Camera comparison of iPhone 13 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Camera comparison of iPhone 13 Pro Max vs. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

If you’re on the hunt for the best smartphone camera, iPhone 13 Pro Max and the S22 Ultra are probably on the top of your list. It’s a given that both these smartphones boast excellent cameras, but certain differences might help you make a clearer choice. Read along to know which is the better camera smartphone for you and why?

S22 Ultra vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Standard camera

The primary camera of the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a 12MP sensor with an f/1.5 aperture. The S22 Ultra has a 108MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture as the primary camera. If you look at the samples below, you can notice a green tint on the iPhone’s image.

The Field of View of the S22 Ultra is comparatively larger than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Details are quite similar, and this is because even though the S22 Ultra has a 108MP sensor, it uses pixel binning technology and shoots in 12MP. Pixel binning combines the pixels on a sensor, and in larger sensors like 108MP, the ratio is nine to one.

Selfie camera

The selfie camera on both these phones does an excellent job. The iPhone 13 Pro Max houses a 12MP sensor, while the S22 Ultra houses a massive 40MP sensor. However, judging by numbers is a risky game one can play. The iPhone 13 Pro Max shoots more real-tone images through the selfie camera.

Image Credit: Sumukh Rao

Samsung tends to soften the skin even with all the filters turned off. The S22 Ultra selfie camera is bad by no means, but when it comes down to color-accurate selfie images, the iPhone 13 Pro Max does a better job.

Low light camera

The low light mode has come a long way in the past couple of years. Today, this feature relies more on software post-processing, so the end image might not be for everyone.

Here are a few samples from both phones, and I will leave this section open to your interpretation. Primarily, because iPhone 13 Pro Max tends to shoot more realistic images, S22 Ultra makes it a bit brighter. So let me know which camera did a better job in the comments below.

Portrait camera

Portrait images, especially from phone cameras, have gained a lot of attention. One of the first phones to nail portrait images was the iPhone 7 Plus. These images have come a long way ever since, and the ball appears to be in Samsung’s court with portrait images, at least in this comparison.

Edge detection on the S22 Ultra is phenomenal, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max retains the colors and details to a great extent. Overall, both the devices perform equally well, but the decision boils down to if you prefer a brighter image with a few missed edges or a little darker image with excellent edge detection.

Zooming capabilities

Optical zoom refers to the ability to zoom in without losing any quality. Samsung S22 Ultra is a clear winner in zooming capabilities, and this is because the iPhone 13 Pro Max supports 3x optical zoom, and the S22 Ultra supports 10x optical zoom. Samsung S22 Ultra has two telephoto lenses, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max has one.

As the S22 Ultra has two telephoto lenses, zoomed-in images come out better on it.

Space zoom

Space Zoom refers to the capabilities of the S22 Ultra to zoom in 100 times while clicking an image. Yes, the zoom is digital and not optical, but it performs extremely well for what it’s worth.

Space zoom of Galaxy S22 Ultra

It blew me away when I could zoom in almost 100’s of meters from the office to a clock tower that was barely visible. I could see the time on the clock, and that was mind-boggling.

While this feature might seem like a gimmick and get you thinking, “When will I ever need so much zoom?” Trust me, you will need it at some point, and when you do, you’ll be grateful you have the option to do so.

Color accuracy

Color accuracy is becoming hard to achieve as the images go through a lot of post-processing. Producing real-to-life images is not the goal for most brands, as users enjoy images with higher brightness and saturation levels.

Samsung has been quite infamous for boosting the saturation on images, while the iPhone also boosts the contrast.

However, in this sample, both the images are quite similar, with a few minor changes that will be hard to notice to an untrained eye. Samsung image has turned out to be brighter, and the iPhone image boosts a higher contrast.

Macro camera

The S22 Ultra is faster to focus and click an image, but the iPhone 13 Pro Max captures more details and better colors. Well, that also keeps varying from situation to situation. There are situations where the iPhone 13 Pro Max can barely focus on the subject, and the same can be said for the S22 Ultra.

When we look at the overall quality and consistency of macro images, there is no clear winner as both these cameras have their quirks.

Video quality

Android devices have come a long way in video quality, but iPhones have always been the best to capture videos. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is no different. Regardless of the lighting conditions, the iPhone 13 Pro Max excels.

A few years ago, there was no competition among these two flagship lineups, with the iPhone in the clear lead. However, times have changed, and the S22 Ultra comes close, but it can’t dethrone the king (iPhone 13 Pro Max) in video quality.

Here’s a video by the YouTuber, Danny Winget to give you a better idea.

YouTube video

Which has a better cameraiPhone 13 Pro Max or S22 Ultra?

After using both these cameras, my opinion is, for photos, pick the S22 Ultra and for videos, pick the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Not that the S22 Ultra can’t shoot videos, or the iPhone 13 Pro Max can’t shoot images. When put to test side by side, these are the strengths of these devices.

I’ve just put forward which camera performs which tasks better. Consider other factors like battery, display, etc., when making a decision on which device to buy. But if it’s just for the camera, you won’t go wrong with either.

Which smartphone are you planning to pick for its camera? Share in the comments below.

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