June 4, 2023
apple iphone 12 pro max vs google pixel 7 pro camera

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

I journey rather a lot and I like taking panorama photographs in scenic places. They’re an effective way to seize the immensity of the Alps, the peacefulness of the Slovenian seashore, or the Toronto skyline from the islands. However every time I take a panorama shot with my Pixel 7 Professional, I discover the end result disappointing. That is alleged to be among the finest digital camera telephones available on the market, however it may’t sew a few pictures collectively to make a good panorama — how come?

I had ignored this facet of the Pixel’s pictures expertise till I went on a visit with a buddy who carries an Apple iPhone 14. That’s after I (begrudgingly) observed that their cellphone was taking a lot, a lot better panorama photographs than my Pixel. So what provides? I picked up my outdated iPhone 12 Professional Max to analyze this often-forgotten facet of cellular pictures.

The iPhone captures panoramas with all lenses

apple iphone 12 pro max vs google pixel 7 pro panorama

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

A little bit of digging revealed that there are two main variations within the panorama-shooting expertise between Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Pixel, and the primary one is clear from the second you launch the mode within the digital camera app.

Google doesn’t give me any management over the pano expertise. I can begin capturing utilizing the cellphone’s important rear lens and cease — that’s it. Apple, then again, lets me take panoramas with all the cellphone’s lenses. Since I’m utilizing my iPhone 12 Professional Max for instance, I can shoot panoramas with the primary lens, the ultrawide, and the two.5x telephoto lens. That’s already a significant benefit. The flexibility of zooming or increasing could be very neat and lets me body the shot precisely how I would like.

The photographs under present the identical river financial institution shot with these three lenses. The primary lens does the job, however I can think about the ultrawide being very helpful for capturing extra majestic landscapes and the zoom being excellent for metropolis skylines.

A few of the pictures under have been cropped for higher alignment, transformed from HEIC to JPG, and/or compressed. To pixel-peep on the full-resolution unique samples, examine this Google Drive folder.

iPhone vs Pixel panoramas: A problem of decision and element

The second distinction is within the closing picture. The Pixel 7 Professional shoots very, very low-resolution panoramas — or a minimum of it compresses them instantly after snapping them. The largest panos I’ve saved are round 1600 pixels in width, and not more than 5MP in dimension. Ouch. For a sensor that’s able to 50MP and binning right down to 12MP, 5MP is so, so meager. That is late ’00s or early ’10s digital camera period.

In consequence, Pixel-shot panoramas are positive if I have a look at them on my cellphone’s display screen, however don’t stand as much as the pinching take a look at. Particulars are inexistent. The primary motive to make use of the panorama mode, i.e. the power to seize extra in a single picture with out the trouble of guide stitching, is totally misplaced as a result of I find yourself with fewer particulars and knowledge than if I snapped an ultrawide shot or received just a few common photographs and mixed them in Photoshop later.

By comparability, Apple captures and saves panoramas at — or close to — every sensor’s most decision. The ensuing picture is a high-resolution snap with loads of element; many of the panoramas I’ve shot are greater than 20MP and typically even reached 60MP in dimension. The distinction is basically night time and day and I can pinch in to disclose rather a lot.

Right here’s one other crop from one other riverbank snap. You’ll be able to see that, not like the Pixel, the iPhone manages to seize lots of element from the buildings and timber.

The Pixel 7 Professional panoramas get HDR and colours proper

The Pixel nonetheless manages to attain some factors, although — a minimum of in comparison with my older iPhone 12 Professional Max. Panoramas shot on my Pixel 7 Professional have a greater dynamic vary than these I took on my iPhone.

Apple doesn’t appear to be utilizing any HDR corrections right here: Some areas are overexposed, others underexposed, and panoramas don’t forgive that. You’re already pushing your cellphone’s digital camera by mixing many “mini” scenes of various brightness and publicity, and the iPhone doesn’t do itself any favors by totally eschewing HDR. Nonetheless, I point out this with the caveat that I’m utilizing an older mannequin, so possibly the newer iPhone 13 and 14 have fastened that.

The Pixel additionally wins just a few further factors for its distinctive 360 picture sphere mode and the liberty to seize panoramas in any route (i.e. it may snap them right-to-left and bottom-to-top, not like the iPhone which solely does left-to-right and top-to-bottom). Plus, personally, I choose Google’s colour science even when it feels a contact over-saturated. I discover Apple’s colours too cool. See for your self.

Pixel 7 Professional vs iPhone panorama: A ‘clear’ winner

Regardless of the Pixel’s higher HDR and colours, I’ve to offer Apple the win right here if just for the higher-resolution snaps. You’ll be able to at all times edit and enhance colours, however you may’t add element.

After I seize panoramas, I do it to get extra into the picture — extra width or top, extra element, extra attention-grabbing topics — and have the ability to recall that second in time later as if I’m seeing it with my very own eyes once more. My eyes don’t see a blurry mess, they see element, and the Pixel 7 Professional fails to ship that, sadly. The iPhone does. And the choice to change to the ultrawide or zoom lens to border issues otherwise is the cherry on prime.