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Camera comparison: Samsung S24 Ultra vs iPhone 15 Pro Max

by Julie Clover

In January, Samsung unveiled its 2024 flagship smartphone lineup. The new devices directly compete with the iPhone 15 – ‌iPhone 15‌ In addition, the iPhone 15 Pro and ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max. The high-end Samsung S24 Ultra smartphone comes with some Apple features like a titanium body and a 5x zoom lens, but it also has standout additions that make it stand out from the crowd. We have an S24 Ultra and thought we'd compare one major feature to the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ Max – camera.

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The Galaxy S24 Ultra features a 200-megapixel wide-angle camera (Apple's 50-megapixel wide lens), a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera ( similar to Apple's camera), a 10-megapixel 3x telephoto lens, and a 50x 50-megapixel telephoto lens (Apple has a single 12-megapixel telephoto lens). More pixels mean higher resolution when printing and cropping, but this does not necessarily result in improved image quality since sensor size is more important.


In the example images you will see that the difference between the ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ small. Max and S24 Ultra. The S24 Ultra is slightly more saturated and the highlights are brighter, so S24 images can look brighter when compared straight from the camera. iPhone images are sharper for the most part, but Samsung's algorithm works well for night mode images.

Samsung's primary focus this year is on artificial intelligence, which is why the S24 Ultra's camera is almost identical to the S24's Ultra. camera on the S23 Ultra, but the telephoto lens is the main difference. Samsung has ditched the 10x telephoto lens and instead opted for a 5x telephoto lens, which is more in line with the 5x telephoto lens on the ‌iPhone‌. Telephoto images are almost the same, but Samsung's portrait mode produces sharper photos.

Samsung's smartphone has two telephoto lenses, so it supports up to 10x optical zoom, and Samsung has long had the advantage when it comes to digital zoom. The S24 Ultra can zoom up to 100x, and while the digital zoom on the ‌iPhone‌ good, it can't scale up to that level.

On the topic of artificial intelligence, Samsung has added some AI-enabled post-processing features. You can use generative fill to remove objects from images and change cropping, reduce noise with remastering, add slow motion to any video, and record simultaneously with both the front and rear cameras. We may see camera-related AI additions on the iPhone 16 models or iOS 18, but for now Samsung has the edge when it comes to interesting AI-powered tools.

No smartphone is like this. capable of matching the ‌iPhone‌ when it comes to video quality due to its stabilization and resolution, but the Galaxy S24 Ultra is the closest competitor and it has an edge when it comes to microphone quality. The S24 Ultra's microphone has excellent noise isolation and clarity, and the cinematic mode looks nice, although Samsung's cinematic mode overdoes it with blur. 4K video is supported at 30 and 60 fps, but not 24 fps, which is problematic for those who want to shoot quality video at 24 fps. On ‌iPhone‌ There's a setting to record 4K video at 24 frames per second.

As smartphone cameras get better and better, it's becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish which smartphone takes better photos. Both ‌iPhone 15 Pro‌ The Max and Galaxy Ultra S24 take superb quality photos, and it's impossible to pick an absolute winner. We think these cameras are about the same.

Samsung and Apple use different algorithms and processing methods to capture images and sharpen images in low light, so you will see some differences in brightness, white balance , saturation and similar parameters, and “better” becomes a matter of preference.

Which images do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

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