Raymond Wong shot a bunch of great camera comparisons for his Input review. He was annoyed by the same jarring automatic switch between the 1× to 0.5× lens when entering or leaving macro mode that I mentioned in my review:
I welcome greater detail for close-ups and it’s clever that Apple
is using the ultra-wide to augment the 1× wide and 3× telephoto at
short distances, but the transitioning of cameras is disorienting.
Apple makes no mention of this camera switching/augmenting on its
iPhone 13 Pro website. I get that it’s supposed to be one of those
“it just works” features. At least that was Apple’s intention I’m
told, but it just doesn’t.
Here’s a screen recording of the automatic camera switching in
action. In this shot, I was trying to frame these delicious soup
dumplings using the grid. Holding the iPhone 13 Pro still, you can
see the 1× wide switching to another slightly different FOV that’s
using the ultra-wide autofocusing. The viewfinder keeps jittering
as it tries to choose between a regular wide or wide-macro shot. A
regular person wouldn’t look at this and think to themselves, this
is normal. They’d look at the jittering and think something is
broken with their iPhone camera. The framing should never change
from what you compose and never automatically.
Wong’s screen recording illustrates the issue perfectly.
When I first pressed Apple and made them aware of the jarring
camera switching, I was told it’s how the camera system works. On
the eve of this review, Apple changed course and said it’s going
to release a software update to let users disable the camera
switching. According to Apple:
A new setting will be added in a software update this fall to turn
off automatic camera switching when shooting at close distances
for macro photography and video.