Apple has claimed the smartphone photography high ground with its new iPhone 12 models, introducing class-leading computational photography and the ability to shoot 4k video with Dolby Vision HDR at 60fps .
In total, four 5G-compatible models in the new iPhone 12 range have been announced, including an iPhone 12 Mini selling for £699. Just 137mm from corner to corner, the Mini is hailed as the smallest 5G smartphone currently available.
The iPhone 12 Pro models feature an edge-to-edge Super Retina XDR display, protected by the all-new Ceramic Shield front cover, said to provide the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone.
When it comes to cameras and cosmetic design, the iPhone 12 Pro models are the smartphones to watch…
When it comes to cameras and cosmetic design, the iPhone 12 Pro models are the smartphones to watch.
They boast a sophisticated flat-edge design that features a surgical-grade stainless steel band paired with a precision-milled matte glass back. That Ceramic Shield front cover, said to be tougher than any smartphone glass, is infused with nano-ceramic crystals to dramatically improve toughness.
The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max feature a Super Retina XDR display. The latter offers the largest display ever on an iPhone and the highest resolution, nearly 3.5 million pixels.
iPhone 12 Pro models are also IP68 rated to withstand water submersion up to 6m (for up to 30 minutes), and are protected against everyday spills, including coffee and fizzy drinks.
However the biggest reason to upgrade is probably photography. The all-new Apple-designed A14 Bionic chip ushers in an Apple ProRAW shooting mode for more creative control in photos, which combines Apple’s multiframe image processing and computational photography with the versatility of a RAW format. Users get pro-style creative control over colour, detail, and dynamic range natively on iPhone or with other professional photo editing app.
The reimagined pro camera systems include an expansive Ultra Wide camera, a Telephoto camera and new Wide cameras. iPhone 12 Pro models also introduce a new LiDAR Scanner for immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences and MagSafe, which offers high-powered wireless charging and an all-new ecosystem of accessories that magnetically attach to iPhone.
The iPhone 12 Pro features a new seven-element lens Wide camera with an ƒ/1.6 aperture, the fastest seen on an iPhone, boasting a 27 percent improved low-light performance in photo and video; the Ultra Wide camera with a 120-degree field of view, perfect for capturing more scene in tight spots or epic landscapes; and a 52 mm focal length Telephoto camera, great for framing portraits, bringing the optical zoom range to 4x.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max pushes the envelope even further. A new ƒ/1.6 aperture Wide camera boasts a 47 percent larger sensor with 1.7μm pixels giving a huge performance jump improvement in low-light conditions. It also includes the expansive Ultra Wide camera and a 65 mm focal length Telephoto camera for increased flexibility with closer shots and tighter crops. Combined, this system offers 5x optical zoom range.
There are also improvements to Night mode, now expanded to the TrueDepth and Ultra Wide cameras. Night mode Time-Lapse delivers longer exposure times for sharper videos, better light trails, and smoother exposure in low-light scenarios when used with a tripod.
Arguably the most remarkable video feature of the new iPhone 12 smartphones is the ability to shoot HDR video with Dolby Vision, up to 60 fps, along with rock solid video stabilisation. Shooting in Dolby Vision is as simple as opening up the camera app and hitting record. We suspect professional cinematographers will be clambering to try these devices!
Dolby Vision grading is processed live and sustained during editing, whether in the Photos app or iMovie, and comes to Final Cut Pro X later this year. Dolby Vision takes advantage of the Super Retina XDR display to show high contrast (2 million-to-1 contrast ratio) during capture and video playback.
In related news, the new iPhone 12 also support Dolby Atmos audio playback.
The standard iPhone 12 will start at £799, while two iPhone 12 Pro phones, with 6.5-and 6.7-inch displays, start at £999 and £1,099 respectively. The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will be available in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB models in graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue. All models are available in store November 13.