The iPhone 12 Pro and Max have taken two of the top 5 spots in DxOMarks’s camera rankings.
The Pro is the second model from the top in Apple’s 2020 smartphone lineup, featuring a 6.1-inch OLED HDR 10 display, 6GB RAM and the A14 Bionic chipset. The camera comes with standard-wide, ultra-wide, and tele modules, distinguishing it from the lower-tier iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini models that both lack the tele.
The top-end Pro Max also comes with a triple-camera setup, but uses a larger sensor in the standard-wide and a slightly longer tele-lens compared to the 12 Pro. With 12 MP sensors in all three cameras, a 13 mm-equivalent ultra-wide lens and a 52 mm tele, the 12 Pro’s camera specifications on paper look like last year’s iPhone 11 Pro Max.
DxOMark provided the following review on the camera features:
With a DxOMark Camera overall score of 128, the Apple iPhone 12 Pro makes it into the top five in our ranking, improving on last year’s 11 Pro Max by four points and replacing it as the best Apple device in our database. The overall score is founded on a high photo score of 135 and an exceptionally good video score of 112. With a score of 66, Zoom is the area where the iPhone 12 Pro loses some points against the best in class, mainly due to its tele-lens offering only a 2x optical magnification.
Images on the Apple iPhone 12 Pro display good exposure and colour rendering in most conditions.
In Photo mode, we found the autofocus system to be one of the highlights, offering fast and accurate performance in most situations. The device also achieves an excellent score for its preview image that is closer to the final capture than many other high-end devices. Exposure is mostly good, but our testers found dynamic range to be a little limited, with both highlight and shadow clipping occurring in difficult conditions.
Colour rendering is accurate under indoor lighting, but colour casts can be noticeable in outdoor images; and while the camera also offers good detail retention if you don’t shoot in in very dim conditions, you can often find image noise in indoor and low-light shots.
The iPhone 12 Pro’s tele-zoom shots offer good quality at closer zoom distances but struggle a little with detail if you zoom out further, though they are an improvement over the iPhone 11 Pro Max. At the other end of the zoom range, the phone’s ultra-wide camera captures good image results, but has room for improvement in such areas as detail and corner softness.
Video is where the iPhone 12 Pro really shines. The HDR-enabled clips are exposed well and dynamic range is wide, offering a cinematic look in scenes with stronger contrasts. Dynamic range is not quite on the same level as what can be done for still images (in very high-contrast scenes tone-mapping could be better), but for smartphone video it’s up there with the very best.
Our testers also liked the colour and skin tone rendering, but also observed some white balance casts. The 4K footage shows good levels of detail until light levels drop too much, and the autofocus does a good job at keeping things in focus, even in dynamic scenes. The stabilization system works very well, too, keeping things steady and smooth when walking with the camera in your hands or when standing still while recording.
For full camera scoring details and to learn about how the test was performed, visit DxOMark’s full iPhone 12 Pro review.