Digital photographers coined the term “pixel peepers” years ago to denote — mostly with scorn — people who focused on flaws in the individual dots that create photos rather than the entirety of the images. Zooming in to 100%, it was said, is nothing but a recipe for perpetual disappointment; instead, judge each camera by the overall quality of the photo it takes, and don’t get too mired in the details.

Until now, Apple’s approach to digital photography has been defined by its commitment to improving the quality of the big picture without further compromising pixel-level quality. I say “further” because there’s no getting around the fact that tiny phone camera sensors are physically incapable of matching the pixel-level results of full-frame DSLR camera sensors

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