If all of the above doesn’t sound more exciting than “5x optical zoom” to you, it’s perhaps because you don’t quite understand the potential difference the new camera features enabled by software can do for the photo and video quality on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro.
So, let’s break down the new iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max camera features with sample photos and videos (provided by Apple), and more importantly, let me tell you what I think will be the biggest and smallest iPhone 15 Pro camera upgrades when it comes to real-world use.
You might be surprised…
Big upgrades to iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro camera mean the iPhone 15 Pro Max’s 5x zoom camera might be the last reason to upgrade this year
However, I have a feeling the rest of the camera upgrades introduced with iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will make a much bigger difference in everyday use for 95% of the people who buy a new iPhone 15/iPhone 15 Pro.
What stands out about some of these upgrades is that they have been available on some Android flagship phones for a while now, and while we still don’t know if Apples phone will do it “later but better” (as it usually happens), they seem extremely practical and even more exciting than the switch from a 3x to a 5x zoom camera.
Apple’s brand new Portrait Mode will be the most useful and most used new camera feature on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro (by far)
Meanwhile, in another Android-inspired Portrait mode upgrade, iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro users can also adjust the focus point after the photo has been taken. Sure, Apple might be 4-5 years late with this one but if the demos are anything to go by, this feature should work like magic.
I wouldn’t underestimate the importance of the Portrait mode upgrades coming to all iPhone 15 models. The convenience of not having to think about whether you’re in Portrait mode or not is far greater than many realize. You can open your Camera app, snap a photo of anyone/anything, and later decide if you want the added artistic background blur in your photo or not. You can even adjust the focus point.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro will now take 24MP photos by default thanks to their 48MP cameras, and this could finally make iPhone photos look more natural
Either way, the benefit of a 24MP photo as opposed to the 12MP ones taken by any other phone should help iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro produce noticeably sharper photos, (hopefully) with much more authentic detail instead of the infamous Apple-style oversharpening that I’ve criticized for years. Without a doubt, this could be one of the most meaningful upgrades to the iPhone camera in many years.
More iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro camera upgrades enabled by software could finally fix major issues with the iPhone 14 Pro’s camera
- 28mm-35mm (1.2x, 1.5x zoom) focal lengths added to main camera – you’ll be able to take more professional-looking photos with your primary camera without losing quality
- The new Action button in iPhone 15 Pro can be used to launch the Camera app with a single click, and even as a physical shutter key once you’re inside the Camera app
- The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max now get Spatial video / 3D video capture for viewing on Apple Vision Pro (available later this year); note that the vanilla models don’t get this feature due to their camera layout
- New lens coating on iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro promises reduced lens flaring, which sounds like a must, considering the ongoing issues with lens flaring in iPhone 14, iPhone 13, iPhone 12, etc.
- Smart HDR 5 promises to help you take more balance photos in more challenging lighting conditions, like when you’re taking a photo against the sun or a window; Apple also says people’s faces (and skin tones) will now be more accurately represented too – this would be a huge upgrade considering iPhone 14 Pro struggled in this area compared to other phones
- You can now choose to lock white balance in video mode (from the Camera section in Settings), which should finally help with the iPhone’s inconsistent auto white balance issues in video mode (where the phone would often suddenly turn the scene blue/yellow depending on the light conditions)
- Apple promises Night mode photos will now be even more detailed and colorful than before but we’ll have to test this out against the iPhone 14 Pro, Pixel 7 Pro and Galaxy S23 Ultra to find out
- With iOS 17, you can now take 48MP JPEG photos from the iPhone’s Camera app (available on iPhone 15 and iPhone 14)
Apple’s new iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro camera system looks more powerful than ever but it still lacks the fun “wow factor” of Android cameras
The new camera features in iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro don’t just make the iPhone camera more powerful and versatile but also more fun, which is what the majority of people care about. Now, is the iPhone’s camera as fun as the Pixel’s? Not really. But I guess Apple will eventually get there… Like in five years or so.
iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro still lack some camera features Android phones have had for years
- Despite the new 5x zoom camera, the iPhone 15 Pro Max still doesn’t come with multiple zoom cameras (like the Galaxy S23 Ultra) and certainly won’t match the Galaxy in super-long range zoom photos (beyond 10x)
- In case you didn’t know, the primary camera of the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max is the same one used in the iPhone 14 Pro, which means Apple’s premium flagships are still relatively far from the 1-inch sensor of the best Chinese camera phones on the market; 1-inch sensors offers natural blur in photos and videos that the iPhone can’t quite match
- Despite the return of Macro mode, the iPhone still lacks a Super-macro camera like the one in the Huawei P60 Pro, which takes some of the most impressive photos ever taken on a phone (give it a Google)
- By the looks of it, the iPhone 15 series also miss out on “real camera” color science like on the Xiaomi 13 Ultra (Leica) or Oppo Find X6 Pro (Hasselblad), which is disappointing considering the iPhone 14 Pro was prone to oversaturating photos
- Despite becoming a bit more fun, the iPhone 15’s camera still lacks some software features that make some Android phones more useful and interesting (think: Magic Eraser, Action pan, etc.)
Source: Phone Arena