Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana.

Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a range of conditions and environments.

IMG 0468

The upgraded 26mm Wide angle lens with a f/1.6 aperture performed better in low light, according to Mann. In a 30-second exposure shot with almost no visible light (above), he found that Night mode and the Wide lens worked extremely well together.

When investigating the new seven-element Wide lens for better edge-to-edge sharpness, Mann shot images with lots of detail in the corners of the frame, but did not see better results than on the iPhone 11 Pro.

C2A9AustinMann IMG 0907

On the other hand, Mann observed that Night mode on the Ultra Wide lens significantly improved low-light performance. Where the ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro's Ultra Wide lens produced a mostly black frame that was full of noise, the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ delivered an immeasurably improved clear image.

IMG 0472

He found that the low-light improvements to the Ultra Wide also made indoors photography with the lens much more viable and crisp.

Mann noted reasonable improvements with Smart HDR 3, but the more striking difference was seen in taking portraits with Night mode. After sunset with very little available light, the computational improvements of better OIS, faster ISO, and LiDAR, allowed the portrait to remain surprisingly color accurate and sharp.

IMG 1686

Mann found that the LiDAR Scanner significantly improved low-light portraits, with the focus locking to the subject's face and creating an accurate depth map where needed.

Elsewhere, Mann praised a range of minor software improvements. In particular, he appreciated that it is now possible to lock exposure adjustment without it reverting to auto mode every time a picture is captured or when switching between lenses. This allows the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ to behave much more like a manual camera.

See Mann's full report for more images and additional information about the technical capabilities of the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌'s camera setup.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12 Pro

Top Rated Comments

PlainviewUVGF Avatar
5 weeks ago


That night mode portrait shot does not look good.


It’s awful. Shouldn’t have been included like this.

If it was taken without the flash, it's an insane achievement.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
5 weeks ago


Almost any phone could have taken those photos

Almost any phone would have produced a black mess.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dz5b609 Avatar
5 weeks ago


That night mode portrait shot does not look good.

You do know that that picture is shot in pitch black night.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JUiCEJamie Avatar
5 weeks ago
The difference between the 11 Pro and 12 Pro is night and day.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PlainviewUVGF Avatar
5 weeks ago


You do know that that picture is shot in pitch black night.

In his article he explained a bit more. While it would be an insane achievement, as I posted earlier, for this to be a straight portrait night mode shot, it's still impressive. On a tripod it would have been even better. The camera system, as a whole, in the iPhone 12 Pro, seems to be doing some amazing things.

I like to push my gear to the extremes… and knowing others would likely be testing Night mode in urban environments with some available light, I decided to really push the capabilities of Night mode portraits. I shot this portrait of Esther about forty-five minutes after sundown, and it was overcast, so there was very little available light. (To give you an idea, we had to use a flashlight to see our path.)

This Portrait mode w/ Night mode 3-second exposure was shot with the iPhone 12 Pro in my right hand. Simultaneously, in my left hand, I held my iPhone 11 Pro and used the light emitting from the screen (not the flash) as an off-camera fill light for Esther’s face.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TheBeck Avatar
5 weeks ago
These are beautiful pictures. Sadly I’ll have the same 5 views from my office window to showcase when I get mine. ?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

2020 apple shopping event

Apple Offering Up to $150 Gift Card With Select Products on Black Friday Through Cyber Monday

Monday November 23, 2020 2:53 am PST by
Apple has announced its annual four-day shopping event, offering customers up to a $150 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of select products between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the United States. The gift card values in the United States are as follows: $150 for 16-inch MacBook Pro $150 for 21.5-inch iMac $50 for 13-inch MacBook Pro $50 for MacBook Air $50 for iPhone SE,...
0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
app store christmas icon

Apple Shutting Down App Store Connect From December 23 to December 27

Monday November 23, 2020 10:14 am PST by
Apple shuts down App Store Connect for a week around the holidays each year in an effort to give App Store staff time off from work. This year, App Store Connect will be unavailable from December 23 to December 27. With App Store Connect unavailable, Apple will not accept new apps or app updates, so all pricing changes and new app submissions need to be locked in before those dates for...
Target November Deals 1

Black Friday Spotlight: Target Begins Week-Long Sale With Deals on iPhone 12, Powerbeats Pro, and More

Monday November 23, 2020 8:07 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Target. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running....
ipad pro 2020 display

Black Friday Week Kicks Off With Up to $150 Savings on 2020 iPad Pro

Sunday November 22, 2020 2:37 pm PST by
As we head into Black Friday week, we're seeing some of the best deals of the season so far, with Amazon and Best Buy today discounting the latest iPad Pro models by up to $150 at the lowest prices we've ever tracked on these models. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep ...
mac mini macbook pro macbook air

Apple M1 Hands-On Comparison: MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac Mini

Monday November 23, 2020 3:40 pm PST by
Apple's M1 Macs are out in the wild now, but ahead of the holidays, you might still be trying to figure out which one to pick up, either for yourself or as a gift for someone else. We've got all three of the new Macs available, so we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a hands-on overview of each machine in our latest YouTube video. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. ...
macos big sur m1 macs restore issue

Apple Provides Instructions to Fix macOS Reinstallation Errors on M1 Macs

Sunday November 22, 2020 3:30 pm PST by
Shortly after the launch of Apple's new M1 Macs, we saw reports that attempts to restore and reinstall macOS on those machines right away could result in an installation error that would leave your Mac non-functional. Specifically, the error message would read: "An error occurred preparing the update. Failed to personalize the software update. Please try again." Over the weekend, Apple p...
max tech xcode benchmark m1 macbook

Video Demos Performance Differences Between 8GB and 16GB Apple M1 MacBook Pro

Monday November 23, 2020 2:54 pm PST by
All of the M1 Mac models use the same M1 chip, so the upgrade options are limited to SSD storage space and RAM. We haven't seen many comparisons that demonstrate the difference between a machine with 8GB RAM and the upgraded 16GB RAM option, but Max Tech today shared a video highlighting the performance between an 8GB MacBook Pro and a 16GB MacBook Pro. The video includes a series of...
iPhone 6s main

Rumor Claims iOS 15 to Drop Support for iPhone 6s and Original iPhone SE

Sunday November 22, 2020 9:25 am PST by
Apple will drop support for the iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and iPhone 6s Plus in next year's release of iOS 15, according to a rumor shared today by Israeli site The Verifier. If the rumor is accurate, that would mean iOS 15 will be compatible with the following Apple devices: 2021 iPhone series iPhone 12 Pro Max iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro ...
new mac mini logicpro screen

M1 Macs Able to Run Up to Six External Displays Using DisplayLink

Tuesday November 24, 2020 6:53 am PST by
It is possible to run up to six external displays from the M1 Mac mini, and five external displays from the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, with the aid of DisplayPort adapters, according to YouTuber Ruslan Tulupov. This far exceeds Apple's specified limits on external displays with the M1 Macs. Apple's host of new M1 Macs are not capable of supporting as many external displays as their...