The world of smartphones has always been a bit of a battlefield, especially when it comes to photography. Two of the biggest rivals in the industry, Samsung and Apple, recently released their latest flagships: the Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
In this article, we compare the two rivals with an emphasis on the different photography functions, so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing a high-end phone.
The Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra houses a quad camera system including a 108 MP primary sensor, a 12 MP ultra-wide sensor and two telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom. This setup offers extreme versatility for a wide variety of shooting scenarios.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max has a triple 12MP camera system: a primary wide-angle lens, an ultra-wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. It also includes a LiDAR scanner, which greatly improves depth perception, especially in low-light and portrait photography.
However, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has four cameras and the Galaxy S23 Ultra has five. The fifth camera is a 10-megapixel telephoto lens with which you can take beautiful shots of the starry sky. Perhaps it would be better to opt for the Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra at this point because of a more versatile camera system and superior zoom options.
Low light and night mode
The Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra excels with its Bright Night sensor and larger individual pixels that capture more light (200MP), resulting in impressive low-light photos, with excellent detail and minimal noise.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max also performs admirably in low light with its night mode. However, it prioritizes color accuracy and preserving the atmosphere of the scene, which means photos can still sometimes be less bright than those shot with the Galaxy.
So the Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra could definitely be the winner here due to its ability to capture brighter, more detailed images in low light.
Portrait mode and depth perception
Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max uses its LiDAR scanner to create more accurate portrait mode depth maps, resulting in beautifully blurred backgrounds and sharp focus on the subject. The edge detection and bokeh effect are generally superior to what most smartphone cameras offer. With the TrueDepth camera, you can take beautiful professional portrait photos with background blur.
While the Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra offers excellent Live Focus shots, its edge detection and depth effect may not always be as accurate as the iPhone’s. However, the S23 Ultra excels with its 100x Space Zoom that allows you to get an image from a distance, very close up without loss of quality.
Both devices can record 8K video, but the iPhone 14 Pro Max takes the lead with its Dolby Vision HDR capture and superior video stabilization. The videos have more accurate colors and smoother transitions.
The Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra isn’t far behind, offering detailed and vibrant videos. However, it can occasionally struggle with focus stability during dynamic scenes, so the iPhone 14 Pro Max still scores better on this score. It is possible with this phone to film in 8K at 30 frames per second.
Software and ease of use
The camera app for the iPhone 14 Pro Max continues Apple’s tradition of simplicity and intuitiveness, making it easy for anyone to take great photos with minimal effort. It also integrates seamlessly with the iOS ecosystem.
The Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra offers more manual controls, allowing photography enthusiasts to adjust various settings to their liking. However, this can also make the interface seem a bit complicated for novice users.
You have to choose here between the iPhone for its simplicity and ease of use, or the Samsung for advanced operation.
Choose between the Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra in iPhone 14 Pro Max depends on your specific photography needs and preferences. If you want more control over settings and value a versatile camera system with superior low-light photography, the Galaxy 23 Ultra is the way to go. However, if you prioritize portrait photography, video recording quality and an easy-to-use interface, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has the edge. Both phones offer top-level photography features, making it impossible to go wrong with a choice.
An important plus from Apple is that your iPhone 14 Pro Max will receive iOS updates for quite some time. With Samsung, you can probably still receive updates for five years.
If you’re comfortable with iOS, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is probably a better choice for you.
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