When it comes to testing the camera features in new iPhone models, photographer Austin Mann’s detailed reviews are second to none. iPhone 12 Pro Max reviews went live this morning, and Mann’s in-depth camera test is also now available.
Mann’s review a must-read review for anyone who is interested in the iPhone 12 Pro Max for its camera, because this is the first year in some time that Apple has introduced different cameras in the Pro and Pro Max models. The Pro Max has a larger sensor and larger pixels, plus a different telephoto lens.
Despite the improvements in the iPhone 12 Pro Max over the Pro, Mann said that in his testing, he could “barely see a difference” between the two iPhones in most lighting conditions. The exception was semi-low-light scenes, such as just after sunset or in a night urban scene.
In these situations, the iPhone 12 Pro needed two seconds of Night Mode recording, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max needed just one second because of the larger amount of light let in by the sensor. That resulted in better photos from the Pro Max because there’s less shake and subject movement.
Mann also saw improvements when shooting in very low light scenes in Night mode with a tripod and a 30-second exposure, and there’s also, of course, the 5x optical zoom range enabled by the 2.5x optical zoom lens in the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The 12 Pro Max’s telephoto lens has a longer focal length and a faster minimum shutter speed, so you can zoom in further.
All in all, Mann said that while he came into the review expecting the iPhone 12 Pro Max to notably outperform the iPhone 12 Pro, the differences between the two were limited to “very specific scenes.” He enjoyed the extra telephoto length of the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the low light capabilities, but he wasn’t a fan of the massive size that made it hard to operate as a single-handed camera.
Both models are a “massive jump in imaging capability” and Mann says that regardless of which model is selected, people will “thoroughly enjoy” shooting with the new camera.
Mann took a whole range of photos in all lighting conditions in Zion National Park in Utah, and it’s well worth clicking over to his full review to see what the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera is capable of.