It’s September which means it’s new iPhone season! There are a ton of usual updates like it being more powerful than before, but the most interesting parts tend to be in the various camera updates.
This year was bigger than most as Apple made some big changes, including the first increase in camera resolution in years.
We are getting improvements in the software as well and even some quite impressive features, like a new Action mode that claims that you no longer need a gimbal.
If you shoot video with your smartphone you are probably asking whether you should upgrade this year. iPhoneographers tries to answer that exact question.
Going into the event he had a wishlist of upgrades for the iPhone 14:
- Faster f/2 telephoto lens aperture
- Cinematic Mode in 4K 24 fps
- Larger sensors for all cameras
- Manual control in native camera app
- Slow motion 4K 120 fps
What we definitely checked off that list are 4K Cinematic Mode + 24 fps and larger sensors for all cameras. This means every one is better in low light. There isn’t any new on manual control for the native camera app. And, there is not any 4K 120 fps.
The main camera received the most notable change with a new 48MP quad-pixel sensor. It opens the door to cropping and better image quality through processing.
One major complaint is that the iPhone still has the ancient Lightning connection and not USB-C. Considering they can shoot some hefty ProRes files it is limiting that there is no fast, simple way to offload data.
Cinematic Mode is a very nice update. Before it was limited to 1080p30 – not even permitting 24p capture – and that made it a no-go for many. Now with 4K and 24p, it is looking like a major upgrade.
Using the LiDAR sensor it’ll create a cutout and provide that shallow depth of field look that is desired.
Another change for the main camera is that it is now a 24mm focal length. It’s not a huge deal, but it is a notable change. It may cause an issue with some add-on lenses since it is getting wider and wider from the original 28mm of older iPhones.
The quad-pixel sensor does effectively give a cropped 2x zoom that maintains the 12MP resolution iPhones have stuck with for years. This gives us effectively four lenses to work with: 13mm Ultra-Wide, 24mm Main, 48mm 2x Zoom, and 77mm Telephoto.
Unexpected was the new Action Mode Stabilization. It’s an advanced digital stabilization that supposedly eliminates the need for a gimbal. It records in 2.8K at 60 fps and looks impressive.
This is on top of the now second-generation sensor-shift OIS system. In combination with the Action Mode this is likely to produce great results.
The front camera got some updates as well. It now has true autofocus capabilities and a larger aperture. The ultra-wide also received autofocus.
There are a lot of nice updates here, but initial impressions on video quality point to it being an incremental update this year. Larger sensors are good but may not be immediately noticeable.
Should you upgrade? If you are coming from the 13 Pro it may not be worth it for you unless you love one or two of the updates. There isn’t a ton here to make it super worth it.
If you have a 12 Pro then it is borderline, but if you have anything before the 12 this is likely going to be worth it. Or, the iPhone 15 is rumored to have some bigger changes and could be worth waiting for.
Are you going to upgrade to the iPhone 14?
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