In news surprising absolutely no one, the cameras on the iPhone 12 Pro Max are a ‘huge leap’
The iPhone 12 Pro Max shines at night photography.
Halide, the maker of some of the best iPhone photography apps, has got their hands on the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, and their review is pretty intense. Apple dedicated a full section of their showcase to the Pro Max, so Halide figured it was worth a separate review to the one they did on the rest of the range.
So, how did it fare? Well, the short version is that if you want the best camera that’s attached to a phone, get the Pro Max. Read on to find out why.
Now, before we go much further, know that Halide only did a deep-dive into the sensor-shift equipped lenses, and into Apple’s ProRAW image format. That’s the 47-percent bigger sensor from last year’s iPhone 11, with a faster f/1.6 aperture. It’s got sensor-shift stabilization for low-light use, 87-percent higher ISO sensitivity, and a new 65mm telephoto lens. In Halide’s words, “specs are cool,” but real-world examples really bring home why the new camera system is king.
I mean, just look at the size difference. That means more light getting to your sensor, and the larger size also means each pixel is more sensitive to that light. That’s important, because it cuts down on noise, giving you sharper images with less need for computational wizardry. That change isn’t so drastic during the day, but once the sun starts to set, oh boy. Take Halide’s word for it, “Everything changes between the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro Max the moment sunset begins. As shadows get darker and light gets dimmer, you can start seeing shifts in detail. The difference gets dramatic as the sunset progresses.”
The sensor-shift stabilization also helps with low-light performance, especially when using the new ProRAW image format, which blends some of the intelligent image tweaks from the HEIC normal images, but gives you a RAW file that’s better for post-processing. Head over to Halide’s blog post to see the many differences that the new sensor and the stabilization bring when shooting in RAW, it’s really pretty impressive.
The upshot of all of the specifications? Halide calls the iPhone 12 Pro Max “a huge leap forward in iPhone camera quality.” It can “achieve images previously only seen in dedicated cameras, with sensors four times its size.” That’s huge for mobile photography, and a compelling reason to upgrade. Given the size of the iPhone 12 Pro Max, it’s probably a compelling reason to upgrade the size of your jeans pockets as well…
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