Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max

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Last year, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max shared a camera system. That’s not the case with their successors. They both have ultra wide, wide and telephoto cameras, but the Pro Max has a 2.5× optical zoom and Apple’s new sensor-shift OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) system, which stabilises the sensor rather than the heavier lens. The main camera sensor is 47% larger, which Apple states offers 87% better low light performance.

What does this mean? It depends on what you shoot, when you shoot and the keenness of your eye. In bright conditions, you won’t notice major differences over last year’s iPhone, bar slightly superior colour, improved details and reduction in noise. This all becomes more apparent in lower light and when shooting to RAW.

The improved optical zoom becomes interesting when arriving from Apple’s previous Pro Max iPhones. At first, it feels a touch alien, like it’s zooming in too far. Quickly, though, you find the ability to get closer in is something you can’t do without – and you wish the iPhone could go further.

As night draws in, the combination of LiDAR, OIS, larger sensor and Apple’s fancy software makes for shots that range from impressive to surreal. When it’s not too dark, the larger sensor means you needn’t depend on Night mode so much. In the dead of night, with nothing more than street lamps lighting a scene, you can still capture a surprising amount of detail. In more favourable conditions, you end up with less noise, a lower likelihood of blur and all-round faster shots.

Much of this extends to video, with the revamped sensor lessening blown highlights in scenes with tricky lighting, while the OIS system makes for steadier shots.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max image gallery

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