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Iphone 14 Pro v Canon R5 - can you spot the difference?



We all probably have a mobile phone and no doubt it has a camera built into it. I also bet that over the course of 12 months, you take more photos on your phone than you do with you camera, I know that I do. Indeed, using it has become part of my workflow when out in the field and it is something that I encourage my clients to do. I came across a great app last year called Viewfinder which allows me to see what a potential composition will look like at a specific focal length. It also gives me a good starting point for where to place my tripod and at what height. This is so crucial when composing your image. I see it far to often, when people are presented with a scene, the they just put their tripod down and start shooting without giving much thought to what they want and do not want to be in the image.


Anyway, back to the subject at hand,. Over the last few years, there has been a massive leap forward in the quality of the images that a camera phone is able to take, My iPhone 14 Pro has that ability to take raw images at 48mp when shooting at 24mm. I have to say that I have been really impressed so far with the image quality. But, does it produce images that are comparable to a proper camera. To find out, over the coming weeks and months I am going to test the iPhone against my Canon R5 which has a 45 megapixel sensor.


There are a couple of big points that I need to let you know about. The R5 has a full frame sensor which is 36mm * 24mm. The iPhone's sensor is 7.02 * 5.79mm. Price wise ( at the time of writing) if you are buying a 14 pro then prices start at £1099, that is if you don't get it on contract. You can get an R5 on Amazon at the moment for £3745 and the RF 24-70mm f2.8 L lens that I will be using for the test will set you back £2389 at Wex, That a combined price of £5864. The R5 will take photos and videos, you all know what you can do with your phone. The R5 and 24-70mm whilst not as heavy as an old DSLR weights a hell of a lot more than your iPhone. You can't fit the R5 into your pocket!


To keep the tests as realistic as possible then all images will be taken on a tripod to avoid camera shake which may soften the image. I will be taking all images in RAW, each image will be shot at 24mm. When it comes to post processing then this will be kept to a minimum and any adjustments will be identical on both images. Camera corrections in Lightroom will also be enabled.



Ok, so let' take a look at the 2 images above. They were taken on Saturday morning, on the way back down from the top of Roseberry Topping which is in the background. I have to say despite it being -8 in the car park when I set off and probably even colder when I arrived at the top it was an amazing morning. I was blessed with some great light and the image that I took (on the R5) is at the bottom of this blog. Anyway, back to the images, can you tell which one was taken on the iPhone and which one was taken with the R5?


No? Well the honest answer is, neither could I. I had to keep on going back to look at file names to remember which was which. When I zoomed into 100% it was still difficult to tell.


It wasn't until I zoomed in to 400% that the differences started to appear.


Can you tell which is which now? The top images are taken with the R5. You can clearly see there is far more definition and clarity the cliff face. The dynamic range as you can see in the first image was huge and when I started to recover the shadows the iPhone image started to fall apart. However, as I have mentioned, you are looking the image at 400% so it is natural that the image would not be as sharp. Whilst the R5 is a clear winner, it is a lot closer than I thought it would be. I have to say, there is certainly not £4700 worth of difference andif I wasn't a photographer, was looking for a camera that I could take decent pictures, that I wanted to simply share on social media and with friends then I would be going for the iPhone all day long. With all of that taken into consideration, I am going come down in favour of the iPhone for this test.


The one aspect that I haven't explored is how the images would look when printed. I plan to do this in the future but I have a sneaky suspicion that unless I am print at A1 or even larger then it would be very difficult to tell the images apart.


So that is it for now. Over the coming months, I will be doing low light, dark skies, portraits, panoramas and some wildlife images and loom forward to sharing these with you, along with. seeing which camera will be overall winner-well in my opinion, anyway!


As promised here is the image from the summit of Roseberry Topping just after sunrise.

Canon R5, RF24-70mm f2.8 L, Lee CPL and 0.9 Soft Grad. 04 second, iso 100, f11



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