Camera comparison: iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro

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Camera comparison: iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro

Last week, Apple launched the iPhone 12 Pro, which is being sold at the same time as theiPhone 12, the 12 mini and the 12 Pro Max. The Pro Max has the best camera of the bunch, but since it hasn’t been released yet, we thought we would take a look at the improvements introduced in the iPhone 12 Pro and see how the camera quality fares. compares to that of the iPhone 11 Pro.

The iPhone 12 Pro has the same triple-lens camera setup as the iPhone 11 Pro with a wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, and telephoto lenses, but there are improvements across all three cameras, plus the addition of the LiDAR scanner, which improves performance in low light. The faster A14 chip and the new image signal processor also bring new photographic capabilities, ultimately introducing a number of improvements.

TrueDepth Camera

As for the front camera, it still uses the same 12-megapixel f / 2.2 lens with no real hardware improvement, but thanks to the A14 chip, it now supports night-mode selfies, time-lapse videos. lapse in night mode, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3, and Dolby Vision HDR video recording, which are not available on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Adding Deep Fusion to the front camera allows it to extract the best pixels from multiple exposures to get a sharper image with more detail and less noise, and it mostly activates in average lighting conditions.

Smart HDR 3 technology improves highlights, shadows and white balance for more natural lighting that is closer to reality. Dolby Vision HDR recording lets you record and edit HDR video from the front camera for better looking videos than ever.

In practice, you need specific conditions to see the improvements the software makes to the front-facing camera, and so you won’t always see big differences between the 11 Pro and the 12 Pro, most of the changes being subtle. You will see the most visible updates in night mode.

Rear camera improvements

Smart HDR 3 and improved Deep Fusion have also been added to the rear cameras of the iPhone 12 Pro, along with a new 7-element wide-angle lens with an f / 1.6 aperture that lets in 27% of extra light to improve low-light photography.

Auto stabilization is improved, and there’s a new f / 2.0 telephoto lens with a 52mm focal length, and while the ultra-wide-angle lens hasn’t changed, it does offer a lens correction feature to keep up. account for the distortion that may come from a wider angle lens, and it supports night mode through LiDAR scanner. Deep Fusion works with all lenses to enhance colors and textures, and Smart HDR 3 includes Scene Recognition which allows the iPhone to recognize everyday scenes and adapt accordingly to make photos look larger than life.

Images in perfect working order

In practice, the standard photos in good lighting of the iPhone 12 Pro look fantastic, and Smart HDR 3 does a great job with white balance and preserving important image details for photos that look sharper and slightly more realistic than those coming out of the iPhone 11 Pro. The new lens brings a bit more sharpness and detail by reducing noise and achieving a better balance between different lighting in photos.

Images may look a bit nicer on the iPhone 12 Pro, but they’re subtle. In comparison, the photos of the 11 Pro and 12 Pro look very similar, unless you do a pixel-perfect examination and zoom in to see the details. The iPhone 11 Pro could produce sensational images in ideal lighting conditions, so it’s no surprise that here we only see subtle improvements.

Portrait mode images

Apple’s A14 chip and LiDAR scanner (which takes a depth map of the scene) improve portrait mode photos by better separating the subject from the background, which is noticeable in the details. Edge detection is better than before, especially for fur and hair.

The LiDAR scanner even allows you to get portrait images in night mode. So you can get amazing low-light portraits that cannot be taken in the same way with the iPhone 11 Pro.

Low light and night mode

In lower light conditions, photos from the iPhone 12 Pro improve more noticeably, again thanks to the A14 chip and LiDAR scanner. Photos taken in night mode are more detailed, sharper, and a bit more vibrant.

Night mode photos can also be taken for the first time with the Ultra Wide lens, for impressive night shots at wide angle, and LiDAR brings much faster autofocus in low light.

Video capture

The improvements to the camera also apply to videos, and the iPhone 12 Pro has been improved over the iPhone 11 Pro. In our testing, the iPhone 12 Pro was able to focus faster thanks to the LiDAR scanner, and the Dolby Vision HDR feature is a new A14 feature that is not possible on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Dolby Vision HDR recording is fine as you can see in the video above, but it’s limited at the moment. The video you capture is easier to edit directly on the iPhone due to the lack of Mac compatibility for editing Dolby Vision videos, and it must play on a Dolby Vision compatible device like your iPhone or Dolby TV. Vision.

If you capture a video in Dolby Vision on the iPhone 12 Pro and play it back on the iPhone, it looks fantastic. The video elements are bright, crisp, and well-defined, but then again, you need the right device to see the improvements over video on the iPhone 11 Pro. Dolby Vision HDR is on by default, so keep in mind that the video you record may not look as good to the person you send it to. Dolby Vision HDR is a great deal for those who want to capture movies on their iPhone and make serious video recordings, but it’s less useful for the average iPhone user.

For video mode, there is a new time shifting option in night mode which is fun if you want to take videos of the night sky for longer, but most people probably won’t get much use out of it as it requires a tripod. .


The iPhone 12 Pro undoubtedly offers camera improvements over the iPhone 11 Pro, but the differences aren’t that big, except for new features and low-light photography. . Camera technology is therefore probably not a sufficient reason to update the iPhone, except for the most dedicated photographers.

This year’s iPhone 12 Pro Max has even more improvements than the iPhone 12 Pro, so we’ll do another comparison when the larger model is released. Let us know in the comments what you think of the 11 Pro versus iPhone 12 Pro comparisons and if you see any image improvements in your own use.

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