More Photographic Power
The iPhone 12 Pro models naturally feature the same A14 chip as their iPhone 12 counterparts, although Apple is putting this to even stronger use in its flagship iPhones in order to bring actually professional-grade photography to the table.
As with the iPhone 12, the A14 means that features like Night Mode and Deep Fusion will be coming to all of the cameras, including the front TrueDepth camera. While Apple chose the iPhone 12 Pro announcement to talk about Deep Fusion, as with the iPhone 11 last year, this feature is available on the iPhone 12 as well as the iPhone 12 Pro.
However, that’s about where the camera similarities end, since while the iPhone 12 Pro still only sports a three-lens camera system, Apple has not only given the sensors a healthy upgrade, but for the first time since the 2017 iPhone 8 Plus, it’s once again set the “Max” model apart with a better camera.
While the main lens on both models gets an upgrade that follows the same change on the iPhone 12 — an f/1.6 7-element lens — the two models depart when it comes to the capabilities in the telephoto lens. While the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro says with a 52mm f/2.0 6-element lens that’s similar to last year’s model (although likely with a slightly upgraded sensor), the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max moves to a 65mm f/2.2 lens that offers a bump to a 2.5x optical zoom.
To be clear, during the keynote Apple described these as 4x and 5x zoom ranges, however it’s referring to the entire lens system here, since the ultra-wide provides a negative 2x zoom — the ability to zoom out. In other words, the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro will let you zoom out 2x using the ultra-wide, and in 2x using the telephoto, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which has the same ultra-wide lens can zoom out by 2x, but in by 2.5x thanks to its 65mm lens.
It’s actually a somewhat subtle difference overall, but it does provide for additional framing options without having to resort to digital zoom, and by extension also means that iPhone 12 Pro Max users will be able to get a total digital zoom range of up to 12x, versus the 10x shared by both iPhone 11 Pro models and the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro, so you will be able to get even closer shots either way.
In addition, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has also gained a 47 percent larger sensor (1.7µm) which gives it an 87 percent improvement in low light conditions.
Apple has also implemented new optical image stabilization technology on the iPhone 12 Pro, using the DSLR “Sensor-Shift” approach to apply stabilization to the sensor instead of the lens, which will have the advantage of cancelling out both normal handshaking movements to even higher-frequency shifts like vibrations from a moving car. Thanks to the A14 chip, the iPhone 12 Pro is capable of making up to 5,000. micro-adjustments per second.