The iPhone 12 Professional Max, tested by a talented photographer

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The tech reviewers beget spoken: the iPhone 12 Professional Max is one other astonishing iPhone camera. But impartial how ‘expert’ is it? We asked photographer Rebecca Scheinberg to employ a day capturing with the new flagship iPhone, specializing in what it would if truth be told attain. Right here is the decision.

The setup

For my day-to-day work, I shoot on a Allotment One P65 Digital Motivate which is attached to a mountainous format 5×4 camera. It be reasonably an stepped forward setup however the motive I beget that’s the usual of the Digiback and the flexibility I can beget with focusing, in particular for my composed life work. I additionally shoot on heaps of movie cameras, including a Mamiya and most incessantly on a Hasselblad.

For this test, I did not strive to favor stunning images, the employ of the camera to catch flattering imagery and video, but moderately I aimed to look at the fluctuate and limits of how the camera system on the iPhone 12 Professional Max works.

Rebecca Scheinberg

Portraits and aperture

It be mountainous for portraits and, on the total, that’s what iPhone cameras are constructed for. They’re very flattering images for folks, so I attain bear in mind that portrait images is composed their strength as against other smartphone brands. The indisputable truth that there is now a telephoto lens come you attain are inclined to catch better portraits, as a telephoto lens shall be less distorted for portraiture. It be a mixture of selecting to beget that lens in the camera and the processing.

I savor that you would possibly possibly well shift the f-cease after you would additionally beget taken the photograph. This supposed I would possibly possibly well additionally tackle capturing a respectable expression and lighting, moderately than the technical settings. The fluctuate of depth of enviornment is moderately impressive. It if truth be told works properly against a white wall with golden afternoon gentle.

Rebecca Scheinberg

That acknowledged, the adjustment does fight against a textured background at the upper aperture (F/1.4), in particular with stunning component such as the blond curls of my (very patient) associate. So the low f-cease, the put or no longer it is making an attempt to catch this shallow depth-of-enviornment put, does composed if truth be told feel savor a digital alteration. It has continuously been that come, and it bothers me, so if Apple can catch that appropriate, and I perceive or no longer it is if truth be told tricky, that shall be astonishing.

I additionally tried a selfie with the entrance-going thru camera versus a photograph of myself with the valuable rear camera. They’re very identical with reference to color accuracy and component.

Rebecca Scheinberg

Focal lengths

I was once impressed by the component in all three images: 13mm, 26mm and 66mm, left to appropriate. The 26mm got here up reasonably contrasty, with the perimeters overly defined. In the meantime the 66mm was once impressive. At 100 per cent there is heaps of component in the fur and the fabric of the cushion.

Apple iPhone 12 Professional Max: Digicam specs

Extensive: 12MP, f/1.6 aperture, twin OIS

Extremely Extensive: 12MP, f/2.4 aperture, 120 stage enviornment of gaze

Telephoto: 12MP, f/2.2 aperture, twin OIS

Optical zoom: 2.5x zoom in, 2x out, 5x ‘optical zoom fluctuate’

Digital zoom: As much as 12x digital zoom

Evening mode: Extensive, Extremely huge

Aspects and modes: Portrait mode, Evening mode, LiDAR scanner, Nicely-organized HDR 3, Deep Fusion processing, Panorama, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, Apple ProRAW (‘coming soon’)

Rebecca Scheinberg

Light, color and component

The camera handles neatly lit scenes and I realized the component in these images in both the highlights and the lowlights. The colours look reasonably impartial appropriate to life.

The iPhone holds up for composed life as neatly. Right here is the the same composed-life enviornment shot at three different focal lengths. Even with this setup of different objects that beget different textures, translucence and colours, the iPhone 12 Professional Max’s camera held up. The fluorescent crimson maintains its colours, and the component in the wooden objects is clearly defined.

Rebecca Scheinberg

Flash Portrait and Evening mode

The flash at evening environment was once astonishing on Portrait mode. The flash wasn’t too harsh and mixing with Portrait mode supposed that it had the aptitude to be flattering.

Autofocus in low gentle is terribly rapidly [via the new LiDAR sensor], nonetheless I manufacture no longer if truth be told feel savor this was once a feature I was once lacking. Low-gentle indoors performed neatly, though.

Rebecca Scheinberg

These images, taken on every of the focal lengths, had been shot in absolute darkness. I needed to make employ of the torch on the iPhone to uncover the inch sooner than us. So it is essential that the leisure was once captured, though the usual is low. In case you added a tripod in present to favor images of landscapes, here is in general a extraordinarily fun feature.


By come of working, it was once mountainous with reference to the ease of switching between lenses, and you would additionally shift the fluctuate with out considerations. It wasn’t a button with one probability, one other probability, one other probability – you would additionally struggle thru the chunky fluctuate from the massive perspective to the telephoto.

In the preview, you would additionally uncover the aptitude for for people who desired to prance wider or sever in. I preferred that, I stumbled on it if truth be told invaluable because it works in a identical come to how I would shoot. Most incessantly I sever in a little bit on a image, because my camera is terribly high resolution.

Rebecca Scheinberg


As with iPhones, bettering is terribly user friendly. I did safe that heaps of component was once lost if I made extra than tiny changes to the image, though. I enjoyed bettering on the masks masks itself, nonetheless. Right here is the put the masks masks size [6.7inch] comes in at hand.

I know from comparing the iPhone 11 Professional to other smartphone cameras final year that the iPhone tends to realize loads extra to the images, whereas, on the Pixel series, the noxious image was once a extraordinarily high quality that I would possibly possibly well additionally then shift the coloration palette and contrast nonetheless I needed.

The Apple ProRAW [‘coming soon’] I’m if truth be told in; it can well give me extra management over bettering my non-public images, which I would catch pleasure from. So that’s positively a plus for me.

Rebecca Scheinberg


I manufacture no longer attain an excellent deal of movie, but when I did I manufacture no longer bear in mind I would possibly possibly well be the employ of a camera on a phone, so I composed if truth be told feel the uses here would possibly possibly well be non-public, no longer expert.

For this test, I filmed my dogs taking part in procure on a sunny day, at both frame rates available by the HDR Video/Dolby Imaginative and prescient environment. I was once no longer in particular cautious to favor a stage camera and swung it round sharply to follow him. The iPhone’s optical image stabilisation handled those changes extraordinarily neatly with practically no shake. It wasn’t blown out with the different gentle changes, it adjusted with out distress. There had been some nice lens flares too, that beget been stunning. Color and component was once terrific during, too, and when HDR video was once grew to turn out to be off, the adaptation was once huge with essential less component in the highlights and lowlights.

Rebecca Scheinberg

The ‘expert’ verdict

I stumbled on it reasonably impressive, the massive fluctuate of gentle conditions that a super making an attempt photograph would possibly possibly well additionally be taken in. Some images I took with the iPhone 12 Professional Max had been in very darkish rooms or as the solar was once going on, and the images held up superbly.

The iPhone additionally managed to evaluate the lighting enviornment neatly and [via Smart HDR 3] kind the optimum settings, which weren’t too beneath- or overexposed. It additionally handled very shining conditions impressively, affirming component in both the shadow and the highlights.

I admire the portability of it and that it gets to a moderately high quality image, but it no doubt’s only a demand of accelerating the usual of the image.

Whereas I composed would no longer employ the iPhone to web expert images, I bear in mind it takes essential non-public images and video for house pictures.

I if truth be told beget an iPhone 8, so or no longer it is reasonably worn. I made that desire because, for my day-to-day, I beget better cameras and I was once making an attempt to catch off my phone a little bit. I stumbled on I if truth be told enjoyed testing this iPhone with a obvious camera. It was once miles apart. It makes it tempting for me to upgrade.

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