iPhone camera compared to Samsung?

We are on holiday in Antarctica at the moment and someone we sat next to was using his Samsung S23 (2023 phone) to take pictures using his zoom (of people who had landed on snow). The pictures were amazing and though a little grainy you could see the colour of peoples jackets. I did the same with my iPhone 12 Pro (2020 phone) and zoomed in on people and there was no comparison, my pictures were very grainy and showed no colour. I did not appreciate how much better the picture quality was on a Samsung phone (it had 5 lenses on the back). Is there a reason why Apple are not matching Samsung on camera quality (I did look at some of the other photos taken on the Samsung and they were very impressive).

I suspect that a lot of this is the difference between 2020 and 2023. I have the 13 Pro, and my understanding is that the zoom improved a lot between the 12 Pro and the 13 Pro.



Yes not like with like…

PetaPixel on this issue gives it to the 15 Pro
Max for video and overall but the latest Pixel for photography.

I’ve read a lot of favorable comments about the quality of pictures taken by Samsung. I’m pretty happy with iPhone cameras so far. My only complaint is the difficulty of taking pictures of the full moon. Unless you have a lot of patience, you always end up with a tiny dot or a big yellow ball that does not even resemble a moon. It takes a lot of trial and error before you can finally capture a somewhat decent photo.

Technology seems to be moving very fast in this area. I am using a Canon R5 for my photos on this trip but the chap with the Samsung was using his phone for all his photos, and whilst they (obviously) could not match my Canon they were pretty good. Still puzzled how an older Samsung has cracked 10x optical zoom whilst the latest iPhone 15 Pro only goes to 6x (I think this is correct?).

From what I understand, if I update to the iPhone 16 Pro this year I should expect to see a significant difference in camera performance?

I have often found the iPhone introduces artefacts when taking photos of the moon and also sunsets/sunrises…

My understanding is that the 10x zoom camera on the Samsung has close to half the aperture of the 5x on the iPhone. I would favor the larger aperture.