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

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s worth getting the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra for its amazing zoom cameras or if this feature is being overly 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 normal 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 these two. And also, finally, the answer once and for all, whether the Galaxy S22 Ultra zoom is really the ultimate camera experience.

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3X magnification

At 3X zoom, it is 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 stands out. It has sharper detail, and note 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 in at just 3X using a crop from the main sensor and zooming in digitally. Monument photo at 3X is a good example of the Pixel’s capabilities.

Summing it up, if we had to just talk about 3X photos, the Galaxy usually has the look that appeals the most to our eyes, followed by the Pixel and we’ll score the iPhone as third. What’s your order?

5X magnification

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

This first photo of the building at 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 the Pixel once again leads the way, with clearer details and satisfactory quality, but often the difference wasn’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 with 10x zoom photos. 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 this zoom level without a dedicated zoom lens.

This gives the Galaxy an easy win in most photos in this roundup. In the first photo of the beach, not only do you 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 garden and the ship in the background turned out 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 this zoom level quite well. With a photo of me on the bench, I was surprised to see how the Pixel did a better job than the Galaxy at processing.

In the following picture of the baby statue, you can see the most abundant details on the Galaxy, but it’s also a very soft picture, and the Pixel has a little less detail, but a sharper look, both of which are amazing. close.

Overall, the Galaxy takes the ride, 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 detail a little on the soft side, and that’s one area Samsung could improve in the future.

The big surprise for us was the Pixel as it was great at 2X, 3X, 5X and even 10X. It’s a really 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 also vibrates, even if the actual image is actually quite good.

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