Photographer Austin Mann Praises iPhone 11 Pro Camera

Travel photographer Austin Mann typically goes hands-on with new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real world situations, and to test Apple's new iPhone 11 Pro, Mann traveled to China to take pictures.

Mann tested out the new three lens-camera system with telephoto, wide-angle, and ultra wide-angle lenses, the updated Smart HDR, and the new Night mode that's designed for super low light.


The wide-angle lens is the best lens of the bunch with the best shutter range, aperture, autofocus system, and ISO, but Mann says the ultra wide camera still "works really great in normal lighting conditions." It's not the ideal lens for low light, though.

The Ultra Wide works really great in normal lighting conditions and overall I'm thrilled to have it, but you will feel a difference when you move indoors or shoot into the evening. The images are softer than the Wide, and without Night mode you'll be tempted (or forced) to switch back to Wide depending on how limited your light is.

Night mode, says Mann, is "crazy powerful" and easy to use because it activates automatically in situations where lighting is poor. Mann praised Apple's efforts to balance Night mode, preventing night time shots from looking like daytime shots while still preserving detail.

One thing I love about Apple's approach to Night mode is the strategic balance of solving a technical problem while also caring deeply about artistic expression. When you look at the image above, it's clear their team didn't take the let's-make-night-look-like-day approach, as some of their competitors have. Instead, it feels more like an embrace of what it actually is (night) while asking, "How do we capture the feel of this scene in a beautiful way?"

According to Mann, Night mode is the "most dramatic leap forward" we've seen in an ‌iPhone‌ since panorama mode was introduced on the ‌iPhone‌ 5 in 2012. "It's the first time in a long time I've looked at an image and said to myself 'wow, I can't believe I shot this with my ‌iPhone‌,'" he wrote.


The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro have a new "Capture Outside the Frame" feature that allows more of the scene in front of you to be displayed when taking a photo. What hasn't been highlighted is that this mode also captures a photo.

So, for example, if you take a picture using the wide-angle lens of the ‌iPhone‌, it also captures a photo with the ultra wide-angle lens, allowing users to decide later how to frame a photo.


Mann said that while he likes the feature, he didn't love the preview of what's outside the frame because it was sometimes distracting when composing an image. For the most part, though, he called it a "great feature" that invites new editing possibilities.

All in all, Mann said that serious photographers should consider getting an ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ and that the extra cost over the ‌iPhone 11‌ is worth it.

No matter what ‌iPhone‌ you are using now, if you are serious about shooting photos with your ‌iPhone‌, this is a year to upgrade. Apple had some serious catching up to do and as a result, this year has brought a tremendous leap in camera capability. Night mode and the Ultra Wide lens will change how we tell stories and express ourselves as artists using our iPhones. Now is a really good time to jump in.

Mann's full ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌, which has additional details on the technical capabilities of the new phone along with a selection of amazing images, can be read over on his website.

Related Roundups: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
14 months ago
I’m so tired of seeing those pictures of fake fishermen in Guilin, China. They make money from posing for photos everyday, not fishing.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago


Consensus so far is iPhone 11 flashless night shots are finally usable but they have a tendency to be blown out. A brighter shot doesn't necessarily mean a better shot if it ruins the mood like 6:24 in iJustine's video. Also, dark night sky and skin tone tend to be overly yellow. And, HDR isn't as good as Pixel Night Sight gen 1 (7:14) with gen 2 coming next month.

Amazing advancement though that blown out flashless night shot on mobile phone is a thing in 2019.


I disagree completely. On both your examples, iPhone 11 Pro blew Pixel's out of the water. They're the exact photo you'll want to get if you shoot them with camera with very high sensitive film/sensor (& with tripod).
Btw, iPhone 11 Pro photo on both examples are not "blown out". Learns about what blown out means. The word you're looking for is "bright". You may say it's too bright. I'll say it's enoght bright to get all the details.
The way the Pixel photo happened like that on 6:24 is not because its brightness on point but because it's lack a capability to do high HDR on dark scene.
And colour accuracy is also on point on iPhone 11 Pro while Pixel is too blueish which show its white balance in dark scene is not up to the new iPhone standard.
What these comparisons show is that the current Pixel would never get that fisherman shot as good as iPhone 11 Pro.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago


I’m so tired of seeing those pictures of fake fishermen in Guilin, China. They make money from posing for photos everyday, not fishing.

How can you possibly have a problem with this? Someone lost their livelihood and found a way to still make money doing what they love.

What's your problem with it? Do you also hate actors and models?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
I feel like the same camera story gets reposted every single year, just swapping the model names. Every iPhone takes terrific pictures until the next year's model is released, and then the no-longer-new model apparently sucks while the NEW-new-model takes amazing photos... until this time next year.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Love the forums update MacRumors!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
14 months ago
Very much looking forward to seeing if this can replace my rx100 for some purposes. (can’t replace my a7rii yet :-)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 mini' and iPhone 12 Storage Capacities Start at 64GB, Pro Models at 128GB

Tuesday September 29, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's iPhone 12 launch event will be held on October 13, with the more affordable 5.4 and 6.1-inch devices set to ship out ahead of the more expensive 6.1-inch and 6.7-inch Pro devices, and this morning hit-and-miss leaker Jon Prosser has further committed to that date by providing alleged details on Apple's first shipment of finalized iPhone 12 units. Prosser claims the...

Hands-On With iOS 14.2's New Shazam Music Recognition Toggle in Control Center

Monday September 28, 2020 2:35 pm PDT by
Shortly after launching iOS 14, Apple introduced an upcoming iOS 14.2 update, which is now available to developers and public beta testers ahead of a public release that could come at some point in October. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iOS 14.2 update mainly focuses on the Control Center, introducing a new Music Recognition toggle that deepens the Shazam...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Feature Tour, 'iPhone 12 mini' Rumors, Apple Watch Band Controversy

Saturday September 26, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Things started to calm down a bit this week following last week's rush of media event, Apple Watch and iPad launches, and the release of iOS 14 and other operating updates. But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a lot of news, from digging deeper into iOS 14 to more iPhone 12 rumors to the uproar over trying to exchange band sizes on the new Apple Watch. On top of all of that, we heard...

DigiTimes: 12.9-inch Mini-LED iPad Pro Arriving Early 2021, Mini-LED MacBook Coming Later

Tuesday September 29, 2020 4:18 am PDT by
Apple will launch a 12.9-inch mini LED-backlit iPad Pro in early 2021 and a mini LED-backlit MacBook in the second-half of next year, according to DigiTimes. The Taiwan-based industry publication claims Epistar will supply the over-10,000 mini LEDs used in each iPad Pro tablet. Meanwhile, Apple is expected to recruit Osram Opto as another supplier of mini LEDs for use in a new "high-end"...

iPhone 12 May Launch Earlier Than Usual in South Korea

Monday September 28, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 12 lineup may launch earlier than usual in South Korea, reports The Korea Herald. South Korean telecoms firms speaking to The Korea Herald have said that the iPhone 12 lineup will launch ahead of its usual schedule. Normally, the release of new iPhones in South Korea comes about one month after launch in the United States. Last year, the iPhone 11 arrived in South Korea ...

iOS 14: 'Phoenix 2' Space Shooter Delivers Playable Demo via App Clips

Saturday September 26, 2020 2:08 pm PDT by
One of the new features that arrived in iOS 14 is called App Clips. App Clips is described by Apple to be a "small part of your app" that can be available to users at just the right moment.App Clips focus on finishing one task quickly. An ideal App Clip experience allows users to open and complete a task in seconds. Instead of requiring an App Store download, they can be loaded and run via...

Epic Games Unlikely to Win Injunction in Ongoing Fortnite Battle With Apple, Jury Trial Possible

Monday September 28, 2020 1:14 pm PDT by
The ongoing legal dispute between Apple and Epic Games continued on today, with a preliminary injunction hearing taking place this morning. We're still waiting to hear the judge's official ruling, but it looks like Epic is not going to be granted an injunction to allow Fortnite back into the App Store as the case unfolds. Many of the arguments that lawyers for Apple and Epic Games made were...

iPhone 12 Production Lines at Foxconn's Zhengzhou Factory in China Running '24 Hours a Day'

Tuesday September 29, 2020 3:38 am PDT by
Apple contract manufacturer Foxconn is running its massive Zhengzhou factory in China 24 hours a day to produce the new iPhone 12, according to Chinese media reports. Apple's main iPhone manufacturer in China is said to be cancelling workers' holidays and introducing mandatory overtime with additional bonuses for longer-serving staff, according to information garnered from employees,...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...