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iPhone 12 camera: specs and features

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The iPhone 12 family is finally there. There are as many as four models this year – The standard iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max. The camera is one of the biggest highlights of the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini cameras are virtually identical. The iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max are in a different league, but the Max model gets some extra features. Let’s take a look at the iPhone 12 series camera features.

 iPhone 12 and 12 Mini camera features

Both the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini sport a dual-camera setup on the back. They have a 12MP ultra wide-angle lens with ƒ/2.4 aperture and a 12MP wide-angle lens with ƒ/1.6 aperture. The camera allows for a 27% improvement in low-light photography.

Both the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini offer optical image stabilization, 2x optical zoom, and digital zoom of up to 5x. Night Mode and Deep Fusion are now available on all four iPhone 12 models. They get Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The Smart HDR 3 feature allows the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini to use machine learning to understand the scene and automatically adjust highlights and shadows.

They are both capable of recording 4K videos at up to 60fps, and 1080p slow-motion videos at up to 240fps. Both models support HDR video recording with Dolby Vision at up to 30 fps. The video gets a new Night Mode Time-lapse feature that allows users to create time-lapse videos in Night Mode.

iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max cameras

The 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max both have a triple camera setup on the back. There is a 12MP ultra wide-angle lens with ƒ/2.4 aperture, a 12MP wide-angle lens with ƒ/1.6 aperture, and a 12MP telephoto lens with ƒ/2.0 aperture. They both support Night Mode, Deep Fusion, and Smart HDR for photos.

The iPhone 12 Pro offers a 4x optical zoom range and up to 10x digital zoom. In contrast, the 12 Pro Max gets a 5x optical zoom range and up to 12x digital zoom. Both Pro models feature a new LiDAR scanner that measures how long it takes for the light to reach an object. The LiDAR sensor enhances low-light photography and leads to 6x faster autofocus in Night Mode.

Apple has also added a new ProRAW photo file support to iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. It allows the phones to shoot RAW photo files while using advanced features like Deep Fusion and Smart HDR 3.

On top of that, the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets a new Sensor-shift optical image stabilization, which allows for an 87% improvement in low-light performance. The sensor-shift technology can make up to 5,000 micro-adjustments per second to neutralize the effect of car vibrations and handshake. Both Pro and Pro Max can record HDR videos with Dolby Vision up to 60 fps.


Apple is all set to announce the iPhone 12 series at its ‘Hi, Speed’ event on October 13. The much-awaited event is set to start at 1PM ET / 10AM PT / 6PM BST on Tuesday. You can watch the event from the comfort of your home on YouTube or the Events page of Apple’s website. Every new model of iPhone brings exciting camera features. The iPhone 12 camera is going to raise the bar. Ahead of the Apple event, a reliable tipster has spilled the beans on the iPhone 12 camera features.

Up to 5x optical zoom, 30x digital zoom

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini would sport dual cameras on the back consisting of a wide-angle and an ultra-wide-angle lens. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro would take photography to a whole new level, according to Twitter tipster Max Weinbach aka @Pineleaks. The Pro and Pro Max models would have a triple camera setup. The third lens would be a telephoto one. These models would also offer up to 5x optical zoom and LiDAR sensors for depth tracking.

According to Max Weinbach, the “digital and optical zoom will be getting a massive boost this year.” Since the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini don’t have the telephoto lens, they will rely entirely on software for digital zoom. Users can expect “significantly extended digital zoom, both quality and distance wise,” said the tipster.

Apple has tested the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max with 3x optical zoom. However, an earlier leak on Weibo claimed that the iPhone 12 Pro would offer 4x optical zoom and the iPhone 12 Pro Max would support 5x.

The Cupertino company will reportedly offer 25x to 30x digital zoom, which would make it better than Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20. But the Pro iPhone 12 models would still lag behind the 50x digital zoom of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

What’s more, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max users will be able to use the Night Mode with the telephoto lens. Apple would also bring some “sort of macro camera feature” that will take you 2.2cm closer to objects compared to last year’s iPhone 11 Pro. The ultra-wide-angle lens is said to be getting a bigger aperture to enhance the low-light photography experience.

A faster Face ID

Max Weinbach has learned that the Face ID technology will also become faster than ever before. The TrueDepth camera system will be using a “dynamic zoning algorithm” to make Face ID faster and work at wider angles. However, the notch is not going anywhere.

iPhones have witnessed massive improvements in the last few years. Apple has introduced the Face ID, an all-screen design, AMOLED displays, better cameras, and much more. The tech giant could take the camera to a whole new level with the iPhone 12 series. The iPhone 12 is reportedly coming in four variants. The upcoming series includes one 5.4-inch iPhone 12, two 6.1-inch models (iPhone 12 Max and iPhone 12 Pro) , and one 6.7-inch model (iPhone 12 Pro Max). However, we’ll only focus on the camera of the iPhone 12 series in this article.

iPhone 12 Series: Camera specs and features

According to reports, Apple is planning to release two iPhone 12 devices with triple-lens camera systems. As for the remaining two, they’ll likely come with dual-lens camera systems. The 5.4-inch iPhone 12 and possibly the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Max will feature two rear cameras. That’s likely to include ultra-wide and wide-angle lenses.

Talking of the high-end iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max variants, we expect them to come with a triple-lens camera system, including a combination of wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto. Apart from that, the iPhone 12 Pro will also likely come with a new time-of-flight 3D sensor, according to rumors.

7P Lens Modules

Supply chain sources familiar with the matter told DigiTimes that the iPhone 12 series will use 7P lens modules. It will improve the photo and video quality without having to increase the megapixel count. The 7P lenses have 7 optical elements that increase the light transmittance. By comparison, the iPhone 11 Pro uses a 5P lens for the ultra-wide angle camera and 6P lens for the wide-angle and telephoto cameras.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max is also said to feature a 1/1.9-inch 7P wide-angle lens. It will also support the sensor-shift technology, which uses gyroscopes to detect motion in all direction. Then the processor activates an actuator based on data from the sensor-shift technology to compensate for the motion. It would result in stable and clearer images.

Time-of-Flight (ToF) Sensor

Talking of the time-of-flight (ToF), it’s a technical term, which measures the time it takes for a specific thing, including laser light, gas-particle, or liquid, to travel a particular distance.

In the case of the ToF camera sensor, it’s more like an infrared TrueDepth camera system, used for Face ID on the front-side of iPhone devices. However, comparing both of them, the TrueDepth system will only work about 10 to 20 inches. On the other hand, the ToF sensor will work at longer distances – all thanks to its laser-powered technology.

time of flight sensor

So, if this camera feature truly comes with the high-end iPhone 12 Pro Max as rumored, it’ll enable users to capture higher-fidelity 3D images. Apart from that, it’ll also introduce more opportunities for accurate depth information.

iPhone 12 with LiDAR Scanner

According to rumors, the two high-end iPhone 12 variants (Pro and Pro Max) are likely to come with a LiDAR scanner. The iPhone 12 and 12 Max would launch without LiDAR.

Unlike the scanners systems used on most Android phones, this LiDAR scanner is way different. That’s because it fires laser beams at different parts of a scene in just a short period of time. It’s going to improve the range of capture of an object up to 16.4 feet (5 meters) and also offer a better object occlusion.

Lidar Scanner iPhone 12

The speed of capture always depends on the type of processor powering the smartphone devices. In case of the upcoming iPhone 12 series, they should come powered by Apple’s A14 Bionic processor, according to rumors. If this is anything to go by, then it’ll definitely bring a whole lot of improvement to the scanner, compared to that on the 2020 iPad Pro.

The iPhone 12 series would also get larger sensors. The bigger sensors would allow the upcoming iPhones to capture photos with more details, more light, and less light. It should also lead to better performance in low-light conditions.

iPhone 12 TrueDepth Camera System

Lately, there have been a few rumors regarding the front camera of the upcoming iPhone 12 series. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg, at least one of the upcoming iPhone 12 series will feature a smaller front camera lens. We might be seeing an iPhone with a smaller notch at the front.

Recall that last year, Apple supplier AMS was able to announce a camera sensor technology. The technology allows both the IR proximity sensor, common with the TrueDepth camera system and the RBG light, to be embedded under an OLED display. If Apple could introduce the sensor technology in the 2020 iPhones, it’ll help the company to release a phone with a smaller Face ID notch.

Truedepth camera iphone 12

According to another analyst from Credit Suisse, Apple will likely launch one of its 2020 iPhones without the notch or Face ID feature.

Improved AutoFocus & Periscope Camera Lens

According to a new report, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo rumored that Apple is planning to add Semco, one of the best lens suppliers in Korea, to its supply chain. The analyst also mentioned that the company also has the same plan for Sunny Optical, the best lens supplier in China.

Currently, Apple uses a spring-based design, but with Semco, it’ll now utilize the company’s ball-based voice coil motor. Furthermore, the analyst added that the purpose of that is to improve autofocus on the iPhone 12 series.

Apart from that, the analyst also mentioned that Apple will likely be introducing a periscope telephoto lens, manufactured by Samco, on its 2022 releases. Talking of the lenses, they make use of little space and offer better zoom capabilities.

Other upgrades

According to the rumor mill, the iPhone 12 series would be able to record 4K videos at 120fps. It will also be capable of shooting 4K slow-motion footage at up to 240fps. The iOS 14 beta 1 has leaked the slow-motion 4K recording at 240fps.

However, not everything about the iPhone 12 camera is going to be exciting. Recent reports suggest the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max would support only 2x or 3x optical zoom. The 3x optical zoom would be better than the iPhone 11’s 2x capability, but many flagship Android phones are far ahead.

About the author

Jike Eric

Jike Eric has completed his degree program in Chemical Engineering. Jike covers Business and Tech news on Insider Paper.

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