Google launched the Pixel 7 Pro, its latest high-end flagship smartphone, in October. The Pixel 7 Pro came out just a few weeks after Apple’s new iPhone 14 Pro Max, so we thought we’d compare the cameras of the two smartphones and pit the high-end iPhone against the high-end Pixel 7.
On paper, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and Pixel 7 Pro have similar camera systems. The iPhone features a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 48-megapixel wide-angle lens, which Apple calls the “main” camera. The Pixel 7 Pro has a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 48-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 50-megapixel wide-angle lens. The Pixel 7 Pro wins when it comes to raw megapixels, especially with the telephoto lens.
We’ve learned from camera comparisons over the years that all high-end smartphones take similar pictures, and they’re all great. For the most part, you’ll get stunning images with both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Pixel 7 Pro, although there are some differences to be aware of.
For stock photos, shadows are darker in iPhone images, while the Pixel 7 Pro lightens things up a bit. Images from the Pixel 7 Pro are less saturated and we see more vivid colors from the iPhone. In some cases, images coming directly from the Pixel 7 Pro’s camera look sharper, though that could be a software effect and a difference in the adjustments Google makes behind the scenes.
Both wide-angle and ultra-wide images come out similarly, but the Pixel 7 Pro’s telephoto lens is much better than the telephoto lens offered by the iPhone. Google has added 5x optical zoom compared to 3x optical zoom for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and that’s the difference. In fact, there’s a 30x Super Res digital zoom that’s impressively sharp.
In Portrait mode, the Pixel 7 Pro offers more depth of field for more background blur, which some people will prefer. It can sometimes have trouble separating the subject from the background and works better with people than with objects.
Both smartphones have pros and cons when it comes to night mode. The Pixel 7 Pro is better for night portraits of people because the iPhone tends to be too soft around the face, but the iPhone is better for shots that include the sky. The Pixel 7 Pro is sharper in more images and wins when it comes to astrophotography, but there are issues with artifacts in some images.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max does a better job with video, a theme we’ve seen for several years. The iPhone video is sharper, although Google has made some strides with stabilization. Cinematic Mode on iPhone improved in 2022 with support for 24 and 30fps 4K video, while Cinematic Blur Pixel is limited to 30fps.
All in all, the Pixel 7 Pro has the edge when it comes to photos and the iPhone 14 Pro Max wins in the video category, but both smartphones take excellent pictures and it’s often difficult to decide which one is better. What do you think of the Pixel 7 Pro? Let us know in the comments below.
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