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Our iPhone 13 Pro Camera Review: Most Impressive

The iPhone 13 Pro is here, and it certainly has the best cameras of any iPhone, but how much better? And is it really worth the upgrade? 

For the first video, I decided to compare the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro to last year's iPhone 12 Pro. 

You should watch the video above to see all of the details up close, but here's the bottom line: In bright environments, all three iPhones perform almost identically. The iPhone 13 Pro seems to have approximately one stop better ISO performance on all three cameras, but this isn't noticeable until you start shooting in extremely dark environments. The 13 Pro now has an ultra-wide lens with autofocus, but the images look similar to the fixed focus cameras unless the subject is extremely close to the lens. Cinematic mode is locked at 1080p at 30 fps in HDR mode, making the files a pain to work with. For this reason, I'm going to wait until I can shoot in 4K 24 fps before I use this feature. 

Although the 13 Pro is an obvious improvement from last year's 12 Pro, it's probably not worth the upgrade if camera quality is all you're interested in. In most shooting environments, the images look pretty similar on all three phones. 

In the next test, I decided to compare the new 13 Pro to the iPhone X that was released in 2017. How much have the cameras improved in four years? Watch the video to find out. 

To see all of the photo and video comparisons, you should watch the video above, but here's the summary: the iPhone 13 Pro cameras are a massive upgrade from the X. Stabilization is far better in the 13 Pro, making gimbals unnecessary in many situations. The wide and telephoto camera's have around three stops better ISO performance, which results in incredible images in almost any lighting. Portrait mode is better, faster, and now works on three cameras rather than just the telephoto on the X. The front-facing camera is a massive improvement in terms of sharpness and dynamic range, and the microphone is a huge step forward. Of course, the 13 Pro also has the ultra-wide camera with macro mode, which doesn't even exist on the X.

Conclusion

The iPhone 13 Pro may not be a massive improvement over last year's iPhone 12 Pro, but the improvement from the iPhone X is staggering. If you're still using an old iPhone, and you enjoy taking photos and video with your phone, it's definitely worth upgrading. 

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2 Comments

Tim van der Leeuw's picture

I keep hearing rumours about Apple upgrading their iPhone camera with a periscopic design.

I'll hang on to my iPhone 7+ until the iPhone 14 comes around to see if that will materialise in that model or I might feel sorry for upgrading too early! 😃

Paul Scharff's picture

+100 points for the crisp, clipped pacing of these videos. The points were made clearly and quickly and of course we can always freeze or rewind if something passes by too greatly.

I'm in the upgrade program and will probably keep my 12 PM so I have a backup I own outright that is newer than my most recent fully-owned 7 Plus. These videos helped with that decision.