Zoom camera comparison: Pixel 7 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro, and Galaxy S22 Ultra

Zoom camera comparison: Pixel 7 Pro, iPhone 14 Pro, and Galaxy S22 Ultra

If you’ve ever wondered whether it’s worth getting the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for its amazing zoom cameras or if this feature is being over-advertised, well, read on as we pit that heavy zoom against the Pixel 7 Pro with its versatile 5X zoom lens and iPhone 14 Pro which only has a regular 3X zoom camera.

And let’s see if the Pixel can get similar results with a single zoom camera, and if the iPhone can keep up with those two things. Also, finally, answer once and for all, whether the Galaxy S22 Ultra zoom is indeed the ultimate camera experience.

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3X Zoom

At 3X zoom, it’s noticeable how the iPhone punches closer than the other two. However, once you look at the level of detail, dynamic range, and colors, it’s actually the Galaxy that really stands out. It has much sharper detail, and notice how in the banner photo you can still see the blue sky in the background, which you can’t do on the other two phones. We also like the Galaxy and Pixel’s white balance setting, which is closer to what you’d see in real life, while the iPhone often gives you slightly yellow hues.

Excessive sharpening on the iPhone is another thing that can look particularly bad in some shots.

On the other hand, it’s really surprising to see how much detail the Pixel pulls at 3X just by using cropping from the main sensor and zooming in digitally. The monument image at 3X is a good example of the capabilities of the Pixel.

Summing up, if we only had to talk about 3X photos, the Galaxy usually had the look most appealing to our eyes, followed by the Pixel and we’d score the iPhone in third place. What is your order?

5X Zoom

Next, we zoom in further to 5X, and that’s where the Pixel has a dedicated 5X camera advantage that the other two phones don’t. 5X is an interesting zoom level. It’s close enough to take pictures of pets and/or young children, and if you have one, you’ll appreciate having this camera.

This first image of the building in the 5X shows the Pixel really taking the lead, and you can see how the iPhone starts to struggle more with detail at this zoom level.

In the rest of the 5X photos, the Pixel delivers again, with clearer details and satisfactory quality, but often the difference isn’t really that great.

For some reason, the difference in quality is actually noticeable when used with shots of people or pets, like in this photo of me on the bench, where the Pixel is clearly visible in the foreground.

10x magnification

Finally, we have the final test using 10x magnification images. The Galaxy is the only one in this group that has a native 10x zoom lens, which is why many people are already buying the phone, so let’s see how the other two compare at that zoom level without a dedicated zoom lens.

This gives the Galaxy an easy win in most images in this round. In the first photo of the beach, you not only get sharper details, but also the colors look more impressive on the Galaxy and are darker in the other two photos.

The second photo of the ladies in the park and the ship in the background did particularly well on the Galaxy, and it shows how you can take some really artistic photos with the 10x zoom lens.

Another thing about the 10x zoom lens is that you can actually shoot completely unnoticed, which opens up a lot of possibilities.

But on a few occasions, the Pixel has also been able to keep up with that zoom level quite well. With a picture of me on the bench, I was surprised to see how the Pixel did a better job than the Galaxy in processing. In the following image of the baby figurine, you can see the details that are most abundant on the Galaxy, but it is also a very soft picture, while the Pixel has a little less detail, but a sharper look, and both are surprisingly close.

Overall, the Galaxy takes the tour, but the Pixel also deserves some good words because it’s surprisingly powerful at this zoom level. It’s the iPhone that lags behind these two.


So… let’s sum it all up and draw some conclusions.

First, the galaxy. With two cameras zooming at 3X and 10X, it’s the most versatile of the bunch, and certainly has the cleanest zoom of them all, but we found the details a bit on the soft side, and that’s one area Samsung could improve in the future.

The biggest surprise for us was the Pixel as it was great at 2X, 3X, 5X and even 10x. It is a truly competitive camera system with its main camera sensor and 5X zoom.

Finally, the iPhone. With its 3X zoom lens and hyper-sharpening, it was behind the pack in zoom quality. The image in the viewfinder is also very shaky, even if the actual image is really good.

#Zoom #camera #comparison #Pixel #Pro #iPhone #Pro #Galaxy #S22 #Ultra

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