Some iPhone 14 Pro users are noticing a small but important feature downgrade related to the new camera.
While the iPhone 14 Pro camera offers many welcome improvements over its predecessor, owners are finding it more challenging to focus on close-up objects. This affects any sort of close-up, be it traditional macro photography or more mundane tasks such as using the phone to ‘scan’ printed documents.
Some users affected by the recent iPhone 14 Pro ‘camera shake’ bug assumed this close focusing problem was a result of lasting damage caused to the lens’s moving parts. However, the truth is that their phones probably always behaved this way.
This is because the iPhone 14 Pro’s new primary lens simply can’t focus as close to a subject as its predecessor — and the difference is quite significant. While the iPhone 13 Pro is able to focus as close as 5.9 inches, the iPhone 14 Pro loses focus when held closer than 7.8 inches. On the iPhone 13 Pro, the primary lens offers a 25 percent advantage over the ultra-wide lens when it comes to close focus, but that advantage has gone with the iPhone 14 Pro. The effect is further increased due to the fact that the iPhone 14 Pro main camera captures a slightly wider angle than its predecessor, making the subject appear slightly zoomed out, even at the same shooting distance.
This detail, absent from Apple’s published tech specs, is revealed in a recent report by Sebastiaan de With, co-founder of Halide, makers of the respected iOS-based camera app of the same name. As one of many advanced features, Halide provides a ‘Technical Readout’ detailing each camera’s key technical specs, including many you won’t find in Apple’s official documentation.
If you suspect your iPhone 14 Pro may have suffered damage from the camera shake bug, do get it checked out. However, the increased minimum focus distance of the iPhone 14 Pro is real, and should not be taken as evidence of a problem with your phone. You’ll just have to back up a bit and take advantage of the higher resolution available from the new 48-megapixel sensor.