Apple iPhone 14 Takes Better Photos When It's Dark Out A new Photonic Engine improves color and detail for photography Apple's new iPhones.

By Dasblog

This story is part of Focal Point iPhone 2022, CNET’s collection of news, tips and advice around Apple’s most popular product.

Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus get a new main camera that gathers 49% more light and and new technology called the Photonic Engine to improve a critical shortcoming in smartphone cameras, low-light photography.

The main wide-angle camera has a wider f1.5 aperture so its lens can let in more light, but the Photonic Engine technology works on all the new phones’ cameras, including its new selfie camera and ultrawide back camera, Apple said.

Apple unveiled the new camera technology Wednesday at its fall product launch event, a major moment on the annual technology calendar. The iPhone itself is an enormous business, but it’s also a foundation of a huge technology ecosystem deeply embedded into millions of peoples’ lives, including services like iCloud and Apple Arcade and accessories like AirPods and Apple Watches.

Cameras are one of the most noticeable changes in smartphone models from one year to the next, especially since engineers have embraced thicker, protruding lenses as a signature design element. Customers who might not notice a faster processor do notice the arrival of new camera modules, like the ultrawide angle and telephoto options that now are common on high-end phones.

Still, much of the improvement in smartphone photography relies on changes that are less visible. Faster processors, including graphics processing units, image processors and AI accelerators, are critical to new computational photography software that’s core to the smartphone photography revolution.

A front and back view of Apple's purple iPhone 14 Pro

Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro has three rear-facing cameras.

Apple; Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

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