The new iPhone 12 Pro was released today and we took it for a first test drive
Finally getting to test ProCamera on a brand new iPhone is always exciting – and this year’s release doesn’t disappoint!
DESIGN & ERGONOMICS
The obvious optical difference is the refreshed flat-edge design of the new iPhones which seems to pay homage to the iPhone 4 and 5 era. Once you hold the device in your hand you immediately notice how slim the new devices are. Overall, the 12 Pro feels great in hand and boasts excellent build quality.
Side note: In case you are regularly using any kind of clamp to attach your iPhone to a tripod, the completely flat edges will also come in handy.
FIRST TEST PHOTOS
Even though it was a cold, gray and very rainy day, we wanted to take the new device outside to take some real world sample photos. By comparing it to photos taken with last year’s iPhone 11, we became aware of some major differences.
a) IMPROVED ULTRA WIDE LENS
The ultra wide photos (0.5x lens) of the iPhone 12 Pro are sharper and a lot more detailed compared to the previous version. Let’s zoom in on one of our comparison shots to see the difference:
b) WIDER APERTURE FOR 1X LENS
On paper, the switch from f/1.8 to f/1.6 for the wide lens doesn’t seem like a lot. In practice, it allows the camera to utilize a shorter exposure time and/or lower ISO value while still sustaining the same overall brightness in the image. This translates into a lower risk of camera shake and even less image noise.
A wider aperture also means a shallower depth of field. So when you are focusing on a very close object the natural background blur will be a little bit more pronounced – for even more bokeh, we naturally also offer the Portrait Mode on all new devices.
b) AMAZING LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE
When taking photos in low light using a tripod, all new lenses will present brilliant images. It’s amazing to see how the noise is virtually gone and how much more fine details are captured on the iPhone 12 Pro.
It’s a great time for iPhone photography. Make sure to regularly check our blog, amazing new things are on the way!
- Internally, we will do a lot more tests to really get a feel for the new camera, lenses and sensors
- For our users, we will ship a brand new ProCamera update (v14.0.2) over the weekend that brings official support for the new devices
- We can’t wait to get our hands on a iPhone 12 Pro Max (bigger sensor + 2.5x Tele lens) and the upcoming Apple ProRAW already sounds like a major innovation!
UPDATE: THE iPHONE 12 PRO MAX IS HERE
The iPhone 12 Pro Max is all about superlatives: Bigger camera sensor, bigger screen, bigger battery
Maybe our side-by-side shot of all the new devices helps you receive an impression of the novel Pro Max dimensions. The 12 Pro Max is the biggest iPhone ever produced. It measures 6.33″ x 3.07″ (160.8 x 78.1 mm) and weighs 8.03 ounces (228 grams). For comparison, the standard iPhone 12 weighs 5.78 ounces (164 grams). The fact that even the 12 Pro Max has the same device depth of only 0.29 inch (7.4 mm) – like all the other new devices – definitely makes it feel elegant and less clunky.
AN iPHONE WITH A 6.7″ DISPLAY
It’s always nice to have a larger camera sensor, larger battery, and a larger screen – especially when it’s a super Retina XDR display – but how does an enlarged device hold up in everyday situations? That’s more of a personal question and one that is easiest to answer when you are holding the Pro Max in your own hands. Depending on your pants, fitting it in your pockets might be tricky and two-handed operation will be the norm for many users.
12 PRO MAX CAMERA SYSTEM
Let’s go on to the really exciting part, the unique camera system of the 12 Pro Max:
- The Tele camera is now offering 2.5x optical zoom
- The Wide camera boasts a 47% larger sensor
- New sensor-shift optical image stabilization
TELE LENS (2.5x)
The new Tele lens now offers optical 2.5x zoom, which approximately equals a traditional 64 mm lens (full frame camera equivalent). This means, you have three very different options when shooting with the new triple lens setup. The long focal length is great for anyone who likes to zoom in or heavily crops images in post. The Tele camera delivers full 12 MP files – like all the other built-in lenses.
Holding your iPhone as stable as possible when photographing is especially important when using longer lenses like the new 2.5x. The switch to 2.5x from the usual 2x is also accompanied with a slight jump from f/2.0 to f/2.2 on the 12 Pro Max, which makes the Tele photos a little more prone to camera shake in low light situations.
WIDE LENS (1x)
As mentioned before, the sensor of the 1x camera is 47% bigger on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. By keeping the resolution at 12 MP, this paves the way for “bigger pixels”. In other words, the sensor can collect more light which equals more real image information and less noise.
For our first test photos taken at midday, there wasn’t a lot of difference to spot. This surprised us a little when we compared the 12 Pro Max with the Wide camera of the iPhone 12 Pro. It only began around sunset, as the exposure times got longer and the ISO numbers increased when the 12 Pro Max could demonstrate its strength. In low light situations, you will be able to get cleaner photos with more detail and less noise.
We are excited to continue our internal camera tests with all the shiny new iPhones. All in all, the new lineup is another significant step forward for mobile photography and ProCamera is a great match for the new pro camera systems of the iPhone 12 generation. With the innovative ProRAW file format on the horizon, another ProCamera update is already in the works so you can get even more out of the new flagship devices!