Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra Camera vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max Camera: 6 Key Differences

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max are two of the most acclaimed flagship phones in the market right now. And just like almost all flagship phones, both have powerful camera systems that specialize in different areas.

In this article, we compare the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s camera with the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s camera to see which is better for you. We’ll discuss the specs, image quality, video performance, macro, zoom, and a lot more.

Galaxy S22 UltraCamera Specs

  • Main Camera: 108MP | f/1.8 aperture | 23mm field-of-view | 1/1.33″ sensor size | 0.8 micron pixel size
  • Ultrawide Camera: 12MP | f/2.2 aperture | 13mm field-of-view | 1/2.55″ sensor size | 1.4 micron pixel size
  • 3X Telephoto Camera: 10MP | f/2.4 aperture | 70mm field-of-view | 1/3.52″ sensor size | 1.12 micron pixel size
  • 10X Periscope Telephoto Camera: 10MP | f/4.9 aperture | 230mm field-of-view | 1/3.52″ sensor size | 1.12 micron pixel size
  • Front Camera: 40MP | f/2.2 aperture | 26mm field-of-view | 1/2.82″ sensor size | 0.7 micron pixel size

iPhone 13 Pro Max Camera Specs

  • Main Camera: 12MP | f/1.5 aperture | 26mm field-of-view | 0.9 micron pixel size
  • Ultrawide Camera: 12MP | f/1.8 aperture | 13mm field-of-view
  • 3X Telephoto Camera: 12MP | f/2.8 aperture | 77mm field-of-view
  • Front Camera: 12MP | f/1.5 aperture | 26mm field-of-view | 0.9 micron pixel size

1. Daytime Photography

Daylight photography on both phones is really impressive; you can’t go wrong with either of them. That said, there’s a noticeable difference in their image quality and processing.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max usually leans to warmer and more realistic colors, while the S22 Ultra has cooler and more playful colors. Photos on the former look more true-to-life, while the latter tweaks them a bit to make your shots more contrasty and Instagrammable.

The S22 Ultra has nearly flawless edge detection and can separate individual strands of hair from the background for DSLR-like portraits, alongside a slightly better dynamic range. However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max has a slightly faster shutter speed and less lens flare.

Related: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra: Top Features You Need to Know

2. Low Light Photography

Low-light photography on the S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max is very different. While the former brightens your image, the latter preserves the essence of nighttime. Again, this is going to be a highly subjective thing, so we can’t say for sure which is better.

If you’re a purist, you’re going to like the iPhone’s realism more because of how accurately it represents ambient light. But this also means that there may not be many distinctly visible elements in your photo, so even though the photo is realistic, there’s not much in it to see.

If you’re more inventive, the S22 Ultra will ensure that your low-light shots always have enough amount of detail, light, and color so that you don’t have to edit your images yourself. But you’ll also find it annoying at times when it brightens up the things that look better dark.

3. Macro Photography

Macro photography on both devices is pretty much the same. The only significant difference is that the iPhone 13 Pro Max can get much closer to the subject, but the S22 Ultra’s macro shots look more vibrant and contrasty. Still, not a huge difference.

4. Zoom Photography

When it comes to zoom photography, the S22 Ultra is the obvious winner. Its dedicated 10x periscope telephoto lens allows you to capture subjects that are farther away, like birds and buildings.

In comparison, the iPhone 13 Pro Max only has a 3x telephoto lens, and its zoom shots start to become unusable near 10X magnification. The S22 Ultra can still give you a surprisingly clean shot even at 30X magnification. Just don’t use the latter to stalk people!

5. Video

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is still miles better than the S22 Ultra when it comes to video. The former looks significantly cleaner and more put together, while the latter lacks detail and gives wildly inconsistent results. In the daytime, the S22 Ultra takes more vibrant videos; but at nighttime, it looks faded and washed-out.

In both conditions, the video quality still looks inferior; you’ll struggle to get a video on the S22 Ultra that looks as good as the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Plus, the latter’s Cinematic Mode works beautifully.

However, the S22 Ultra has better stabilization and slower slow-motion video. Plus, its software feature Director’s View lets you view video outputs from all cameras at once, making it a compelling option for vloggers and content creators.

Both devices have pretty much the same audio quality.

Related: Reasons Not to Buy the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

6. Selfies

If you like the S22 Ultra’s normal daytime photos, you’re going to like its selfies too; they’re contrasty, colorful, and confident. But, as soon as you switch to selfie video, the iPhone 13 Pro Max takes the crown again due to the same reasons we mentioned earlier.

If you have a habit of taking a lot of selfie videos, going Live on Instagram, or shooting TikTok clips, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is the clear winner. But, if your selfie use is limited to photos, the S22 Ultra takes beautiful shots. Still, the former is more reliable.

So, Which Has the Better Camera?

We’d love to tell you which one is better for mobile photography, the S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro Max, but as you can probably guess, it depends on personal preference.

However, we’ll say this: the S22 Ultra is in many ways a serious upgrade from its predecessor. With the S21 Ultra, it’s more of a hit-or-miss type of situation, but Samsung has addressed that with the S22 Ultra and made it more consistent than before, thanks to all the software optimization.

Plus, the S22 Ultra is also way more fun to use than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. You’ll find yourself wanting to use the former more often than the latter simply because of its plethora of features. But if all you care about is getting a good enough shot whenever you pull up your phone, the iPhone is still your best option.

Galaxy S22 Ultra Is Versatile, iPhone 13 Pro Max Is Consistent

The S22 Ultra and the iPhone 13 Pro Max are both excellent options for mobile photography. While the former is more fun to use thanks to its loads of features, the latter has a more reliable camera system.

Simply put, the S22 Ultra is more of a generalist; it does a lot of things really well but fails in some challenging situations, especially video. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is a specialist; it doesn’t do much, but it does a few things unlike any other.

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