Lab – What is the wide-angle photo module of the iPhone 13 worth?

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Martí Micolau
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The iPhone 13 has arrived at Digital. The general look of the smartphone is very close to that of the iPhone 12, but there is a change of direction reserved for the back photo block. We looked at its main module (wide-angle).



Apple iPhone 13 Introductory price €1029


Notes TechnologiesTips (1) read the tests


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Buy used: Buy new:
  • Darty Marketplace 661,99
  • Rakuten 799,99
  • Rakuten 799,99
  • Fnac.com Marketplace occasion 829,00
  • Amazon Warehouse 835,06
  • RED by SFR 899,00
  • Carrefour 903,99
  • Amazon 907,00
  • Ubaldi 907,00
  • Fnac.com 909,00
  • Boulanger.com 909,00
  • Darty.com 909,00
  • Rue du Commerce 909,00
  • Macway 909,00
  • CHF 909,00
  • E. Leclerc - High-Tech 913,90
  • Cdiscount 913,99
  • Phox 914,90
  • Materiel.net 915,95
  • LDLC 916,95
  • La Redoute 1
  • eBay 936,82
  • Darty Marketplace 661,99
  • Rakuten 799,99
  • Rakuten 799,99
  • Fnac.com Marketplace occasion 829,00
  • Amazon Warehouse 835,06
  • RED by SFR 899,00
  • Carrefour 903,99
  • Amazon 907,00
  • Ubaldi 907,00
  • Fnac.com 909,00
  • Boulanger.com 909,00
  • Darty.com 909,00
  • Rue du Commerce 909,00
  • Macway 909,00
  • CHF 909,00
  • E. Leclerc - High-Tech 913,90
  • Cdiscount 913,99
  • Phox 914,90
  • Materiel.net 915,95
  • LDLC 916,95
  • La Redoute 1
  • eBay 936,82
  • Rakuten 930,00
  • Rakuten 932,00
  • Rue du Commerce 947,79
  • Amazon Warehouse 953,25
  • RED by SFR 1 019,00
  • Amazon 1 025,00
  • Ubaldi 1 025,00
  • Fnac.com 1 029,00
  • Boulanger.com 1
  • Darty.com 1 029,00
  • Macway 1 029,00
  • La Redoute 1
  • CHF 1
  • E. Leclerc - High-Tech 1
  • Cdiscount 1
  • Crossroads 1
  • Phox 1 034,90
  • Materiel.net 1 035,95
  • LDLC 1 036,95
  • eBay 966,91
  • Rakuten 1 092,00
  • Amazon Warehouse 1
  • Amazon 1 199,00
  • Ubaldi 1 199,00
  • RED by SFR 1 249,00
  • Fnac.com 1 259,00
  • Darty.com 1 259,00
  • Macway 1 259,00
  • Crossroads 1
  • La Redoute 1
  • CHF 1
  • E. Leclerc - High-Tech 1
  • Cdiscount 1
  • Phox 1 264,90
  • Materiel.net 1 265,95
  • LDLC 1 266,95
How the Apple iPhone 12 Price Chart Works


Notes TechnologiesTips (5) read the tests

Buy used: Buy new:
  • Amazon Warehouse 688,41
  • Fnac.com Marketplace occasion 719,00
  • Rakuten 749,99
  • Darty.com Marketplace occasion 756,00
  • Devil's Sale 825,80
  • RED by SFR 829,00
  • CHF 839,00
  • Amazon 845,00
  • Ubaldi 845,00
  • Cdiscount 854,99
  • Fnac.com 859,00
  • Boulanger.com 859,00
  • Darty.com 859,00
  • Macway 859,00
  • Carrefour 859,00
  • The Redoubt 859,00
  • Phox 864,90
  • Materiel.net 866,89
  • LDLC 867,89
  • eBay 859,00
How the price table works

The new generation of iPhone is now available, including not only the Mini, Pro and Pro Max models, but also the iPhone 13, which is equipped, like its predecessor, with a dual photo module, but promises to offer higher quality results.



The iPhone 13 (blue), iPhone 12 Pro Max ("Pacific" blue) and iPhone 12 (black)

Like an air of Pro Max

The forces involved are as follows: the iPhone 13 has two sensors of 12 megapixels each, like the iPhone 12 by the way. The first is decked out with a wide-angle lens equivalent to 26 mm and opening at f / 1,6. The second is entitled to an ultra wide-angle (equivalent to 13 mm), opening at f / 2,4 and offering a field of vision of 120 °. If these characteristics are largely reminiscent of those of the iPhone 12, some details are reminiscent of another smartphone that proved its worth last year in the field of image: the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

It is from this device that the iPhone 13 borrows the characteristics of its main module: the size of its pixels (1,7 μm) and the optical stabilization by displacement of the sensor. To see more clearly, here is a summary table of the characteristics of the wide-angle modules of the three devices, their ultra-wide-angle module being identical, on paper at least.

iPhone 13 iPhone 12 iPhone 12 Pro Max
Sensor 12 Megapixel 12 Megapixel 12 Megapixel
Pixel size 1,7 um 1,4 um 1,7 um
Full-frame equivalent 26 mm 26 mm 26 mm
Opening hours f / 1,6 f / 1,6 f / 1,6
Stabilization Stabilization by sensor displacement OIS Stabilization by sensor displacement

The arrival of the iPhone 13 on the market raises two questions. The smartphone billed at the same price as the iPhone 12 when it was released (but with 64 GB of additional storage), does it really do better than its predecessor? And since it seems to have the same wide-angle module as the iPhone 12 Pro Max, does it live up to its elder? We have taken Apple's latest smartphone into our labs to see more clearly, and for each isolated comparison shot, we have six areas spread throughout our test scene.


iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12 - grand-angle

The gain in quality between our iPhone 13 and the iPhone 12 is undeniable. Not so sure that, by day, the size of the sensor is really in question, and that that of the associated optics is not at the origin of the perceived improvements, associated moreover with the software processing provided by Apple. Note in passing that we compared the shots taken at the launch of the iPhone 12 (under iOS 14) to those obtained from that of the iPhone 13 (iOS 15).

Anyway, the results delivered by the iPhone 13 offer more detail, thanks to slightly more microcontrasts in the center of the image. On the periphery, the difference is more significant: the sides of the image gain in sharpness. The effect is particularly noticeable on small print or on cartography. Also note that the tint of the image is less warm with the iPhone 13.

iPhone 12

iPhone 13
enlarge

The difference is even more visible at night. The size of the sensor allows the iPhone 13 to capture more light, making it adept at rendering more small elements, presumably using tweaked processing algorithms. The peripheral areas of the image are sharper and the colorimetry a little more natural: here again, the advantage is undoubtedly the latest from Apple.


iPhone 12 (night)

iPhone 13 (night)
enlarge

With Apple's automatic night mode, that is to say with a long exposure, the iPhone 13 still pulls out of the game. The hue is colder, but the overall sharpness is better, in all respects. the image.

iPhone 12 (night mode)

iPhone 13 (night mode)
enlarge

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 12 Pro Max - grand-angle

This 2021 vintage succeeds at Apple. The wide-angle module of the iPhone 13 easily compares with that of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and delivers shots very similar to those produced by its elder on our daytime tests. The contrasts even seem very slightly more marked, especially on certain elements located on the sides of the image. We also spot a colorimetry subtly pulling towards blue.

iPhone 12 Pro Max (day)

iPhone 13 (day)
enlarge

At night, the difference is even more tenuous. The iPhone 12 Pro Max delivers shots that are a little less bright than its successor, but its processing better ensures the reproduction of certain details (the wheel in black and white at the top left). For the case of the ball of fibers at the top right, the processing carried out by the iPhone 13 makes it possible to find more information in the image. In short, our different zooms in the image show the great abilities of the two smartphones, day and night.

iPhone 12 Pro Max (night)

iPhone 13 (night)
enlarge

In light of these comparisons, the iPhone 13, whose full test is underway in our laboratories, shows that its ultra-wide-angle module meets our expectations – and its technical data sheet. It is more efficient than the iPhone 12 which it succeeds, and rises to the height of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, of course for the case of ultra wide-angle photos.

The Pro Max have additional advantages

It should also be remembered that this comparison only relates to the main module of the iPhone 13, and that the Pro Max models play the card of a versatility to which the smartphone cannot claim: in addition to the common ultra wide-angle to the whole range of Apple, they are equipped with a telephoto lens. Head over to our columns for an in-depth review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max Photo Block!

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