Camera Comparison: Pixel 7 Pro vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max
Google in October launched the Pixel 7 Pro, its newest high-end flagship smartphone. The Pixel 7 Pro came out just weeks after Apple's new iPhone 14 Pro Max, so we thought we'd compare the cameras of the two smartphones, pitting the high-end iPhone against the high-end Pixel 7.
On paper, the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Pixel 7 Pro have similar camera systems. The iPhone is equipped with a 12-megapixel Ultra Wide lens, a 12-megapixel Telephoto lens, and a 48-megapixel Wide 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 out in terms of raw megapixels, especially for the telephoto lens.
What we've learned from camera comparisons over the years is that high-end smartphones all take similar pictures, and they all turn out great. For the most part, you are going to get stunning images with both the iPhone 14 Pro Max and the Pixel 7 Pro, though there are some differences to be aware of.
With standard photos, the shadows are darker in the iPhone images, with the Pixel 7 Pro lightening things up a bit. Images from the Pixel 7 Pro are less saturated, and we are seeing more vibrant colors from the iPhone. In some cases, the images coming direct from the Pixel 7 Pro camera look sharper, though that could be a software effect and a difference in the editing that Google does behind the scenes.
Both wide angle and ultra wide images come out similarly, but the Pixel 7 Pro's telephoto capabilities are much better than the telephoto features offered by the iPhone. Google added 5x optical zoom, compared to 3x optical zoom for the iPhone 14 Pro Max, and it makes a difference. In fact, there's a 30x Super Res digital zoom option 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 it works better with people than it does with objects.
As for Night Mode, both smartphones have pros and cons. The Pixel 7 Pro is better at nighttime portrait shots of people because the iPhone tends to be too soft around the face, but the iPhone is better at shots that include the sky. The Pixel 7 Pro is sharper across more images and it wins out when it comes to astrophotography, but there are issues with artifacting in some images.
With video, the iPhone 14 Pro Max does a better job, which is a theme that we've seen for several years now. The iPhone's video is crisper, though Google has made some strides with stabilization. Cinematic Mode on the iPhone has improved in 2022 with support for 24 and 30fps 4K video, while the Pixel's Cinematic Blur is limited to 30fps.
All in all, the Pixel 7 Pro has an edge when it comes to photos, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max wins in the video category, but both smartphones take excellent images and it's often hard to decide which one is better. What do you think of the Pixel 7 Pro? Let us know in the comments below.