I Told Ya You’d Be Disappointed In The iPhone 14’s Camera (but I’m getting one anyway)

Yup, the iPhone Pro model has the 48-Megapixel camera the rumor sites said it would, and no it doesn’t have the 10x Optical Zoom like we hoped it would. It’s exactly what I warned you about here last Friday, but I’m not at all happy to be right. Sigh.

And as my buddy Erik Kuna so clearly pointed out the other day, having a 48-megapixel camera and cropping in tight absolutely DOES NOT give you the same result as a 10x Optical lens. Ask any photographer who has shot an airshow with a high-megapixel camera and just a 200mm lens. When you crop in close on the jets – they’re not sharp. They’re not detailed. They don’t look crisp and sharp like they do when you shoot with a 400mm or 500mm lens.

As Erik says, “Zoom crop is zoom crap!”

So, if super tight cropping looks bad on a DSLR or Mirrorless, imagine how they’re going to look when you do that on an image taken on a phone, with a 3x lens. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but I imagine they won’t look detailed, crisp and sharp. They’ll be soft. Is this what we were hoping for – no optical 10x zoom, but cropping in tight on a 48-megapixel phone shot? Nooooooo. BTW: The Samsung S22 has a 10x optical zoom AND a 108-megapixel camera. Sigh.

So, Scott, if the Samsung is so much better, why don’t you get one?

It’s because everyone I know that switched from an iPhone to an Android phone wound up later coming back to the iPhone because they’ve told me that outside of the camera part, the overall experience is fairly clunky. Things that are super simple on the iPhone sometimes just aren’t on Android, and they never fell in love with their Android as they did with their iPhone. Plus, they can’t find all the apps they’re used to, or if they do find the same app on Android, often it’s an older or outdated version and not updated like the ones on the iPhone (plus, a lot of apps come out first on the iPhone). So, while their cameras are good, the rest of the phone experience is…well…it’s not an iPhone.

Here’s something you might find interesting (read as “sad”). Apple did add a new zoom. They added a 2x zoom between their existing 1x and 3x. So, they actually added a shorter zoom. Thanks. Just what everybody was asking for. Ugh.

So, is the camera better than the old iPhone with its 12-megapixel camera?

Yes, and that’s why I’m getting one. I watched the Apple keynote, and they spent a ton of time going on and on about the chip; how great the chip is, how much more math it can do, and blah, blah, blah – I could really care less. I don’t use my current iPhone and think, “Man, I wish this thing was faster.” Apps launch fast. Everything seems to move fast. I don’t need a faster iPhone. I want one with a better camera, and this one does have a better camera; one that’s significantly better in low light and one with a few more features, and honestly, at this point, it’s the only reason I buy a new phone because I use my iPhone’s camera a lot. I teach iPhoneography. I wrote a book on shooting with the iPhone. I do classes on it. But I’m still disappointed, and I imagine you are too. At least they didn’t raise the price.

Well, here’s the thing. If this is the biggest disappointment I’ll have this week, it’ll be an awesome week. LOL!! Here’s wishing you great photos, no matter what camera you’re using. :)


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