The iPhone has been a game changer in the realm of cell phone photography and cinematography. Big names like Steven Soderbergh and Sean Baker famously use iPhones to shoot entire feature films. iPhone has geared entire campaigns toward photographers and filmmakers showing off all the camera capabilities packed into the iPhone. So which iPhone boasts the best camera? We were curious too. So we did our research and created a list to find the best iPhone camera available.
WHICH IPHONE HAS THE BEST CAMERA?
1. iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
It is no surprise that the best iPhone camera can be found on the newest (and most expensive) iPhones available. But what makes the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max cameras so great?These models integrates the triple camera unit of a telephoto, wide angle and ultra wide lens, which boasts macros lens type focus at 2cm. For photographers, Apple continues with its ProRAW file format along with ProRes for better editing capabilities.
When it comes to video, the iPhone 13 Pro has HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps. This is the one of the main marketing points that Apple has focused on and has even geared entire ad campaigns toward aspiring filmmakers. If you want the latest and greatest, picking one of these two models is the way to go.
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2. iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini
Just a step below the 13 Pro and Pro Max is the base 13 model along with the mini. The camera system is still fantastic, including Cinematic Mode shooting 1080 at 30 fps and the ability to rack focus during or after shooting. The downside, though, that's the limit for resolution and fps using that mode.
The camera sensor is faster than the previous model, which especially helps capturing more light with Night Mode. And the front camera has all the same features as the back cameras so taking selfies just got an upgrade.
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3. iPhone 12 ProFor photographers, Apple introduced Apple ProRAW file format for better editing capabilities. The iPhone also utilizes advanced LiDAR sensors for better depth sensing when shooting in portrait mode. How good is the iPhone 12 Pro camera? Let’s take a look at some test footage.
When it comes to video, the iPhone 12 Pro has HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps. This is the one of the main marketing points that Apple has focused on and has even geared entire ad campaigns toward aspiring filmmakers.
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4. iPhone 12
Just like any other iPhone release, Apple introduces variations. The iPhone 12, while lacking the “Pro” still packs a major punch with its camera. While the iPhone 12 lacks the focal range of the telephoto lens in the 12 Pro, it has the same exact 12MP camera with both wide (f/1.6) and ultra-wide f/2.4) options.
That being said, there can be some visual variations between the two when it comes to both color and light. Check out a side by side comparison of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro footage in the video below.
As you can see from the test footage, some footage looks better on the iPhone 12 while some looks better on the iPhone 12 Pro. Keep in mind there variations can occur with how the iPhones HDR reacts to the different camera positions. Whether you choose the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 12 Pro may come down to whether or not you value the telephoto lens option.
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5. iPhone 11 Pro
The iPhone 11 Pro revealed just how much Apple has decided to focus on its camera technology. It was the first time that they introduced the triple-camera unit with ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto options.
Design freaks hate the new aesthetic of the camera lenses, but photographers loved the function. How does the iPhone 11 Pro stand against the new iPhone 12 Pro? Decide for yourself by watching the comparison video below.
The most notable differences between the two Pro iPhones would be the HDR video recording with Dolby Vision and the night mode ability on ultra-wide mode. If these are important for you, you might want to look toward the iPhone 12 Pro rather than iPhone 11 Pro. That being said, the iPhone 11 Pro still remains one of the best iPhone cameras on the market.
Which iPhone Has The Best Camera
6. iPhone 11
The iPhone 11 possesses all of the same functions and camera capabilities of the iPhone 11 Pro except for the 56mm telephoto lens option. It does still have both the wide and ultra-wide lenses making it a versatile camera for any photographer. Will you use it more than your DSLR camera? This video compares the two cameras and might even convince you to ditch your DSLR.
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7. iPhone XS
Compared to the iPhones that were released prior to the iPhone XS, the camera upgrades on the phone are modest. Its Smart HDR does work well for shots with varying exposures. The iPhone XS also introduced new effects for Portraits lighting mode.
How does the iPhone XS hold up today? For a long term review made years after the release of the iPhone XS, check out the video below.
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8. iPhone XS Max
The only difference between the iPhone XS Max and the iPhone XS is that it has a larger screen for composing images. Unlike the newer iPhone variations of the same releases, the iPhone XS Max and XS cameras are nearly identical.
The reason the Max comes after the iPhone XS is because of its higher price point. Is the larger screen worth the extra dough for photographers? Not necessarily. But let’s say you already have the iPhone XS Max and are wondering if you need to upgrade to a new iPhone 11 Pro Max. This video will help you decide.
What iPhone Has The Best Camera
9. iPhone 8 Plus
Prior to the release of the iPhone XS and XS Max was the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Unlike the iPhone 8, the iPhone 8 Plus boasts a dual 12 MP camera unit with wide and telephoto options. This allows for 2x optical zoom without compromising image quality.
While still a great camera, its lack of lowlight capabilities and imaging software make it look a bit dated beside iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone SE footage.
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10. iPhone XR
Although the iPhone XR was released after the iPhone 8 Plus, it was released as a sort of cheaper, more economical iPhone product. For this reason, its camera has no significant upgrades from the iPhone 8 Plus.
The iPhone XR only has a single 12 MP rear camera, lacking the telephoto option found on the iPhone 8 Plus. Despite its lack of unique camera capabilities, its lower price point may be its only selling point.
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11. iPhone SE
The iPhone SE is one of the newer iPhones on this list. So how did it end up close to last? The iPhone SE has a camera that is more similar to the iPhone 8 despite its more recent release. The pros of the SE are that it attempts to match this camera with the processor and software of the iPhone 11.
The result is a less than exciting camera that produces less than exciting iPhone images. Since it was released around the same time as the iPhone 11, many wondered how the two cameras would compare. After giving the video below a watch, you’ll see there are some pretty significant differences.
Which iphone has the best camera
12. iPhone 7
Last on the list is also the oldest iPhone on the list — the iPhone 7. While this may seem like a no brainer, the iPhone 7 is significantly less expensive than any of the phones listed above.
That said, how does the iPhone 7 hold up today? As this long term review by SLpreme reiterates, it is not bad, but it's not great.
The iPhone 7 can only record 4K video at 30 fps. When it comes to slow motion, it can only record 240 fps at 720p. So when it comes to image quality, it’s far from the best option on the market. But if you’re looking for a new iPhone with a decent camera on a budget, the iPhone 7 is a great compromise.
The Best 4k Cameras for Video
Do some of these iPhone camera specs have you a little underwhelmed? Well maybe you need to take a look at some of the best 4K cameras on the market. From Panasonic to Sony to Canon, we reveal the best 4K cameras for video in our next article.