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Other iPhone 12 camera improvements (rumors)

LonestarOne

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 13, 2019
386
467
McKinney, TX
I created this thread in response to a certain troll complaining about the “same boring 12MP camera” in the iPhone 12. There hasn’t been a lot of discussion about camera improvements, but here are the rumors I have seen:

* Larger 12MP sensor: a 1/1.9” sensor will capture almost twice as many photons, giving nearly 2x low-level performance.
* Sensor-shift stabilization (for all lenses?).
* Additional lens elements for higher optical quality.
* Reduced focusing distance (2 cm closer) for macro photography.
* Improved Smart HDR (now called Smart XDR?) for better dynamic range.
* Better night mode. (Now for all lenses?)
* Better autofocus due to larger sensor and LIDAR.
* Better portrait mode due to LIDAR.
* 240 fps 4K video.

Obviously, not all of these features will be available on all models, and some those rumors might be wrong. But it is an impressive list, IMO.
 
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polyphenol

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2020
352
366
Wales
I created this thread in response to a certain troll complaining about the “same boring 12MP camera” in the iPhone 12. There hasn’t been a lot of discussion about camera improvements, but here are the rumors I have seen:

* Larger 12MP sensor: a 1/1.9” sensor will capture almost twice as many photons, giving nearly 2x low-level performance.
* Sensor-shift stabilization (on all cameras?).
* Additional lens elements for higher optical quality.
* Reduced focusing distance (2 cm closer) for macro photography.
* Improved Smart HDR (now called Smart XDR?) for better dynamic range.
* Better night mode. (Now for all lenses?)
* Better autofocus due to larger sensor and LIDAR.
* Better portrait due to LIDAR.
* 240 fps 4K video.

Obviously, not all of these features will be available on all models, and some those rumors might be wrong. But it is an impressive list, IMO.
As a current iPhone 6s owner, I am waiting to upgrade. And it is the camera which will decide which way I go.

If the 12 gives me enough, I'll go for it. That is, if it gives most of your list. If it doesn't, I might even go for an 11 - hopefully at a reduced price.
 
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Samut

macrumors regular
Oct 1, 2017
149
128
Those would be nice improvements but to be honest Apple needs to do more to keep up with the competition. While impatiently waiting for the Iphone 12 pro I decided to take a look at what there is to offer for Android and I was shocked how good cameras those phones have. I was almost tempted to get one until I remembered how horrible my last experience with Android felt when I had to get a backup phone for a couple of weeks.

As is. Currently competition is using 1/1.33" sensors while Iphone has 2.55″ sensor. The pixel size (1.2 µm vs Iphone's 1.4 µm) on those phones is on par with Iphone even though they have 48 megapixel sensors. Sensors in most of the flagship phones seems to come from Sony and it probably sets some limitations on what kind of sensors and features are available for Apple. If they for example want to put emphasis on HDR and fast sensor readout times it might limit them to a certain size of sensors with certain amount of megapixels.

Edit: It would be actually nice to have a larger sensor with more megapixels on iPhone as it would allow some pretty nice very high resolution shots taken with Cortex Camera and Apples own Fusion which both take several pictures and combine them as one very detailed high resolution image with less noise.

I found this chart which nicely highlights the difference between a 1/1.33" sensor and 1/2.55" sensor.

 
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DexBell

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2016
528
402
I created this thread in response to a certain troll complaining about the “same boring 12MP camera” in the iPhone 12. There hasn’t been a lot of discussion about camera improvements, but here are the rumors I have seen:

* Larger 12MP sensor: a 1/1.9” sensor will capture almost twice as many photons, giving nearly 2x low-level performance.
* Sensor-shift stabilization (for all lenses?).
* Additional lens elements for higher optical quality.
* Reduced focusing distance (2 cm closer) for macro photography.
* Improved Smart HDR (now called Smart XDR?) for better dynamic range.
* Better night mode. (Now for all lenses?)
* Better autofocus due to larger sensor and LIDAR.
* Better portrait mode due to LIDAR.
* 240 fps 4K video.

Obviously, not all of these features will be available on all models, and some those rumors might be wrong. But it is an impressive list, IMO.

You know this rumor is garbage straight from the jump because there isn't just one sensor in a triple camera iPhone. The ultra wide and telephoto currently use a 1/3.6" sensor while the main wide camera uses a 1/2.55" sensor. either way, a 1/1.9" sensor will make little real world difference. Let me know when Apple can match, or at least come close to the 1/1.28" Quad Bayer sensor in the P40 Pro. Then we will have something to get excited about. Either way, Apple has a ways to go before they can compete with Huweai and Xiaomi cameras.
 
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DexBell

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2016
528
402
For someone who claims to be a professional photographer, you don’t know very much about photography.

The difference between a 1/2.55" sensor and a 1/1.9" sensor is miniscule. Most people will never notice a real difference. Like I said, get up to 1/1.28" or even 1/1.33" like the competition and we can talk. That will be a noticeable difference.
 
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LonestarOne

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 13, 2019
386
467
McKinney, TX
The difference between a 1/2.55" sensor and a 1/1.9" sensor is miniscule. Most people will never notice a real difference.

As I said, you don’t know much about photography.

This will get you started.

 
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polyphenol

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2020
352
366
Wales
As I said, you don’t know much about photography.

This will get you started.

I absolutely hate the "1/2.55" way of expressing sensor sizes. Much prefer to use simple millimetres and square millimetres. Please. Chances are the engineering behind everything is based on SI/metric and converted to inch equivalents (or nearly so) for USA public consumption alone.
 
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DexBell

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2016
528
402
As I said, you don’t know much about photography.

This will get you started.


I’ve been a pro photographer for 15 years and been published in major publications all arou d the globe. I know exactly how sensor size and pixels work, and for the vast majority of iPhone users, who aren’t making large prints and who aren’t looking at their photos zoomed in 1:1 on a large 6k monitor, they will never, ever notice the difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor.

look at all the YT videos. Your average consumer can’t even tell the difference between photos taken with an APS-C sensor and a FF/35mm sensor viewed full size. You think your average iPhone user is going to be able to see a difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor on a tiny iPhone display? 🤣 just stop, even if it happens, it’s a minuscule upgrade with little real world benefits.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,224
12,399
Gotta be in it to win it
I’ve been a pro photographer for 15 years and been published in major publications all arou d the globe. I know exactly how sensor size and pixels work, and for the vast majority of iPhone users, who aren’t making large prints and who aren’t looking at their photos zoomed in 1:1 on a large 6k monitor, they will never, ever notice the difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor.

look at all the YT videos. Your average consumer can’t even tell the difference between photos taken with an APS-C sensor and a FF/35mm sensor viewed full size. You think your average iPhone user is going to be able to see a difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor on a tiny iPhone display? 🤣 just stop, even if it happens, it’s a minuscule upgrade with little real world benefits.
I would assume as a pro photographer that has been published in "major publications all around the globe", you would be proud to cite yourself. Right?
 
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DexBell

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2016
528
402
I would assume as a pro photographer that has been published in "major publications all around the globe", you would be proud to cite yourself. Right?

he called me out, had to put him in his place. By the way, several of those major publications I’ve been published in, I used an APS-C camera for. Not a single editor or art director ever looked at the photos and said, hey these weren’t shot with a 35 mm sensor! So to proclaim that iPhone users will ever see the difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor with photos viewed on a 5-6 inch display is laughable. The difference will be minuscule. Like I said, get up to a 1/1.28“ or even 1/1.33” sensors like the competition, and now we are talking about seeing real differences in photos.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,224
12,399
Gotta be in it to win it
he called me out, had to put him in his place. By the way, several of those major publications I’ve been published in, I used an APS-C camera for. Not a single editor or art director ever looked at the photos and said, hey these weren’t shot with a 35 mm sensor! So to proclaim that iPhone users will ever see the difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor with photos viewed on a 5-6 inch display is laughable. The difference will be minuscule. Like I said, get up to a 1/1.28“ or even 1/1.33” sensors like the competition, and now we are talking about seeing real differences in photos.
Well you don't want to cite yourself, that's ok. Moving a bit afield, but a camera such as the 7DmII is a gold standard in many situations. Of course sometimes that gold standard is like lead and when a full frame isn't good enough, a camera such as the Hasselblad H6D might fill the bill.

All of this hyperbole aside, cameras in smartphones have pluses and negatives and the way you, the owner of the smartphone will use them depends on whether the usage plays to their strengths or weakness.
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,826
2,383
Between the coasts
I would say most camera features are for non-photographers, not photographers. The Smart HDR etc. helps non-camera people shoot and get nicely exposed photos all the time, without having to think about things like exposure, blowing highlights, dark shadows etc.

I'd disagree to some extent. Knowing when to use a setting and how to use it to the best effect is hardly something a non-photographer can do with forethought (serendipitous accidents do happen, of course). I consider myself a photographer (have done it professionally), and find Smart HDR (or whatever you want to call it) to be very useful. For subject matter that calls out for HDR the choice is either to bracket a series of shots (perhaps using a tripod) and do it all in post, or take advantage of in-camera HDR. While there's far less control in-camera, it often does as much as I need.

The principal motive behind HDR is that real-world dynamic range exceeds the capabilities of the recording/reproducing medium. This was true for film emulsions, and it's still true with electronics. Whether one plans to dodge/burn-in in the chemical darkroom or composite a half-dozen exposures in the digital darkroom, the real problem is adapting to the shortcomings of the technology. If a camera can encompass that dynamic range without needing to compensate in post-production, why not? A human can't manually set the exposure for every photo site on a sensor, but a computer can. And it's also possible to give the photographer override/supplemental controls (eg. choose the areas that need a boost/cut to dig-out shadow/highlight details).

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with "nicely exposed photos." The true mark of a photographer isn't mastering the technical challenges of achieving a good exposure - exposure is only part of what makes an image great. Sure, if getting a passable exposure requires extensive technical skill, then a good technician can call himself a photographer. But if technology can deliver nicely-exposed images to "non-photographers," why not? There's much more to a great photograph than that.
 
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GrumpyMom

macrumors G3
Sep 11, 2014
9,189
13,187
I’m not an expert in photography. I just want to be able to take the phone on my camera and be able to capture the cute expressions on the faces of children and pets in indoor and outdoor lighting and have the subjects come out in focus and clearly visible. While that type of photography won’t win me any accolades, it’s not been easy to get the quality of snapshots I’ve been looking for until I got my 11 Pro. My new SE has also been quite good in many circumstances.

I’m not going to understand, try as a might, all the detailed photography discussions. But I can tell from year to year if a phone camera has been improved and how those improvements can be experienced just looking at how much more the photos matched what I remember seeing with my own eyes in front of me at the time I snapped the photos.
 
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jm31828

macrumors 6502
Sep 28, 2015
446
221
Bothell, Washington
One thing I would add is that even in situations where the iPhone can get a nicely exposed shot to rival a dslr, the problem is the lens. For landscape photography I almost always find my phone to be useless because everything looks so far away with how wide the standard lens is. Maybe the 2x zoom in the iPhone pro would be somewhat helpful in those situations, but regardless this is where dslr lenses really outshine anything a phone can do.
 
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LonestarOne

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 13, 2019
386
467
McKinney, TX
I know exactly how sensor size and pixels work, and for the vast majority of iPhone users, who aren’t making large prints and who aren’t looking at their photos zoomed in 1:1 on a large 6k monitor, they will never, ever notice the difference between a 1/2.55” sensor and a 1/1.9” sensor.


The reason for using a larger sensor has nothing to do with pixel size. That’s a common layman’s misconception. It’s to increase light sensitivity. Despite your boasting, you really don’t understand how sensors work.
 
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DexBell

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2016
528
402
The reason for using a larger sensor has nothing to do with pixel size. That’s a common layman’s misconception. It’s to increase light sensitivity. Despite your boasting, you really don’t understand how sensors work.

Where did I ever say that? Larger sensors usually mean larger pixels and that's usually better than more pixels. You don't follow along very well, try reading.
 
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