EOS R6 Vs iPhone 13 Pro for Photography (PICS)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
KrisAK Contributing Member • Posts: 828
Re: To: LARS - iPhone LOWLIGHT + BOKEH (PICS)

Marco Nero wrote:

Lars wrote:

I love my IPhone 11 PM and am impressed by what I read about the 13PM. Apple has done a great job here.

But there is a world beyond 70mm. There is a world in low light.

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I've just seen some really impressive images from an S21 Ultra with its 100x zoom. It has a 108MP sensor with a 10x Optical Zoom on one of its lenses... which is quite a feat considering the size of the device. I am seeing complaints against all of the latest cameras, regardless of brand though. So they're good but perhaps not perfect (yet).
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Last night I had some fairly clear skies after sunset to I drove out to the mountains to try and snap the Milky Way before it dropped below the horizon... but a crescent moon in the sky resulted in washed out images and ruined any details. Handheld lowlight shots taken at home are simply fantastic, but I noticed that when taking these night shots with longer exposures that the iphone kept flashing the words "Keep steady" when taking them... which suggests it can be done handheld. I'll have to look into that.
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iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - The Milky Way was wiped out by the moonglow.

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - Shot from a bridge last night.

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - Still too much moonglow in the sky. But you can just make out the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) on the top right - which is a Dwarf Galaxy that orbits our own. I also caught Andromeda (the galaxy) in an image (not shown).

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - The local church last night.

There is Bokeh that no Smartphone manufacturer manages to fake well. There are fast-moving kids and pets and wildlife. In some places, Smartphone manufacturers have made great strides with computations/AI and they will continue to do so. But there is a limit with the small sensors.

It's great that worlds converge. But I cannot imagine giving up on FF cameras soon.

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Artificial Bokeh
The synthetic bokeh produced by the modern smartphone cameras is actually very impressive. With the current iPhones, LIDAR is used to create depth map of the scene within around one second and then the camera captures one image before applying the depth map. After rendering the fake bokeh (which occurs instantly), the phone then saves both the original unedited image plus the one with the bokeh. This can be handy because reflective surfaces and transparent subject can occasionally outsmart the depth map. You can then layer both images together to retrieve or repair anything that was missed or accidentally blurred. I can see Canon doing this someday using "Bokeh Assist" where the camera can perhaps create stronger bokeh than the sensor could naturally apply. This might impact lenses though so perhaps they might only introduce it to their compact cameras... assuming they make more in future.
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I saw two reviews of the iPhone 13 which claimed that the slightly larger sensor (compared to previous models) was the reason why the bokeh was so much bolder... but I disagree with this assessment. From what I can see, the cause is entirely due to advances in software development. I don't see how minor changes in sensor size offer much for bokeh rendering although the wider aperture lenses help a little.
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iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - Completely artificial bokeh generated by the camera.

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - Subtle bokeh - based on the distance calculated by the LIDAR.

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - Strong artificial bokeh.

You can see the errors in this image... between the spokes on the electric bike's front wheel there are gaps that were not applied to the blur algorithm. I've left them intact to show the shortcomings. But this is a fairly complicated subject for the iPhone to scan and subtract from.

iPhone 13 Pro (Max) - Impressive Artificial Blur applied (synthetic bokeh).

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Now that 77mm (3x f/2.8) lens on the iPhone seems to be a weak link in the chain. I've seen so many folks claim that this is their favorite lens and yet day or night, I cannot be assured of quality images from that lens. Less than one in 20 shots I've taken with the 2x lens comes close to being useful to me. It really doesn't look remotely like an optical zoom was used. Most of the shots from the 3x lens look like digital zoom to my eyes. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong?

Thanks for this.

On some level I'm tempted to just buy a 13 Pro and sell of my other gear. But as others have said, shooting with a phone just doesn't work well for me -- but maybe I need to take the time to learn new habits.

Two nit-picks: the night shots all look like they've had the detail sanded off of them -- the church in particular. And the bokeh on the purple flower shot seems to have gone haywire on the flowers themselves.

That's my biggest reservation: the non-repeatability and almost random image breakdown.

Still very, very impressive.

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