Camera iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: who wins?

The cameras of the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are both top notch. But which device really takes the best photos? You can read that in this article!

Camera iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra is the biggest competitor for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, especially when it comes to the camera. Tech website CNET had the devices tested by a professional photographer. We show you some results.

Both smartphones captured this bright, vibrant scene well with the main camera. But the iPhone 15 Pro Max photo has more realistic colors in both the sky and the building on the left. The sky from the S23 Ultra looks particularly oversaturated, with a yellow cast.

When taking a close-up of these beautiful pink flowers, the iPhone is clearly the winner. It provides an attractive bokeh in the background and keeps the subject nice and sharp, making the flowers in the foreground stand out better. The S23 Ultra doesn’t have the same depth effect and the colors are extremely saturated. In particular, the green leaves in the bottom left of the photo look almost poisonous compared to the much more realistic tones of the iPhone.

Both phones have a portrait mode that captures an attractive bokeh effect around your subject. The S23’s photo is wider than the iPhone’s and also has richer contrast and bolder colors. The iPhone one looks quite washed out – a bit disappointing.

Night mode comparison

The cameras of both devices also perform exceptionally well in the dark. However, there are also clear differences here.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra’s image has a more yellow color cast, while the iPhone 15 Pro Max retains slightly finer details, especially when you look at the bricks of the buildings. The S23 Ultra’s noise reduction has smoothed out some of those details.

This smoothing of detail is especially noticeable in this night shot of the front of a building. The iPhone clearly shows the details in the brickwork. The S23 Ultra interprets that texture as noise and therefore tries to smooth it out. The result is a strangely smooth appearance, lacking the realism of the iPhone’s image.

Camera iPhone 15 Pro Max vs Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: which one is better?

The photos from these two powerful smartphones are evenly matched. Only when you look at the details of each photo side by side can you see many differences. And even then, many of those differences are very subjective.

As far as we are concerned, the iPhone 15 Pro Max generally scores slightly better. The iPhone photos delivered more accurate colors, with the S23 Ultra often producing unrealistic color casts due to the automatic white balance. Samsung’s phone also produces oversaturated images, while the iPhone keeps colors more true to life.

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