Is the Apple iPhone 14 Pro a Good Camera in 2024? — Fstoppers Review

Is the Apple iPhone 14 Pro a Good Camera in 2024? — Fstoppers Review

As an avid advocate for iPhone photography, I have written a ton of articles on the matter. However, I never reviewed the actual device I am using for my photos. Having had it for a year, it's time to give the iPhone 14 Pro a long-term review, as well as answer the question of upgrading to the 15 Pro.


When the iPhone 14 Pro came out, it made headlines. For good reason, compared to the 13 Pro, it was a huge level up. The camera finally got not only a software but also a hardware upgrade, the battery life got longer, and we finally got the ProMotion 120 Hz display. On top of that, the phone got a variety of different upgrades and a new look with the dynamic island.

This and every other image in this article were shot and edited in the native iPhone camera app as well as Photos. 

I did not plan on buying the 14 Pro at all; in fact, I was fully satisfied with the 12 Mini I had and planned to use it for another couple of years. However, life had different plans, and my 12 mini was broken very much beyond repair, under circumstances irrelevant to the review. So with no phone, I had to switch back to an iPhone 6 until the 14 Pro came out, and then go on to buy the new phone. There were a few options at the time; most notably, I was deciding between the 13 Pro, 14, and 14 Pro. Being an avid mobile photographer, even with the 12 Mini, I always found it to be lacking in camera features, which is why I decided to bite the bullet and spend on the 14 Pro. Sure, I bought into the marketing, or so I thought. Turns out the camera on the 14 Pro is remarkably good, the phone itself is super fast, and the battery life is about enough to last a whole day if you are not gaming on it. With this said, let’s dive deep into my experience with the 14 Pro, and if it is worth upgrading to the 15 Pro.

Build Quality

The iPhone’s minimalist design is made out of glass and aluminum. While not as fancy-sounding as Titanium for the 15 Pro, it is quickly shown that the 14 Pro is built much more sturdily than the 15 and is less prone to damage. That said, given that the back of the phone is glass, you better purchase a case for it, as the cost of repair also comes with a pro price tag. Unfortunately for the end-user, this means you will be spending extra to protect your phone. While I don’t baby my tech in general, I am slightly more careful with the iPhone given its fragile-by-nature design. Even then, my phone has taken a few falls without a case, and all is well with it. No cracks or major scratches are visible. Overall, it’s not as sturdy as a brick phone, but sturdier than the 15 Pro. A special mention goes out to the water resistance of this phone. I’ve submerged it underwater and taken it in the shower to listen to music. In fact, the 14 Pro makes for a great underwater camera, as I’ve tested. Who needs a GoPro, right? While many will hesitate to submerge their precious device underwater, I beg to differ. If the spec says water-sealed, I will make sure to test it.


There are many features in the iPhone 14 Pro that separate it from the bunch. Everything from the dynamic island to the display brightness, to speed and reliability. The feature I care most about is the camera, so let’s talk about that. As previously said, the camera in the iPhone 14 Pro has a larger sensor compared to that of the 13 Pro. Overall, the improvement in hardware means many good things for photographers. Let’s go over why bigger is better when it comes to sensor size. The bigger sensor has allowed for much-improved low-light performance on the 14 Pro, as well as improved dynamic range, and naturally, more detailed capture. This is especially true for low-light video. Of course, the iPhone 14 Pro is better at bokeh in regular mode, but that can be neglected as you’d use portrait mode to get artificial bokeh anyway. Funny enough, I don’t use portrait mode on the iPhone as much as I probably should. The improved Lidar technology allows for much more precise portrait captures. As well as that, the iPhone is remarkably good at capturing and processing skin tones, which is much welcomed if you are going to be photographing people with it.

There are downsides to the camera, though. For example, if you want to get the most out of it in low light, you are pretty much stuck with the 1x camera. If you try 3x zoom, you will be left with a fairly grainy and underwhelming result. Another problem I saw with some users taking photos is the extreme sharpening that Apple does by default. There is a way to reduce this by setting up your camera. A trick I personally love using is shooting everything in black and white. This removes the unnecessary contrast that Apple puts on their images, as well as reduces the sharpening somehow. Nearly every photo I take with my iPhone is black and white. While not a replacement for a camera, the 14 Pro is an excellent everyday camera you can use to practice photography.

The Bad

The thing most people found disappointing with the iPhone 14 Pro is the lack of a USB-C port. This is probably the only bad side that I personally see to the 14 Pro. Naturally, like with almost any Apple product, the iPhone needs a case; otherwise, you may end up cracking the back screen quite quickly.

What I Liked

  • Camera
  • Battery Life
  • Dynamic Island
  • Build Quality and reliability

What Could Be Improved

  • USB-C connectivity

Closing Thoughts

So, there we have it. The 14 Pro is a great phone in 2023, and will surely remain a good choice until the 16 Pro comes out, at which point I would advise against purchasing the 14. As for upgrading, unless my current phone breaks beyond repair, I will keep using it for another few years. Having seen the 15 Pro’s camera, I am sad to say it is not that impressive compared to the 14 Pro. Sure, the USB-C port and video improvements may seem like worthwhile reasons to get it, but they really aren’t. Essentially, the camera has stayed the same in the 15 Pro, so we wait and see. To sum it up, the 14 Pro is pretty much a perfect phone, and with a USB-C port, it would be ideal. Should you get it in 2023? Absolutely! If you are deciding between a 14 Pro and a 15 Pro, I would say go with the 14 Pro and save some money. 

Illya Ovchar's picture

Illya aims to tell stories with clothes and light. Illya's work can be seen in magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire, and InStyle.

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FYI. "Included in the box is a USB‑C to Lightning Cable that supports fast charging and is compatible with USB‑C power adapters and computer ports"

Sadly, I lost mine like a week after getting the phone, bu they are on amazon for $5-10 USD

Sorry to hear that you lost your cable -- I would suggest staying away from buying aftermarket accessories for iPhones. They tend to work worse than the original Apple cables.

Hmm, still can't plug my strobes into an iPhone.
Can't change dead batteries for fresh one.
Can't change lenses.
No hot shoe
No optical zoom and no, digital zoom does not count
Can't change memory cards when they run out of space.
Can't plug an HDMI cord into it.
Can't screw a filter on the front of the lens.
Cannot attach to a tripod, no ¼ socket in bottom
Can’t use a cable release
And the real issue, client frowns at me and wonders why I am charging $3,000 day and using the same $800 camera/ phone that he/she owns
Tell me again why I want to hold a phone in my hand to shoot a professional grade photo???

Just because it says "Pro" doesn't mean it is used by pros.