A lot of photography students ask me if there’s a difference in camera quality between different versions of the iPhone. I’ve noticed differences, but I wanted to check more closely to see what I could find.

I did a side-by-side comparison test to find out with my four different iPhones:

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 13 mini
  • iPhone 14

To do this test, I needed to set up a subject in good lighting and take identical photos with all four iPhone cameras. I found some fruit I had in my kitchen and placed them on a white plastic chair by a large window with indirect natural light. I did not edit them at all – they are straight out of camera, so that we could look at the originals in their purest form.

The results confirmed my assumptions, but also gave me extra nuanced data. Here are the photos and notes about each one:

In this first side-by-side comparison, you can see some quality differences between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 13 mini, but it’s hard to see the differences between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 7, as well as the iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 14. Let’s take a closer look:

In this closer look comparison, you can see that the iPhone 7 camera has more detail and clarity than in the iPhone 6. The quality difference between the iPhone 13 mini camera and the iPhone 14 camera is a bit harder to detect, but I did see some.

It’s still very clear to see that there is a significant increase in quality when going from the iPhone 7 camera to the iPhone 13 mini camera. I remember when I upgraded to the iPhone 13 mini, the quality in my photos were instantly visible. It was a nice feeling!

When I upgraded to the iPhone 14 camera after using the iPhone 13 mini camera for about a year, I didn’t detect a huge quality difference, but there were some improvements.

Here’s a closer look at the iPhone 13 mini photo vs. the iPhone 14 photo:

iPhone 13 mini camera

The iPhone 13 mini has slightly decreased contrast and clarity in its image, compared to the iPhone 14 as seen here:

iPhone 14 Camera

The differences are quite minor, but I am happy to see a slight increase in quality when I upgraded from the iPhone 13 mini to the iPhone 14.

In conclusion – it’s better to take photos with the latest versions of the iPhone, however, having an older iPhone camera should not stop you from taking photos! Remember that iPhone photography allows anyone, anywhere, without any fancy gear to take good photos.

A good photo is one that has been taken with intention, creativity and using lighting and composition well. Even if your camera resolution isn’t the best it could be – don’t let that discourage you from taking photos!

A good photo taken with a poor quality camera will ALWAYS be better than a bad photo taken with a good quality camera.

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