Following his in-depth review of the iPhone 12 Pro camera last month, travel photographer Austin Mann is back today with a look at the new iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple has made big claims about the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera system, and Mann’s review offers more details on what you can expect.
Apple says that the iPhone 12 Pro Max features a bigger sensor, a longer telephoto lens, and a new sensor-shift stabilization technology. Mann says that the biggest improvement he found with the iPhone 12 Pro is when using the wide lens in semi-low-light scenes.
This led me to the most significant improvement I found which was when shooting Wide (26 mm) and handheld in semi-low-light scenes. Think candle-lit dinner, just after sunset, or a night urban scene with some available light.
In several of these cases, I found the iPhone 12 Pro required 2 seconds in Night mode versus the iPhone 12 Pro Max requiring only 1 second. This means less time for camera shake and subject movement.
Mann also touched on the new 5x optical zoom range with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which is up from the 4x zoom range on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro.
As photographers, this extended range gives us more freedom to see and capture scenes differently. While the ultra-wide reveals context, the more compressed 2.5x telephoto can highlight specific details from afar.
Ultimately, Mann says that the iPhone 12 Pro Max only offered “substantial improvement in very specific scenes” compared to the iPhone 12 Pro. The question is whether or not these improvements are worth the larger 6.7-inch form factor of the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
I did really enjoy using the extra focal length of the Telephoto and pushing the Max in low light, but it feels massive in my hand and it’s hard to operate as a single-handed camera, so I’m still debating which iPhone is right for me.
What I do know is both the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are a massive jump in imaging capability compared to previous years, so regardless of your decision between this year’s models, I know you’re going to thoroughly enjoy shooting with this new iPhone camera.
You can find Mann’s full review of the iPhone 12 Pro Max on his blog, alongside tips and tricks for iPhone photographers, wishes for future iPhone models, and more. What do you think of the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera system? Are the early reviews affecting your purchasing decisions? Let us know down in the comments!