Because the iPhone 14 Pro does not have an upgraded telephoto lens, I may not buy it
A 48-megapixel camera and the disappearance of the controversial display notch are two reported highlights of the iPhone 14 Pro, but I can’t help but believe Apple’s next flagship phone will disappoint.
The reason for this isn’t simply because it’s likely to be an evolution rather than revolution in terms of next-generation technology and design, but something far more particular. Also, the telephoto camera hasn’t seen any significant improvements.
To be clear, I’m basing all of this on a host of iPhone 14 speculations that we’ve heard thus far. It’s not even certain whether Apple is working on a new iPhone, much alone if it will have a better camera. However, the rumor mill is churning out enough material to give those of us who are keeping tabs on the latest smartphones a decent idea of what the iPhone 14 Pro may offer in terms of capabilities and specifications.
However, there has been no mention of an upgraded telephoto camera in any of the aforementioned speculations, which are based on an A16 Bionic chipset. So far, it seems like Apple will stay with the iPhone 13 Pro’s 12MP 3x optical zoom telephoto camera. My heart goes out to those who are going through this.
The iPhone 13 Pro that I just purchased has completely changed my life. Consistent user experience compensates the lackluster feature list, and the three back cameras offer shots that equal or even outperform those of my other favorite phone, the Google Pixel 6Pro.
In recent months, I’ve found myself utilizing the telephoto lens a lot more, and I’ve been disappointed with the results.
Zoom and gloom
We are blessed to be able to enjoy ponds full of ducks and other wildlife, as well as the occasional fox or other rodent, since we live in an area of East London where this is possible. My iPhone 13 Pro is the camera I grab for most often to capture these creatures. Even though I’m a large person, I have to use zoom photography to acquire close-up shots of nature in the city.
Unfortunately, the iPhone 13 Pro’s 3x zoom did not allow me to get near enough, and using digital zoom produced images that were more comparable to water paintings than crisp photographs..
When I was doing my cheap David Attenborough-ing recently, I was attempting to get a picture of a heron with my cheap camera. I had to use a zoom to capture a clear picture of a bird that can be a little elusive.
A digital zoom gave me additional reach, but the resulting images seemed more like water paintings than crisp snaps, despite the telephoto iPhone 13 Pro’s 3x magnification. As annoying as this may have been, it was made much worse when the heron suddenly plunged into an area of surrounding vegetation and reappeared from the reeds clutching a screaming rat.
Afterward, the heron dumped the rat into the water to kill it in an impressive but heartbreaking show of nature adapting to an urban ecology. In the next jerky motions, it then swallows the rat.
Of course, I had to record this horrible scene. Because the iPhone 13 Pro lacks optical zoom beyond 3x, I was forced to resort to relying on digital zooming, which resulted in a less-than-crisp outcome, as you can see in the video below.
It’s hard not to think that the iPhone 13 Pro is lagging behind in terms of optical zoom now that the Pixel 6 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra both provide 4x and 10x magnification, respectively.
Even so, the iPhone 13 Pro’s telephoto camera is capable, but it can’t quite match the capabilities of the Pixel 6 Pro or the Galaxy S22 Ultra when it comes to zooming in on a specific subject.
If the speculated A16 Bionic chipset and image signal processing capabilities prove accurate, Apple may be able to provide the iPhone 14 Pro with a telephoto lens. Because of this, I’m prepared to let the iPhone 14 Pro down on that front without additional hardware or a larger optical zoom.
Please use Periscope
For the iPhone 14 Pro, I hope Apple will use a periscope camera. Prisms are used to focus light from the lens onto the camera’s sensor, enabling for bigger and more powerful lenses to be employed without increasing the thickness of the device. The periscope camera was rumored for the iPhone 14 series for a short time before being shot down; we now anticipate it to appear in the iPhone 15 Pro Max another year from now.
This is a disappointment, since the iPhone 14 Pro would benefit from such magnification capabilities and be able to compete with the Galaxy S22 Ultra in video capturing, at least for the kind of movies I prefer to create. Moreover, the 2020 Oppo Find X2 Pro featured a 5x optical zoom, which I don’t understand why it was dropped from future Find Pro phones.
When it comes to the iPhone’s camera and video capabilities, Apple has long been a fan of the product, and understandably so. However, the primary and ultrawide cameras on iPhones are so outstanding these days that it’s hard to tell the difference between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 series, much alone stand head and shoulders above the top Android phones, in terms of photographic capability.
Because of this, I believe Apple has the greatest opportunity to set the bar for telephoto lenses by nailing zoomed-in video recording. And I really hope that Cupertino makes this a priority for their next smartphones. This might lead to the end of my iPhone-loving days.