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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Selfie test

This device has been retested in the latest version of our protocol. This summary has been fully updated. For detailed information, check the What’s New article
OTHER AVAILABLE TESTS FOR THIS DEVICE

We put the Apple iPhone 13 Pro through our rigorous DXOMARK Selfie test suite to measure its performance in photo and video from an end-user perspective. This article breaks down how the device fared in a variety of tests and several common use cases and is intended to highlight the most important results of our testing with an extract of the captured data.

Overview

Key front camera specifications:

  • 12 MP 1/3.6″ sensor, 23 mm equivalent f/2.2-aperture lens
  • 3D sensor
  • Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field (1080p at 30 fps)
  • HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps; 4K video recording at 24/ 25/ 30/ 60 fps; 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps

Scoring

Sub-scores and attributes included in the calculations of the global score.


Apple iPhone 13 Pro
134
selfie
128
photo
86

92

84

100

91

97

72

79

62

90

83

87

73

93

75

80

143
video
86

Best

87

90

89

92

73

97

56

83

87

92

78

82

Pros

  • Accurate target exposure on face
  • Wide depth of field
  • High level of detail in indoor and outdoor conditions
  • Quite accurate depth estimation
  • Wide dynamic range and accurate target exposure in video
  • Accurate video white balance
  • Wide focus range means all subjects are in focus in group video selfies.

Cons

  • Luminance noise
  • Occasionally inaccurate skin tones, especially in backlit indoor scenes
  • Slight anamorphosis artifacts (perspective distortion on faces)
  • Low subject exposure when using the flash
  • High noise levels in video, especially in low light
  • Residual motion in walking videos
  • Loss of detail in low-light videos

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro makes it into the upper regions but not quite to the top of the DXOMARK Selfie ranking. Overall performance is very similar to last year’s iPhone 12 series — not a surprise given the similar front camera hardware.

Still, Apple has managed to improve things slightly, thanks to accurate subject exposure, a wide depth of field, and good detail in bright light and indoor shooting. On the downside, the 13 Pro is a little noisier than its predecessor.

The difference is a little more noticeable for video, making the iPhone 13 Pro one of the best devices in this category. For Video, Apple managed to improve exposure, and the color response is now more stable. The new device also has a wider dynamic range in video.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Selfie Scores vs Ultra-Premium
This graph compares overall photo and video DXOMARK Selfie scores between tested devices and references. Average and maximum scores of the price segment are also indicated. Average and maximum scores for each price segment are computed based on the DXOMARK database of devices.

Test summary

About DXOMARK Selfie tests: For scoring and analysis, DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 1,500 test images both in controlled lab environments and in outdoor, indoor and low-light natural scenes, using the front camera’s default settings. The photo protocol is designed to take into account the user’s needs and is based on typical shooting scenarios, such as close-up and group selfies. The evaluation is performed by visually inspecting images against a reference of natural scenes, and by running objective measurements on images of charts captured in the lab under different lighting conditions from 1 to 1,000+ lux and color temperatures from 2,300K to 6,500K. For more information about the DXOMARK Selfie test protocol, click here. More details on how we score smartphone cameras are available here. The following section gathers key elements of DXOMARK’s exhaustive tests and analyses .Full performance evaluations are available upon request. Please contact us on how to receive a full report.

Photo

128

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

144

Huawei P50 Pro
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Photo scores vs Ultra-Premium
The photo tests analyze image quality attributes such as exposure, color, texture, and noise in various light conditions. Range of focus and the presence of artifacts on all images captured in controlled lab conditions and in real-life images are also evaluated. All these attributes have a significant impact on the final quality of the images captured with the tested device and can help to understand the camera's main strengths and weaknesses.

Exposure

86

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

92

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Color

84

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

100

Google Pixel 6 Pro

Exposure and color are the key attributes for technically good pictures. For exposure, the main attribute evaluated is the brightness of the face(s) in various use cases and light conditions. Other factors evaluated are the contrast and the dynamic range, eg. the ability to render visible details in both bright and dark areas of the image. Repeatability is also important because it demonstrates the camera's ability to provide the same rendering when shooting consecutive images in a row.
For color, the image quality attributes analyzed are skin-tone rendering, white balance, color shading, and repeatability.

Target exposure on the face is generally accurate. These samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s exposure performance in an outdoor scene.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, accurate target exposure for the face
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, accurate target exposure for the face
Huawei P50 Pro, accurate target exposure for the face

Color is generally good but our testers observed some inaccuracies in backlit mixed lighting conditions. These samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s color performance in an indoor scene.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, orange skin tone rendering
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, orange skin tone rendering
Huawei P50 Pro, accurate skin tone rendering

Focus

91

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

97

Huawei P50 Pro

Autofocus tests evaluate the accuracy of the focus on the subject’s face, the repeatability of an accurate focus, and the depth of field. While a shallow depth of field can be pleasant for a single-subject selfie or close-up shot, it can be problematic in specific conditions such as group selfies; both situations are tested. Focus accuracy is also evaluated in all the real-life images taken, from 30cm to 150cm, and in low light to outdoor conditions.

This graph compares the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s focus performance at varying subject distances.

The iPhone 13 Pro’s fixed-focus lens captures high levels of acutance at all distances

Texture

72

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

79

Asus ZenFone 7 Pro

Texture tests analyze the level of details and the texture of subjects in the images taken in the lab as well as in real-life scenarios. For natural shots, particular attention is paid to the level of details in facial features, such as the eyes. Objective measurements are performed on chart images taken in various lighting conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and different kinds of dynamic range conditions. The charts used are the proprietary DXOMARK chart (DMC) and the Dead Leaves chart.

This graph shows the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s texture performance in the lab across different light levels.

Texture comparison: High levels of detail are generally captured in outdoor (1000 lux) and indoor (100 lux) lighting conditions.

These samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s texture performance in an outdoor selfie at a shooting distance of 55 cm.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, texture, 55 cm
Apple iPhone 13 Pro, crop: high level of detail
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, texture, 55 cm
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, crop: high level of detail
Huawei P50 Pro, texture, 55 cm
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: high level of detail

Noise

62

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

90

Huawei P40 Pro

Noise tests analyze various attributes of noise such as intensity, chromaticity, grain, and structure on real-life images as well as images of charts taken in the lab. For natural images, particular attention is paid to the noise on faces, but also on dark areas and high dynamic range conditions. Objective measurements are performed on images of charts taken in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux and different kinds of dynamic range conditions. The chart used is the DXOMARK Dead Leaves chart and the standardized measurement such as Visual Noise derived from ISO 15739.

This graph shows the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s noise performance in the lab across different light levels.

Visual noise is a metric that measures noise as perceived by end-users. It takes into account the sensitivity of the human eye to different spatial frequencies under different viewing conditions.

Noise comparison: Luminance noise is visible in most tested conditions.
These samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s noise performance under indoor lighting conditions.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro, visual noise
Apple iPhone 13 Pro, crop: noise is visible
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, visual noise
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, crop: noise is visible
Huawei P50 Pro, visual noise
Huawei P50 Pro, crop: noise is well-controlled

 

Artifacts

83

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

87

Google Pixel 6 Pro

The artifacts evaluation looks at lens shading, chromatic aberrations, distortion measurement on the Dot chart and MTF, and ringing measurements on the SFR chart in the lab. Particular attention is paid to ghosting, quantization, halos, and hue shifts on the face among others. The more severe and the more frequent the artifact, the higher the point deduction on the score. The main artifacts observed and corresponding point loss are listed below.

These samples show slight instabilities in distortion correction over consecutive shots. The camera was mounted on a tripod to capture these samples. If you look closely at the edges you can see the field of view is slightly wider on the left image.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, slightly wider field of view
Apple iPhone 13 Pro, slightly narrower field of view
Main photo artifacts penalties

Bokeh

75

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

80

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Bokeh is tested in one dedicated mode, usually portrait or aperture mode, and analyzed by visually inspecting all the images captured in the lab and in natural conditions. The goal is to reproduce portrait photography comparable to one taken with a DSLR and a wide aperture. The main image quality attributes paid attention to are depth estimation, artifacts, blur gradient, and the shape of the bokeh blur spotlights. Portrait image quality attributes (exposure, color, texture) are also taken into account.

These samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s bokeh mode performance in an outdoor scene.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, accurate depth estimation for the subject
Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, similar results to the iPhone 13 Pro
Huawei P50 Pro, no blur gradient but very good depth estimation

Video

143

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

154

Apple iPhone 14 Pro
About DXOMARK Selfie Video tests

DXOMARK engineers capture and evaluate more than 2 hours of video in controlled lab environments and in natural low-light, indoor and outdoor scenes, using the front camera’s default settings. The evaluation consists of visually inspecting natural videos taken in various conditions and running objective measurements on videos of charts recorded in the lab under different conditions from 1 to 1000+ lux and color temperatures from 2,300K to 6,500K.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Video scores vs Ultra-Premium
Video tests analyze the same image quality attributes as for still images, such as exposure, color, texture, or noise, in addition to temporal aspects such as speed, smoothness, and stability of exposure, white balance, and autofocus transitions.

The Apple iPhone 13 Pro achieves a Selfie Video score of 95. A device’s overall Video score is derived from its performance and results across a range of attributes in the same way as the Photo score. In this section, we take a closer look at these sub-scores and compare video image quality against competitors.

Exposure

86

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

Best

Color

87

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

90

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Exposure tests evaluate the brightness of the face and the dynamic range, eg. the ability to render visible details in both bright and dark areas of the image. Stability and temporal adaption of the exposure are also analyzed. Image-quality color analysis looks at skin-tone rendering, white balance, color shading, stability of the white balance and its adaption when light is changing.

These video samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s video exposure performance under indoor lighting conditions.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, accurate target exposure with wide dynamic range. Exposure adaption is also fast and smooth with no visible instabilities

Huawei P50 Pro, lower face exposure

These video samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s video color performance in an outdoor scene.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, pleasant and natural skin tone rendering with neutral white balance

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, very similar to the iPhone 13 Pro with slightly higher saturation

Huawei P50 Pro, cold white balance with inaccurate rendering on fair to medium skin types

Texture

73

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

97

Asus ZenFone 6

Texture tests analyze the level of details and texture of the real-life videos as well as the videos of charts recorded in the lab. Natural video recordings are visually evaluated, with particular attention paid to the level of detail on the facial features. Objective measurements are performed of images of charts taken in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux. The chart used is the Dead Leaves chart.

Texture acutance evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of texture acutance with the level of lux for two holding conditions. The texture acutance is measured on the Dead Leaves chart in the Close-up Dead Leaves setup.

Texture preservation in video is good, but slightly surpassed by the other devices in this comparison.

These video samples show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s video texture performance under 100 lux lighting conditions and a distance of 55cm in the lab.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, the level of detail is good, but lower than the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon)

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, the level of detail is good, but lower than the Apple iPhone 13 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G (Snapdragon), high level of texture with lots of fine detail captured

Noise

56

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

83

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra

Noise tests analyze various attributes of noise such as intensity, chromaticity, grain, structure, temporal aspects on real-life video recording as well as videos of charts taken in the lab. Natural videos are visually evaluated, with particular attention paid to the noise on faces. Objective measurements are performed on the videos of charts recorded in various conditions from 1 to 1000 lux. The chart used is the DXOMARK visual noise chart.

Spatial visual noise evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of spatial visual noise with the level of lux. Spatial visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup. DXOMARK visual noise measurement is derived from ISO15739 standard.
Temporal visual noise evolution with the illuminance level
This graph shows the evolution of temporal visual noise with the level of lux. Temporal visual noise is measured on the visual noise chart in the video noise setup.

These video stills show the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s video noise performance in indoor light conditions.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, strong luminance noise is visible in all conditions and especially in low light

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, strong luminance noise is also visible but it’s slightly better than on the 13 Pro

Huawei P50 Pro, noise reduction is very efficient, even in extreme low light videos

Stabilization

78

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

82

Apple iPhone 14 Pro

Stabilization evaluation tests the ability of the device to stabilize footage thanks to software or hardware technologies such as OIS, EIS, or any others means. The evaluation looks at overall residual motion on the face and the background, smoothness and jellow artifacts, during walk and paning use cases in various lighting conditions. The video below is an extract from one of the tested scenes.

This sample clip shows the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s video stabilization in outdoor conditions.

Apple iPhone 13 Pro, some residual motion is visible in the background on videos captured whilst walking

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max, very similar stabilization behavior to the Apple iPhone 13 Pro

Huawei P50 Pro, stabilization is more effective compared to both iPhones with less residual motion visible

Artifacts

87

Apple iPhone 13 Pro

92

Apple iPhone 12 mini

Artifacts are evaluated with MTF and ringing measurements on the SFR chart in the lab as well as frame-rate measurements using the LED Universal Timer. Natural videos are visually evaluated by paying particular attention to artifacts such as quantization, hue shift, and face-rendering artifacts among others. The more severe and the more frequent the artifact, the higher the point deduction from the score. The main artifacts and corresponding point loss are listed below

Main video artifacts penalties

This graph shows the Apple iPhone 13 Pro’s ringing video output. This curve displays the normalized edge profile of the maximum ringing in the field.

Ringing: lab measurements show the iPhone 13 Pro displays more ringing than some of its competitors but no other serious artifacts are visible in its videos

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