shadows are darker in iPhone photos, with the Pixel 7 Pro lighting things up a bit. Photos from the Pixel 7 Pro are less saturated, and we see more vibrant colors from the iPhone. In some cases, images coming straight from the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera look sharper, although that could be a programmatic effect and a difference in the editing that Google does behind the scenes.
Both wide-angle and ultra-wide photos look similar, but the Pixel 7 Pro’s zoom capabilities are much better than the zoom features offered by the iPhone. Google has added a 5x optical zoom, compared to the 3x optical zoom on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and that makes a difference. In fact, there’s an ultra-precise 30x digital zoom option and it’s impressively sharp.
In portrait mode, the Pixel 7 Pro offers more depth of field for more background blur, which is what some people prefer. It can sometimes have trouble separating the subject from the background, and it works better with people than objects.
As for the night mode, both smartphones have advantages and disadvantages. The Pixel 7 Pro is better for night portraits of people because the iPhone tends to be very soft around the face, but iPhone is better for shots that include the sky. The Pixel 7 Pro is sharper across more photos and wins when it comes to astrophotography, but there are noise issues with some of the photos.
With video, the iPhone 14 Pro Max does a better job, which is a topic we’ve seen for several years now. The iPhone video is more straightforward, although Google has gone some strides in the install area. Cinematic mode on iPhone is improved in 2022 with support for 24 and 30 fps for 4K video, while Pixel’s Cinematic Blur is limited to 30 fps.
Overall, the Pixel 7 Pro has an edge when it comes to photos, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max wins in the video category, but both smartphones take excellent photos and it’s often difficult to decide which one is better. What do you think of the Pixel 7 Pro? Let us know in the comments below.
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