iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
OP tomatoketchup Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

Charlene_S wrote:

I read your post and yesterday noticed that some photos I took of grand kids were soft and no matter how much sharpening I applied in native edit mode they were still soft. (I always use focus lock.) Then I compared them to the first photos I took right after I received my phoneafter and they were sharp and crisp. I realized the soft photos appeared after I had set the photo quality to the vibrant setting. Took two photos today if same subject/ same light, locked focus and again noticed the pic taken in vibrant mode was softer. Hopes this helps.

I--
Charlene Ahrens
charahrens.smugmug.com

Thanks for your input.  When I tested the 13 Pro, I had it on the default setting; I don't ever use the filters and didn't try out the different profiles.  I also shot some pictures in both ProRAW and regular RAW using the Lightroom app and got the exact same results.

In the end I decided to send the phone back to Apple and got my money back.  It wasn't enough of an improvement over my current phone to be worth $1000.

D00M
D00M Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

Sorry, but this comparison is quite worthless.

Cellphone JPEG is notorious for oversharpening. Different manufacturers and cameras use different level of sharpening. Once sharpened, it cannot be undone. It is better for camera to apply minimal (reasonable) sharpening and let the user do sharpening in post.

For phone camera comparison:

Take scene with sky and dark shadows. Look at the dynamic range. Is the sky blue (not overblown) and shadows have some details?

When taking photo of people faces, how is the skin tone. If you are shooting JPEG (and not RAW), you cannot correct truly white balance or skin tone. So this is important.

When taking photos of people face in slight shade with bright background, does the camera recognize the face and adjust for correct exposure on face. This will help the amateur photographer so they don't have to manual adjust exposure on face.

For those who care about portrait mode, can camera recognize foreground vs background correctly; and generate realistic out of focus blur.

 D00M's gear list:D00M's gear list
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coso dp
coso dp Regular Member • Posts: 282
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

D00M wrote:

Sorry, but this comparison is quite worthless.

Cellphone JPEG is notorious for oversharpening. Different manufacturers and cameras use different level of sharpening. Once sharpened, it cannot be undone. It is better for camera to apply minimal (reasonable) sharpening and let the user do sharpening in post.

For phone camera comparison:

Take scene with sky and dark shadows. Look at the dynamic range. Is the sky blue (not overblown) and shadows have some details?

When taking photo of people faces, how is the skin tone. If you are shooting JPEG (and not RAW), you cannot correct truly white balance or skin tone. So this is important.

When taking photos of people face in slight shade with bright background, does the camera recognize the face and adjust for correct exposure on face. This will help the amateur photographer so they don't have to manual adjust exposure on face.

For those who care about portrait mode, can camera recognize foreground vs background correctly; and generate realistic out of focus blur.

I checked RAW pictures with Lightroom and the 8 on text is still slightly sharper

OP tomatoketchup Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini
2

D00M wrote:

Sorry, but this comparison is quite worthless.

Cellphone JPEG is notorious for oversharpening. Different manufacturers and cameras use different level of sharpening. Once sharpened, it cannot be undone. It is better for camera to apply minimal (reasonable) sharpening and let the user do sharpening in post.

For phone camera comparison:

Take scene with sky and dark shadows. Look at the dynamic range. Is the sky blue (not overblown) and shadows have some details?

When taking photo of people faces, how is the skin tone. If you are shooting JPEG (and not RAW), you cannot correct truly white balance or skin tone. So this is important.

When taking photos of people face in slight shade with bright background, does the camera recognize the face and adjust for correct exposure on face. This will help the amateur photographer so they don't have to manual adjust exposure on face.

For those who care about portrait mode, can camera recognize foreground vs background correctly; and generate realistic out of focus blur.

I compared the two phones using RAW as well.  Used Lightroom Mobile for RAW capture, processed the files on my Macbook using the desktop version of Lightroom, and got the same results regardless of how much/little sharpening and noise reduction I applied.  I think there may be a design flaw with the new lens in the 13 Pro.

I don't think the 13 Pro has a bad camera; it would more than adequate for most of my needs (had I not sent it back), and anytime I need more image quality I use my full frame camera.

The issue is that side by side in good to medium lighting conditions, the 13 Pro is either exactly the same or slightly worse than my year old and now $400 cheaper iPhone 12 Mini.  I think this is useful information for anyone considering upgrading from one of last year's models.

Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,203
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

After having the 13 pro for a couple of weeks, I could not go back to a 12 mini.  I find myself using the telephoto lens more often than not.  But that's just a personal thing, I have never cared much for wide angle lenses.  The extra wide is something Apple could have left off for me, just don't care for it at all and never used it on my 11. And so far am satisfied with stretching the tele lens out digitally to around 200mm equivalent for many things.  I'm having a ball with it compared to my 11.

OP tomatoketchup Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

Bob A L wrote:

After having the 13 pro for a couple of weeks, I could not go back to a 12 mini. I find myself using the telephoto lens more often than not. But that's just a personal thing, I have never cared much for wide angle lenses. The extra wide is something Apple could have left off for me, just don't care for it at all and never used it on my 11. And so far am satisfied with stretching the tele lens out digitally to around 200mm equivalent for many things. I'm having a ball with it compared to my 11.

I agree that the telephoto was impressive.  That was the camera feature that I thought was the biggest upgrade though it'd be nice if they made the sensor a little bigger in the future.

I'm the opposite in my shooting habits though; I've never been one to snipe from afar, so for me something with around a 28mm to 35 mm view is priority number one and all the other stuff is lower on the list.

Glad you're enjoying the phone; it's a well made device and the battery life is awesome.

Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,203
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

I hesitate to say this, but I really think the tele lens produces sharper images than the wide lens which should be the other way around.

coso dp
coso dp Regular Member • Posts: 282
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

Bob A L wrote:

I hesitate to say this, but I really think the tele lens produces sharper images than the wide lens which should be the other way around.

The 77mm lens is definitely much sharper than the other two

coso dp
coso dp Regular Member • Posts: 282
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

tomatoketchup wrote:

Bob A L wrote:

After having the 13 pro for a couple of weeks, I could not go back to a 12 mini. I find myself using the telephoto lens more often than not. But that's just a personal thing, I have never cared much for wide angle lenses. The extra wide is something Apple could have left off for me, just don't care for it at all and never used it on my 11. And so far am satisfied with stretching the tele lens out digitally to around 200mm equivalent for many things. I'm having a ball with it compared to my 11.

I agree that the telephoto was impressive. That was the camera feature that I thought was the biggest upgrade though it'd be nice if they made the sensor a little bigger in the future.

I'm the opposite in my shooting habits though; I've never been one to snipe from afar, so for me something with around a 28mm to 35 mm view is priority number one and all the other stuff is lower on the list.

Glad you're enjoying the phone; it's a well made device and the battery life is awesome.

I like mine but battery life is great only in standby. When you start using it it chews the battery quite fast

Bob A L Veteran Member • Posts: 5,203
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini
1

Thought maybe I was seeing this on battery life also.  Normal use as phone - super battery life - heavy camera use and reviewing/transfering images - not so good.

coso dp
coso dp Regular Member • Posts: 282
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

Bob A L wrote:

Thought maybe I was seeing this on battery life also. Normal use as phone - super battery life - heavy camera use and reviewing/transfering images - not so good.

Yeah, maybe the Max was worth the 100$ more. But too heavy and big, my 13 Pro still lasts me more than a day so it's ok

D00M
D00M Senior Member • Posts: 1,184
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

tomatoketchup wrote:

I compared the two phones using RAW as well. Used Lightroom Mobile for RAW capture, processed the files on my Macbook using the desktop version of Lightroom, and got the same results regardless of how much/little sharpening and noise reduction I applied. I think there may be a design flaw with the new lens in the 13 Pro.

If you truly took the photo in RAW, then I take back my comment about invalid comparison on sharpness due to the JPEG algorithm.

On iPhone 13 Pro, there is ProRAW. On 12 Mini, I don't think believe RAW can be capture. I am not aware of any 3rd party software that can access Apple image output to get RAW directly. But I don't have experience with Lightroom Mobile, so I cannot say for sure. I suspect LR is just taking the JPEG output and saving it as DNG and calling this RAW capture.

I have iPhone 12 Pro Max and Samsung S20 FE. The JPEG difference is night and day. Apple has less sharpening, more details, less noise, less artifacts. Samsung has very heavy sharpening, less details, more noise, and more artifacts from JPEG compression. So in this comparison, less sharp is actually better to me. I rather keep more details and I can always sharpen later.

If you do find 12 Mini better than 13 Pro, then that is a plus, right? You can save money and keep on using 12 Mini.

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OP tomatoketchup Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: iPhone 13 Pro main camera is worse than my 12 Mini

D00M wrote:

On iPhone 13 Pro, there is ProRAW. On 12 Mini, I don't think believe RAW can be capture. I am not aware of any 3rd party software that can access Apple image output to get RAW directly. But I don't have experience with Lightroom Mobile, so I cannot say for sure. I suspect LR is just taking the JPEG output and saving it as DNG and calling this RAW capture.

Every iPhone since the 6S in 2015 is capable of RAW capture, but it requires a 3rd party app like Lightroom or Halide.

It's a true DNG file.  You can adjust the white balance in a way that is not possible with a JPEG.

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