iPhone 12 Pro Max not only has the largest 6.7-inch iPhone display but also advanced camera hardware with a larger Telephoto lens, sensors, and more. Previously, the Pro Max models were only bigger in size without any improvements in hardware like iPhone 11 Pro Max. Halide, a developer of high-end photography apps, reviewed the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera and was surprised by the results, especially at nighttime.
Halide is created by Ben Sandofsky, a former tech lead on Twitter’s iPhone, iPad, and Mac apps, and Sebastiaan de With, an ex-Apple designer. de With tested the new advanced camera system of the Pro Max model to judge photographs quality with the improvements:
- A 47% larger sensor
- A faster ƒ/1.6 lens
- A brand-new ‘sensor-shift’ stabilization system for low-light
- ISO sensitivity is 87% higher
- A new telephoto lens, reaching a new length of 65mm (full-frame equivalent)
Halide Tests iPhone 12 Pro Max Advanced Camera System
de With shot photos and videos with Halide app on iPhone 12 Pro Max and was impressed by the results. He credits the high-quality results on the bigger and more sensitive sensor that focuses on “more light means more signal, less noise, and sharper results” in addition to high-quality pixels. He wrote,
“Here’s why we’re seeing stories that the camera is a minor difference at best: Most people who aren’t seeing the dramatic difference are shooting in daylight, with a fast ƒ/1.6 lens. On top of that, Apple’s intelligent image processing combines multiple shots together, which makes it harder to look into the hardware.”
Photographs captured in low light conditions, especially after sunset, had more details which were not much noticeable during daylight. The tester also discovered that details of daytime photographs blurred out when zoomed in but the details were very noticeable when he zoomed in on photographs captured in low light conditions.
Mind you, this is a really close-up zoom of a cellphone photo. Our expectation is that it is kind of mushy and lacks detail. Instead, the iPhone 12 Pro Max packs in incredible levels of detail down to the pixel level.
As photographs are mostly shot handheld and not on tri-pod, de With did the same to shot in real-world conditions. The new sensor-shift stabilization in iPhone 12 Pro Max captured incredibly stable handheld photographs, way ahead of other models in the iPhone 12 series. The Pro Max superior stabilization is also accredited to Night mode which,
“involves heavy computational photography, it ultimately benefits from having sharper images to work with before it merges them into the final shot.”
Having said that, de With claims that even without Night Mode the new sensor-shift technology delivers exceptional quality in traditional single-shot handheld photography which can not be matched even “with a traditional DSLR, nobody would dare take a one-second photos handheld.”
The tested enjoyed the 65mm (2.5x zoom), however, explains that “a longer lens means a slower aperture, so a bit less light collected. That, too, isn’t that noticeable until sunset.” In the future, de With announced that the ProRaw feature will be coming to Halide app when the feature is released by Apple.
Impressed by the results, de With concludes that,
“As developers of a camera app, the results mind-blowing. It achieves images previously only seen in dedicated cameras, with sensors four times its size. It allows photographers to get steady and well exposed shots in conditions that weren’t imaginable a year ago. It captures low-light shots beyond anything we’ve seen on an iPhone. By a lot.
If you are an advanced user, the type that uses more than just the stock apps, this phone offers a lot. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a Pro photographer’s iPhone. And we couldn’t be more excited to start building for it.”