Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max Camera review

19/11/2020 By sgmobilehub 0

With a Video score of 113, the iPhone 12 Pro Max ties for second place in our video testing with the Huawei P40 Pro, leaving Huawei’s Mate 40 Pro at the top of the list. Apple adds Dolby Vision HDR support, which does indeed deliver high dynamic range and pleasant tone mapping when played back on a compatible display. Dynamic range is wide in general, though highlights can still clip in extreme situations.

Texture and noise are well balanced under most conditions, with low noise and plenty of detail present when shooting outdoors or in moderate indoor lighting. Light levels have to get quite low before noise becomes intrusive and detail drops. Color is generally pleasant, despite some slight white balance casts that are sometimes visible (more so in very low light).

As with stills, video autofocus is accurate and fast, with quick and smooth shifts when subject distance changes. Stabilization is also effective, including when walking or panning.

Even though exposure is generally accurate, our testers noticed slight exposure instabilities under all conditions. Flare and color quantization also show up sometimes, but overall video performance is excellent.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

Texture and noise are well balanced under most conditions, with low noise and plenty of detail present when shooting outdoors or in moderate indoor lighting. Light levels have to get quite low before noise becomes intrusive and detail drops. Color is generally pleasant, despite some slight white balance casts that are sometimes visible (more so in very low light).

As with stills, video autofocus is accurate and fast, with quick and smooth shifts when subject distance changes. Stabilization is also effective, including when walking or panning.

Even though exposure is generally accurate, our testers noticed slight exposure instabilities under all conditions. Flare and color quantization also show up sometimes, but overall video performance is excellent.

 than the 12 MP 1.4µ sensor in the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max). It also features a sensor-based optical stabilization system, a first for Apple (most phone camera modules shift the lens rather than the sensor to offset camera movement). There’s an ultra-wide 13 mm-equivalent camera and a 65 mm-equivalent tele-module that offers a 2.5x zoom over the main camera (a bit more reach than the iPhone 11 Pro Max or 12 Pro), and an unusual LiDAR sensor for building depth maps.

On paper, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the most impressive imaging capabilities to date in an Apple phone. Read our review, performed under the brand-new version 4 of the DXOMARK Camera test protocol, to find out how it performs.

Key camera specifications:

  • Primary: 12 MP sensor (1.7µ photo sites), 26 mm-equivalent f/1.6-aperture lens, sensor shift OIS, PDAF
  • Ultra-wide: 12 MP 1/3.6″ sensor, 13 mm-equivalent (14 mm measured) f/2.4-aperture lens
  • Tele: 12 MP 1/3.4″ sensor, 65 mm-equivalent f/2.2-aperture lens, PDAF, OIS
  • LiDAR depth sensing
  • LED flash
  • 4K Dolby Vision HDR video at 24/30/60 fps (2160p/30 fps tested)

Apple’s iPhones generally offer very good imaging performance but last year’s models have been pushed down in our rankings by the latest and greatest from other phone makers. With the iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple again storms the heights of our database, but doesn’t quite reach the top. Its impressive DXOMARK Camera score of 130 lands it just outside the top three, but its excellent Photo sub-score of 138, based on strong performance with few stumbles, is second only to Huawei’s Mate 40 Pro as of this writing.

Exposure is generally accurate (as you’d hope), especially on portraits, and even down to very low light levels. Less impressive dynamic range holds the exposure score back, however, as highlights and shadows tend to clip when the camera faces scenes with a very high brightness range. Color is generally pleasant, especially indoors, where a slightly warm rendering is often flattering. However, in high dynamic range scenes, color is less reliable.

Autofocus is particularly fast and accurate, with the iPhone 12 Pro Max setting a new high for this sub-score. Despite the larger sensor, the main camera also maintains enough depth of field (and manages it properly) to keep everyone in focus in our group test shots.

The phone balances texture and noise better than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and texture preservation is very good, with the camera hanging onto detail even as light levels drop. Noise is also lower than we measured in its predecessor. But despite the improvements, the very best of the competition still manages to balance noise and detail more deftly.

Apple was an early mover in simulating background blur with a dedicated portrait mode and its latest effort in this iPhone delivers nice results, with pretty good subject separation, a natural-looking blur gradient, and uniform noise across the frame. However, that fancy LiDAR sensor apparently isn’t the be-all and end-all of depth mapping, as we still see artifacts around difficult subjects like hair.

Image artifacts are reasonably well controlled, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max actually takes a small step backwards from its predecessor, losing three points for this sub-score. Hue shift, color quantization, ringing, and ghosting are often visible if you’re looking for them. Blog Courtesy Dxomark