Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs iPhone 14 Pro Max camera comparison: a battle between the camera gods

Say “cheese!” Well, whenever you’ll get your hands on one of these camera geniuses, I’m sure you’d want to try shooting some photos first. I am talking about the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, which boasts an impressive 200MP primary camera and the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max, which comes with a 48MP main shooter.

In this article, I’ll be comparing the cameras of both these mighty flagship devices. Although both phones are known for their excellent camera quality, we’ll see which phone becomes the real boss. So, go through the article to know the results.

Portrait shot

I will begin the comparison with the portrait shot first, as while comparing, I was astonished to see the results captured by these devices. Both the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max take eye-pleasing, vivid and rich colour portraits. However, the main difference between these images is that the photo taken from the S23 Ultra has a cooler tone, whilst the 14 Pro Max captures a warmer tone. In addition, when zoomed in to the full crop, I noticed that the iPhone’s image has a bit more detail than the S23 Ultra, giving it the edge in this round. Hence, this round goes in favour of the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max.

Winner – Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

Daylight landscape photo

Following the portrait image, let’s look at the daylight standard shot. The outcome in these images appears to be totally flipped, as the snap taken by the iPhone 14 Pro Max has certain flaws. You can see, the sun in the extreme left corner and also the overall sky are overexposed, and the sunlight flare is also pretty much visible in this shot. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra captured such an appealing image that I’m sure you wouldn’t hesitate to share any landscape shot taken from this on your social media. Although the colours are somewhat saturated as compared to the iPhone, the dynamic range and vividness make this picture superior in this round. As a result, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra takes the cake here.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Daylight ultra-wide angle

The same situation can be seen in the ultra-wide angle photos as well. Here again, the sun and the sky both are extremely overexposed on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. In addition, like the previous image, the sunlight flare is also quite visible here. In fact, if you observe, the trees on the right side of the iPhone’s shot seem dark in colour, which is a major drawback here. However, just like the daylight landscape snap, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra captures colourful and eye-pleasing photos with a controlled dynamic range. So, without a doubt, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra triumphs again.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy 23 Ultra

High-resolution

Up next, I’ve attached high-resolution photos taken from both phones. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra includes a 200MP camera sensor, which we have previously seen on smartphones such as the Motorola Edge 30 Ultra, the Redmi Note 12 Pro+, and the Infinix Zero Ultra. In contrast, the iPhone 14 Pro Max has ditched the 12MP shooter and instead comes with a 48MP primary camera. Now, if you look at these images, you’ll observe that the iPhone image has a blue tinge, whilst the Samsung image is significantly warmer. It was the opposite in the previous snaps. Furthermore, the sky at the extreme left corner on the 14 Pro Max appears to be extremely blue, creating an unnatural image. With this, we can say, that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra captures better colour balance in high-resolution mode.

However, when I zoomed in to view the details, the iPhone 14 Pro Max emerged as the clear winner. The text on the iPhone’s image is noticeably sharper than the shot taken with the S23 Ultra. The iPhone’s 48MP sensor outperformed Samsung’s 200MP sensor in this round. Therefore, the iPhone 14 Pro Max stands as the winner here.

Winner – Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

3x zoom

Both the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and the iPhone 14 Pro Max include a telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. The pictures above show that there isn’t much of a difference between the two. Although the image taken by Samsung has a cooler tone than the one captured by the iPhone, both phones capture rich and bright colours.

However, when you magnify the pictures, the text printed on the top of this slider seems sharper on the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but the upper yellow area is also overexposed. As a result, I think both phones take photos that are almost identical, with minor differences.

Winner – Tie

10x zoom

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also features a 10MP periscope lens that offers 10x optical zoom, which is missing on the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Nevertheless, I took 10x zoomed photos from both phones to explore the actual difference. If you don’t zoom in on the pictures, you can see that the iPhone manages to capture a sharp photo with appealing colours, which sets the tone for the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

However, at a closer crop, you can see that the iPhone is nowhere near the Samsung in terms of detail. In the image taken from the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, the text on the yellow area and the leaves are much sharper than they appear on the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

In addition, the S23 Ultra is also capable of clicking 100x zoom shots, which allows you to capture the moon as well. In the pictures above, you can see that Samsung retains the detailing even at such a high level of digital zoom, all thanks to the company’s AI super-resolution technology. With all these factors, I can say that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has an edge over the iPhone 14 Pro Max in the zoom section.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Close-up and macro

Moving on, if we look at the close-up aspect of both devices, the iPhone 14 Pro Max will surely disappoint you. As you can see in the slider above, the iPhone falls short when it comes to taking close-up shots. This is the maximum close-up, which I could manage to capture from this. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, on the other hand, can shoot stunningly close photos that will surely amaze you. The detail captured in Samsung’s image is truly outstanding, the petals and pollens on this flower are sharply defined, making it a beautiful sight.

Furthermore, even when comparing macro shots, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is unable to match the level of detail in the image obtained by the S23 Ultra. Therefore, the close-up and macro rounds also go in favour of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Selfie

So far, it’s evident that the S23 Ultra has a clear advantage over the iPhone 14 Pro Max in terms of rear camera quality. Now, let’s turn our attention to the front camera test. Both phones take great selfies, but their colour balance is totally different, just as we noted while comparing the rear cameras. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a cool tinge, while the iPhone 14 Pro Max exhibits a warm tone. However, the most significant difference is that my sweatshirt appears black in the snap taken from the iPhone, which is dead incorrect. The actual colour can be seen in the photo snapped from the Samsung. The true colour of my sweatshirt is a mix of blue and black, which the iPhone couldn’t accurately capture.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra undoubtedly has superior colour science in terms front camera, but on closer inspection, you will notice that both phones struggle to identify edges in front portrait mode. The background to some extent is seeping near the ears in these images. Nevertheless, due to better colour reproduction, the Samsung S23 Ultra triumphs in this round.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Lowlight photo

After all the sorts of day shots, let’s focus on low-light images to understand more about these phones. The situation here is completely reversed, unlike the daylight snaps, the iPhone 14 Pro Max takes the lead here. You can see, the image captured by the iPhone seems significantly brighter than the picture taken from the Samsung phone. The iPhone 14 Pro Max took a sharp photo with controlled light. In fact, most of the objects in the iPhone’s image are considerably visible. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra captures dark photos and overexposes the light inside my house temple. Therefore, the iPhone 14 Pro Max takes the lead in low-light photography.

Winner – iPhone 14 Pro Max

Night mode

Moreover, even when night mode is enabled, the iPhone 14 Pro Max stands as the clear winner. The photo taken by the iPhone 14 Pro Max is astonishingly bright, and just like the regular lowlight shot, the objects appear sharp. The only flaw here is that the iPhone fails to manage light flare in this mode. Be that as it may, the iPhone 14 Pro Max is considered the hero in this situation.

Winner – iPhone 14 Pro Max

Lowlight selfie

Although the iPhone 14 Pro Max may have an advantage in rear camera’s low-light photography, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra rules again with the low-light selfie game. In the slider above, it is quite clear that the S23 Ultra captures a much brighter and sharper image compared to the photo taken with the 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 Pro Max fails to capture enough light and detail in this scenario, making this photo appear like an oil painting. With this, we can conclude that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra reclaims its title as the winner.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Verdict

By looking at all the comparison shots, I can say that the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra comes out on top. Whether it’s daylight images or selfies, the Samsung phone has an advantage in photography compared to the iPhone. However, when it comes to low-light images, the iPhone 14 Pro Max shines as a superior snapper. Additionally, I also compared videos shot from both devices and found that the iPhone outclasses the S23 Ultra. You can see this for yourself in the video attached below this article. Hence, if you’re looking for a phone that fulfils your photography needs, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the better buy. On the other hand, if shooting videos is your main priority, then the iPhone 14 Pro Max is the way to go.



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