Comparing the iPhone 14 Pro 48-Megapixel Camera with the Flagship Sony A1 50-Megapixel Camera (Part 1)

Mark Heath photoHaving had the iPhone 14 Pro Max for some weeks now, I thought it would be interesting to directly compare the new iPhone 14 Pro Max 48-Megapixel camera with Sony’s flagship A1 50-Megapixel camera in good lighting conditions. I will be discussing results from my testing of the iPhone 14 Pro Max in different situations (such as low light and to test the quality of bokeh) in future posts. For this test, I used Sony’s new 24-70mm F2.8 II GM lens at 24mm (to match the 24mm lens on the iPhone 14 Pro Max).

Many people are going to be very impressed with the iPhone 14 Pro wide-angle camera for outdoor shots where a 24mm focal length is desired. Please note that I have set up my iPhone 14 Pro Max to record RAW images rather than standard JPEG images, which give much better resolution, detail and dynamic range.

The photo below shows Ely Cathedral shot with the iPhone 14 Pro Max:

iPhone 14 Pro Max: Ely Cathedral (Oct 2022)

For comparison, the photo below shows Ely Cathedral shot with the Sony A1 camera and Sony 24-70mm F2.8 GM II lens:

Sony A1 with Sony 24-70mm (Oct 2022)

Slight adjustments were made in the colour balance only to match the two photos. If you view photographs on a mobile phone screen, I don’t think you’ll spot any significant differences.

For interest, I took a severe crop of both images, and the differences become clearer.

Below is the crop from the iPhone 14 Pro Max:

iPhone 14: Severe Crop (Oct 2022)

Here is the crop from the Sony A1 camera:

Sony A1: Severe Crop (Oct 2022)

I think it’s clear that the Sony A1 photo has significantly more detail when ‘zoomed in’, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max image is still very impressive, and many people are simply not going to care about the differences. Also bear in mind that I was using Sony’s 24-70mm G Master II lens, which is extremely sharp, and a cheaper lens may give inferior results with the Sony A1 camera. I think it would be very interesting to compare the iPhone 14 Pro with cheaper DSL or mirrorless cameras with much less than 50 megapixel resolution, and using cheaper lenses.

Overall, these are very impressive results for the iPhone 14 Max, but I must emphasise that we are seeing the iPhone perform at its best with this test, as lighting was good. I will show, at a future date, that the iPhone 14 Pro Max falls apart in poor lighting conditions in comparison to dedicated low-light lenses attached to the Sony A1 camera. Also, the quality of the iPhone’s bokeh – as much as there is some – is really poor (even ugly) whereas a lens such as the Sony 24mm F1.4 GM lens can produce beautiful bokeh. Also, bear in mind that I was using Sony’s 24-70mm GM II lens for the test, which provides the opportunity to select any focal length between 24mm and 70mm while retaining the superb 50-megapixel resolution in images. In contrast, any significant cropping of the iPhone 48-megapixel images will significantly reduce detail.

Although I won’t be selling my Sony A1 camera any time soon, I think the iPhone 14 Pro Max can deliver great results for certain types of outdoor photography where you specifically want a 24mm focal length, such as travel and street photography. At last, the iPhone has come of age. What an exciting time for photographers!

For more of my sample photos from the iPhone 14 Pro Max, visit:

Sample Photos from the iPhone 14 Pro Max 48-Megapixel Camera

 

To view my photo galleries, visit:

Mark Heath’s Photo Galleries