The noise behavior with "Night Mode" during evening and night scenes, is simply amazing. I lean towards to say, that an (Apple cooked) ISO 1250 file looks slightly less grainy than ISO 1250 from an Olympus camera with latest sensor.

It appears to me, that Apple takes 20 images in ultra rapid during the exposure time, and then stack them with some AI voodoo - which results into these smooth files. I believe when the photos app says 2-3 seconds exposure time - it really takes 20x 1/7th second photos, stacking them together.

 

Malleable ProRaw files

Also astonishing is how malleable the ProRaw files are. You can lift the shadows and pull down the highlights with good margins. (especially the shadows, of course).

This would be pretty impossible without "Night Mode", because the tiny sensor in an iPhone just doesn't have those margins as a straight (uncooked) Raw file.

 

Simply wonderful !

The Night images you get with ProRaw and "Night Mode", are simply astonishing, coming from a mobile phone. It really not something you would expect being that good. I mean look at those above photos... do they look like coming from a mobile phone ? That smooth ?

Sure - there are quirks. But i give the iPhone a bonus in my biased judgment, because it is a mobile phone with tiny sensor, and not a mirrorless camera with much larger sensor. So, you would expect to get pretty bad photos when it is dark.

But no. They are excellent !

 

At Work

Since I often carry my Canon R6 or Olympus EM1X in a backpack at work, and I have done it for many, many months... but don't really take so many photos. A few after work usually. And the thing is, that the iPhone 13 Pro Max actually is worthy to take over those kind of photos I do. I mean the casual, on-the-fly photos. I simply don't take many images at work, in between driving my trains. And with the very high quality from the ProRaw files coming out of the iPhone 13 Pro Max... well I must confess... I am a believer when it comes to casual shots.

 

The On-The-Fly (or discreet) kind of photography

I also like that I make images which I often would do, you know. Just like that. On the fly. Especially at night, where I normally always would use a high quality camera and super bright lens... in order to archive good image quality.

One thing I don't get along with - are sunrises. When you have a scenery with let's say, the clouds are all fire orange... then the iPhone gives me rather weird Raw files, that are difficult at times. I have no idea why that is (probably the HDR is spooking here). Clouds and Apple HDR can at times get wonky.

But other then that, I really like to have the iPhone 13 Pro Max as a serious, outmost compact complementary camera - which in night photos, makes images that barely distinguish themselves from those images I make with the Olympus EM1X or the Canon EOS R6 at night!


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