The iPhone 5c was released along with the iPhone 5s as a lower-cost addition to the iPhone 5 family. Instead of using a an aluminum back, it used a polycarbonate shell in one of five colors: white, blue, green, yellow, and pink. All colors used a black glass front. This example is yellow.
The iPhone 5c used the same screen and cameras as the iPhone 5s released at the same time. Its touch screen was a Retina display (1136 x 640). The back camera was an 8-megapixel iSight camera (1080p), and the front camera was a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera (720p).
Internally, the iPhone 5c used an A6 processor at 1.3 GHz. Its internal storage included 8, 16, or 32 GB. Also like the iPhone 5s, wireless connections included 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4G/LTE. Wired connections included the Lightning connector and a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack.
The similarities in features between the iPhone 5c and other iPhone 5 models—along with the iPhone 5c’s color choices and lower price—made this iPhone a popular choice.
The original iPhone was officially announced on January 9, 2007, and was released on June 29, 2007. The original iPhone was available in 4, and 8 GB capacities, with a 16 GB capacity released on February 5, 2008.
The original iPhone introduced the “multi-touch” display that allowed control by dragging one or more fingers across the glass display, although no interface controls required multiple fingers in the iPhone OS 1.0. This iPhone has sensors including an accelerometer (to detect landscape or portrait orientation), an ambient light sensor (to control screen brightness), and a proximity sensor (to turn off the display when held to the ear).
Other features included Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), EDGE, Bluetooth 2.0, and a 2.0 megapixel camera. The case is 2.4 inches by 4.5 inches, is 0.46-inch thick, and weighs 4.8 ounces.
This example is in somewhat rough shape cosmetically, but still functions perfectly. It includes the charging base station that shipped with the original iPhone.
The iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe was designed for the iPhone 12 line and used Apple’s MagSafe connector to attach to the back of iPhone model after the iPhone 12.
This iPhone Leather Wallet was updated from the original design and now includes Find My support. However, the Find My support is limited, compared to other devices that use the technology. An AppleInsider review noted, “You can’t track your wallet, you can’t use the U1 chip to track where it was left, and you can’t make it emit a noise. You can merely get a pin of its last connected location.”
Apple described the Leather Wallet:
“Designed with both style and function in mind, the new iPhone Leather Wallet with MagSafe is the perfect way to keep your ID and credit cards close at hand. It now supports Find My, so you can be notified of your wallet’s last known location if it gets separated from your phone. Crafted from specially tanned and finished European leather, the wallet features strong built-in magnets that allow it to effortlessly snap into place on the back of your iPhone. You can even stack it on top of a case with MagSafe to create a look that’s unique to you. The leather wallet supports up to three cards and is shielded so it’s safe for credit cards.”
The iPhone 14 Pro was announced on September 7, 2022; began pre-orders on Friday, September 9, 2022; and was available beginning Friday, September 16, 2022. Apple’s website led with the following description of the iPhone 14 Pro:
“A magical new way to interact with iPhone. Groundbreaking safety features designed to save lives. An innovative 48MP camera for mind-blowing detail. All powered by the ultimate smartphone chip.”
The primary new technologies used in the iPhone 14 Pro included: “Always-On display, the first-ever 48MP camera on iPhone, Crash Detection, Emergency SOS via satellite, and an innovative new way to receive notifications and activities with the Dynamic Island.”
The four colors available at release were deep purple, silver, gold, and space black. The iPhone 14 Pro had a 6.1-inch “Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion” with an Always-On display (for the first time on an iPhone) that used a 1Hz refresh rate with power-efficient technologies. In practice, the Always-On display faded to a dim/dark version of the Wallpaper and allowed the time and up to four widgets to show (a widget above the time and up to 3 below the time). Other “Live Activities” showed in the bottom two-thirds of the Lock screen, including alerts and play/pause options for media.
The iPhone 14 Pro also delivered “the highest outdoor peak brightness in a smartphone: up to 2000 nits, which is twice as bright as iPhone 13 Pro.”
The Dynamic Island was also introduced in the iPhone 14 Pro. The design of this iPhone removed the “notch” that had been used since the iPhone X and moved the functions slightly lower into a pill shape. Apple described the Dynamic Island system as one “that blends the line between hardware and software, adapting in real time to show important alerts, notifications, and activities. With the introduction of the Dynamic Island, the TrueDepth camera has been redesigned to take up less of the display area.”
Apple continued, “Without impeding content on the screen, the Dynamic Island maintains an active state to allow users easier access to controls with a simple tap-and-hold. Ongoing background activities like Maps, Music, or a timer remain visible and interactive, and third-party apps in iOS 16 that provide information like sports scores and ride-sharing with Live Activities can take advantage of the Dynamic Island.”
The iPhone 14 Pro camera system added a 2x camera (in addition to the 0.5x, 1x, and 3x options on the iPhone 13 Pro). The iPhone 14 Pro also offered a new “48MP Main camera with a quad-pixel sensor that adapts to the photo being captured, and features second-generation sensor-shift optical image stabilization.”
Other new camera features included a front TrueDepth camera with an ƒ/1.9 aperture for better low-light photos and video, adaptive True Tone flash with an array of nine LEDs, and Action mode for “incredibly smooth-looking video that adjusts to significant shakes, motion, and vibrations, even when video is being captured.”
All iPhone 14 models added Crash Detection that used a variety of built-in sensors (dual-core accelerometer, gyroscope, barometer, GPS, and microphone) to “detect a severe car crash and automatically dial emergency services when a user is unconscious or unable to reach their iPhone.” Additionally, Emergency SOS via satellite was added, “which combines custom components…to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.”
The iPhone 14 Pro models are powered by the A16 Bionic chip that includes two high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores, an accelerated 5-core GPU with 50% more memory bandwidth, and a new 16-core Neural Engine capable of nearly 17 trillion operations per second.
Many of the new features of the iPhone 14 Pro were enabled by iOS 16, released along with the entire iPhone 14 line.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max Clear Case with MagSafe is “Crafted with a blend of optically clear polycarbonate and flexible materials, the case fits right over the buttons for easy use. On the surface, a scratch-resistant coating has been applied to both the interior and exterior. And all materials and coatings are optimized to prevent yellowing over time.”
The sides of the case use a more flexible, rubber-like material to allow for a better grip, while the back of the case is more rigid.
The case also includes MagSafe magnets that extend the functionality of MagSafe built into the iPhone through the case. Apple described the functionality: “With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 14 Pro Max, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
I have used Apple’s clear cases since the iPhone X. As Apple indicates, the cases have not yellowed significantly over time.
The iPhone 13 Pro Silicone Case was “Designed by Apple to complement iPhone 13 Pro, the Silicone Case with MagSafe is a delightful way to protect your iPhone. The silky, soft-touch finish of the silicone exterior feels great in your hand. And on the inside, there’s a soft microfiber lining for even more protection.”
The case also included MagSafe magnets that extended the functionality of MagSafe built into the iPhone through the case. Apple described the functionality:
“With built-in magnets that align perfectly with iPhone 13 Pro, this case offers a magical attach experience and faster wireless charging, every time. When it’s time to charge, just leave the case on your iPhone and snap on your MagSafe charger, or set it on your Qi-certified charger.”
This iPhone 13 Pro Silicone Case is red and part of Apple’s (PRODUCT)RED line of products. In 2021–2022, Apple changed the (PRODUCT)RED statement to include the support of COVID-19: “Every (PRODUCT)RED purchase contributes equally to the fight to end AIDS and its impact from COVID-19.” Additional information specified that “A portion of the proceeds from every (PRODUCT)RED purchase goes to the Global Fund to fight AIDS with (RED). From now until December 31, 2022, half of those proceeds will go to the Global Fund’s COVID-19 Response to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the fight to end AIDS.”
The MagSafe Battery Pack was introduced in July 2021. The battery pack can be attached to the back of any iPhone with MagSafe charging, including all iPhone 12 and 13 models. The product is designed “to quickly and safely wirelessly charge iPhone models with MagSafe, giving you more time to use your device.”
Apple describes the product:
“Attaching the MagSafe Battery Pack is a snap. Its compact, intuitive design makes on-the-go charging easy. The perfectly aligned magnets keep it attached to your iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro — providing safe and reliable wireless charging. And it automatically charges, so there’s no need to turn it on or off. There’s no interference with your credit cards or key fobs either.”
Like other Apple charging products of the time, they do not function out of the box and require a charging brick that is sold separately. Since so many charging bricks are available, the topic of charging the charger can be confusing and requires a full tech support document that states, “your MagSafe Battery Pack can charge your iPhone with up to 5W of power. If connected to a 20W or higher power source, it can charge with up to 15W of power.”
The MagSafe Battery Pack provides additional charge capacity to an iPhone based on the model and many other factors, including settings, usage, and environmental conditions. Apple specifies that the battery pack provides:
Up to 70% additional charge with iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini and MagSafe Battery Pack
Up to 60% additional charge with iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 and MagSafe Battery Pack
Up to 60% additional charge with iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro and MagSafe Battery Pack
Up to 40% additional charge with iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 13 Pro Max and MagSafe Battery Pack
The MagSafe Battery Pack is the exact width of the iPhone 12/13 mini (with matching curved corners) so it fits all models of the iPhone 12/ 13, iPhone Pro 12/13 and iPhone Pro Max 12/13.
Although the product is referred to on the Apple website and on the bottom of the package as the “MagSafe Battery Pack,” the front of the package identifies it as an “iPhone Battery Pack MageSafe” and the “iPhone Battery Pack” on the back.
Apple’s MagSafe Duo Charger is a compact, square-shaped charger for the iPhone (or other Qi-certified devices) and the Apple Watch. According to Apple: “The MagSafe Duo Charger conveniently charges your compatible iPhone, Apple Watch, Wireless Charging Case for AirPods, and other Qi-certified devices. Just place your devices on the charger and a steady, efficient charge begins on contact. The charger folds together neatly so you can easily take it with you wherever you go.”
The charger ships with the MagSafe Duo Charger and a 1 m USB-C to Lightning Cable, but no charging brick. Therefore, the MagSafe Duo Charger does not charge out of the box without pairing it with an existing plug.
An Apple Support article specifies that “Your MagSafe Duo Charger is designed to work with all iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, all Apple Watch models, Apple MagSafe accessories, and Qi-certified devices and accessories.” The article goes on to state that you should “Use the included USB-C to Lightning cable to plug in your MagSafe Duo Charger to a recommended 20 watt (W) or greater Apple USB-C power adapter,” but the “Apple 29W USB-C Power Adapter isn’t compatible with the MagSafe Duo Charger.”
The Apple Watch charging side “…can charge your Apple Watch in a flat position with its band open, or on its side, by lifting the inductive charging connector. When docked on its side, your Apple Watch automatically goes into nightstand mode, so you can also use it as your alarm clock.”
Shortly after I received my iPhone 13 Pro that included several new impressive camera upgrades, I wondered if the iPhone camera system had yet improved to the point that it could meet or exceed my Nikon D3500 for my Apple collection photography. While I am by no means a professional-level photographer, I have captured tens of thousands photos of my Apple hardware and collectibles over the past few years, and then edited and posted the results here on my Apple Collection website and blog.
Nearly all the photos on this website were captured with a Nikon D3500 with a basic lens. In fact, it took me about a year to learn how to use this camera—my first Digital SLR. I consulted several websites, a book, and YouTube videos to learn the many methods I now use regularly. I shoot the photos in my relatively low-cost home photography studio. While I originally set out to spend less than $100 on the lighting, backdrop, and table, I upgraded my lighting after two years to bring the total investment to about $150.
As an Apple Collector, I find the idea attractive to use an Apple camera to capture my Apple collection, but this has never been a goal. I decided to shoot photos of one collection item with both the iPhone 13 Pro and the Nikon D3500. The item selected was my recently purchased iPad Pro 11-inch with the M1 chip. The photo session includes the unboxing and the device.
Here’s what I learned.
At first, using the iPhone 13 Pro seemed more liberating than the Nikon D3500 because shooting with a phone seemed a bit more nimble than the larger camera. The iPhone screen is considerably larger than the Nikon’s viewfinder and display—and the iPhone shows a better representation of the subject in real time, especially when viewing the depth of field effects rendered with the iPhone 13 Pro.
I changed my mind when I started using the iPhone 13 Pro’s touted Macro features. As it turns out, when you get close to an object with the iPhone 13 Pro, the phone casts a shadow from the studio lights, making the photos nearly unusable without readjusting all my lighting. On the Nikon, I just twist to zoom the lens. While I generally don’t capture many Macro shots, I’d definitely consider adding more if it was easy to do so.
That being said, a few of the Macro shots I captured from the iPhone 13 Pro were impressive after a bit of light fussing.
Macro Lens Issue
When the initial reviews for the iPhone 13 Pro started getting posted, I read about one particular problem with incredulity—the issue of the iPhone camera switching frames when moving between the “regular” camera lens and the Macro lens. Very often, reviewers over-state issues as major problems that turn out to be very minor annoyances. Unfortunately, this is not one of those times.
Reviewer Raymond Wong for inputmag.com states the issue well: “…if you have your iPhone 13 Pro camera set to the 1x wide camera and place an object or a subject within 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) of it, the viewfinder will maintain the 1x framing/composition but use the ultrawide’s close-range autofocusing in tandem. You can literally see the viewfinder flicker/pop and ‘switch’ to this hybrid viewfinder.”
In my experience, Mr. Wong may have understated this problem. When I attempted to frame my Macro shots, I moved the lens to the 2cm zone where I expected the Macro feature to engage, and the iPhone not only reframed my shot, but when the lens changed, I was unable to re-locate the part of the subject I wanted to capture.
How does this happen, you might ask?
If you are shooting, for instance, the overall texture of a surface, getting 2cm from the surface and having the camera system switch to a different lens is not much an issue since the surface you are shooting covers the area still viewable by all the camera lenses. However, if you are attempting to photograph a detail that’s just a few millimeters wide, getting the lens within 2cm and then having then lens switch to a different lens that’s about 2cm away, you have now lost your subject! Most of the time, I couldn’t find the subject again—AND the lenses kept switching as I was attempting to re-locate the subject.
IT WAS INFURIATING, but Apple claims to have a fix for this coming.
For both photo shoots, I used the exact same lighting comprised of my three lighting sources: two bright daylight CFL studio lighting bulbs behind a filter (the primary lighting source), two non-filtered daylight CFL studio lighting bulbs providing mostly indirect lighting on the white backdrop, and two LED bulbs providing a “wash” from below my white backdrop. I occasionally use these old LED Philips Hue bulbs to provide a color wash on the backdrop, but they mostly are set to a pure white to match the studio lighting bulbs.
Despite the fact that the lighting was exactly the same for both cameras, the iPhone 12 Pro photos delivered very inconsistent backgrounds compared to the Nikon D3500.
Far more concerning to me, the iPhone 13 Pro captured the light from the Hue bulbs differently in every shot. Although the bulbs are set to pure white, the iPhone somehow captured the cycling individual colors of the LED bulbs. One shot shows this in detail where the background shows color bands of yellow, pink, and blue in distinct stripes of color. At the same time, all lighting looked far darker on the iPhone 13 Pro.
When editing, the only way to remove these odd colorations was to either greatly desaturate the iPhone photos or switch them to black-and-white. To be fair, the Nikon is not blameless in casting odd colors. However, when the D3500 casts color, it is usually yellow—it has never delivered color bands or multiple color casts in the same photo.
Surprise and Delight
When I set out to try the iPhone 13 Pro camera, I was thinking about capturing photos, not using the other features offered by the iPhone 13 Pro and iOS 15. One particular feature truly surprised and delighted me: Live Text.
As I shot the packaging for the iPad 11 Pro, the iPhone’s new Live Text feature immediately “read” and displayed the text on the box—and interpreted the printed text perfectly. Since my collection includes mostly old Apple items that may no longer be online (or difficult to find), my sources are sometimes limited to what’s printed on a box or included in a manual. The iOS 15 Live Text feature allows me to capture a photo of any text and instantly have the ability to select, copy, and paste the text from my photo and use it in my accompanying blog post. Live Text will save countless hours in the future when photographing new items when only printed information is available.
Incidentally, Live Text also perfectly interpreted a printed serial number. I capture serial numbers for every item in my collection, and I dread doing so since they are generally difficult to read and prone to transposition errors. This will make the activity far more palatable.
I was not expecting to consider using Live Text, and the feature is exceptionally useful.
When comparing the photos from the two camera devices, the overall photo quality is the most important aspect of this exercise. I am surprised by the significant differences between the devices.
While the iPhone 13 Pro photos show an impressive sharpness, that sharpness appears unnatural to me. All the photos appear to use a mechanical-looking pixel pattern compared to the more natural look of the Nikon. The unnatural pixelation is especially obvious in the Macro shots.
Overall, my opinion is that the Nikon D3500 photos look better than the iPhone 13 Pro photos.
I will continue to use the Nikon D3500 for my primary Apple Collection photography.
That being said, I will definitely reach for the iPhone 13 Pro when I want a Macro shot to add to my blog post. Similarly, when shooting older product packaging and/or manuals, I will use the iPhone’s Live Text features to grab the text so I don’t have to retype it.
Overall, this verdict is neither surprising nor disappointing to me. I have always had a “pick the right tool for the job” mindset, and this situation is no different.
To see the “official” photo shoot for the iPad Pro 11 (2021) in my collection, please see this post. The photos I captured with the iPhone 13 Pro are shown below in this post.
Sincere thanks to my friend Sid for suggesting this comparison! I learned a lot here.
The iPhone 13 Pro was released in 2021 and featured upgrades to the previous iPhone 12 models, mostly in camera technology and battery life. Its display used a 6.1-inch (diagonal) Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion (2532-by-1170-pixel resolution at 460 ppi).
Upon release, the iPhone 13 Pro used Apple’s then-current A15 Bionic chip and included a 12MP camera system with three cameras: Telephoto, Wide, and Ultra Wide. The cameras allowed 3x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, and 6x optical zoom range with a digital zoom up to 15x. This iPhone added the ability for “Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field (1080p at 30 fps).” It also added the ability to capture Macro photography:
“With its redesigned lens and powerful autofocus system, the new Ultra Wide camera can focus at just 2 cm — making even the smallest details seem epic. Transform a leaf into abstract art. Capture a caterpillar’s fuzz. Magnify a dewdrop. The beauty of tiny awaits.”
For the first time, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max offered identical technical specifications—previous Pro Max models offered additional technical capabilities over the smaller Pro model. However, the Pro Max offered slightly longer battery life (due to its increased size), and a larger screen.
The iPhone 13 Pro measured 2.82 inches wide, 5.78 inches high, and 0.30 inch deep. It weighed 7.19 ounces. The size and weight specifications made the phone slightly larger and heavier than its iPhone 12 predecessors.
Apple marketed the iPhone 13 Pro with the following headlines:
“A dramatically more powerful camera system. A display so responsive, every interaction feels new again. The world’s fastest smartphone chip. Exceptional durability. And a huge leap in battery life. Let’s Pro.”
Further, well over half of the iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max main web page was devoted to new camera and video features.
The iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max was offered in four colors including Sierra Blue, Silver, Gold, and Graphite. Capacities included 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and (for the first time in an iPhone) 1TB—an option that cost $500 over the price of the base model.