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iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro Buyer's Guide

friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,317
1,081
Does anybody know how exactly LIDAR improves low light photos? Previously we had raw camera specs that bettered low light photography on these phones year to year, now we have LIDAR. Can anyone explain?

LIDAR gives the phone the distance from the phone to everything else... and it works using infrared so it works perfectly well in the dark. It actually creates a "distance map" (the distance from the phone for each "pixel" (one ifrared ray shot from the phone)). The distance map can help photography in a number of ways:

1. Identify the subject (it can "see" humans)
2. The distance can instantly give the camera the correct focal distance to use - so the camera doesn't have to figure it out
3. The depth map can be used to simulate depth-of-field effects (i.e. Bokeh - the blurry backgrounds on portrait photos).

Since all of this works just as well at night as not - that gives the 12 a huge leg up on low-light/night photography.

I feel like I may be in the minority, but I think the Pro’s Pacific Blue color is much more appealing than the standard iPhone 12 blue.

Agreed! I'll be getting a PB 12 Pro Max

Just not sure on what to do. Not really impressed with the wide camera as goes fisheye to me so don’t use much. I’m not a professional at all, but do take lots of pics and vids all with my iPhone.

Don't forget that the 12 (all of them) have MUCH better ultra-wide photos with much less distortion than before....

But that's only on the ultra-wide camera.

Frankly, and assuming sensor-OIS is substantially better than lens-OIS, I'd rather have that on the wide and telephoto sensors, as camera shake is more detrimental at longer focal lengths.

Not the ultra-wide... just the "regular" wide.
 
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Gatto37

macrumors newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23
54
Please don’t speak on behalf of us who upgrade every year. I don‘t upgrade my iPhone every year to ”get attention.” On the contrary, I always get the black phone with a black ultra-thin case, so I don't “stand out.” I upgrade every year because I appreciate having a new, faster phone as I pretty much use it for everything. Both work and personal. All these yearly upgrades, no matter how incremental they might seem, are always worth it to me. Having the latest iPhone doesn’t make me feel like I’m better or more special than the next person. Because I’m not. I do it because it dramatically benefits MY life.

That is why I wrote “most customers” but my apologies if I offended you or others. My point was that in certain countries many people can’t afford an iPhone 12 let alone the flagship models. In these countries an iPhone is basically a luxury item. No wonder it attracts people’s attention and some would take advantage of it. You and me are lucky enough because we buy these stuff for work, or other benefits you and others said.
 

friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,317
1,081
My mistake - thanks! That makes a bit more sense putting it on the wide vs the ultra-wide.

It would make even more sense having that on the telephoto sensor. But most people will be using that less frequently.

Agreed - honestly surprised they didn't put it there first. I guess they are considering that most photos are taken with the "wide"... so it would do the most good there...
 

upandown

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2017
742
626
The Verizon app let me go through the pre-order process. I didn’t submit the order as I’m not upgrading this year. They offered $440 for my iPhone X, now it’s blocked.
 

travelsheep

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2013
699
712
Apple should fire their purchasing department, obviously they have the worst RAM price deals in the industry. You would think a large company like this could get and sell their RAM cheaper...
 

Codpeace

macrumors regular
May 13, 2011
124
82
NYC
Please don’t speak on behalf of us who upgrade every year. I don‘t upgrade my iPhone every year to ”get attention.” On the contrary, I always get the black phone with a black ultra-thin case, so I don't “stand out.” I upgrade every year because I appreciate having a new, faster phone as I pretty much use it for everything. Both work and personal. All these yearly upgrades, no matter how incremental they might seem, are always worth it to me. Having the latest iPhone doesn’t make me feel like I’m better or more special than the next person. Because I’m not. I do it because it dramatically benefits MY life.
Excellent comment.

This judgmental ******** needs to be put behind us. We all spend our “extra” money on things that really matter to us. All, ALL of us do that: nicer food, nicer wine, nicer phone, nicer drugs, nicer internet service, nicer whatever we need to make life worth living in those times when things just suck, which is most of the time. Especially in 2020. So buy the nicer phone and economize somewhere else. And don’t judge others because you’re feeling crappy about your life...
 

trims

macrumors regular
May 11, 2011
223
69
Nottingham, UK
It’s a good point. I found that at first glance, one fixates on the first words ‘aerospace-grade and ‘surgical-grade’... and would assume that ‘aerospace-grade’ would trounce anything else... and then you re-read it... 🙄
Steel has greater tensile / ductile strength, but is significantly heavier.
 
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Corbets1979

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2016
13
10
That is why I wrote “most customers” but my apologies if I offended you or others. My point was that in certain countries many people can’t afford an iPhone 12 let alone the flagship models. In these countries an iPhone is basically a luxury item. No wonder it attracts people’s attention and some would take advantage of it. You and me are lucky enough because we buy these stuff for work, or other benefits you and others said.
An iPhone is a luxury item in ALL countries. There’s no basic need to have one.

If you want to be judgemental about people’s vanity, fine, but don’t expect empathy on a forum essentially dedicated to luxury items.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,096
2,723
Does anybody know how exactly LIDAR improves low light photos? Previously we had raw camera specs that bettered low light photography on these phones year to year, now we have LIDAR. Can anyone explain?

I think it helps during autofocus, but if you care about low light pics, the better sensor on the Max is more important than LiDAR. The wide lens has OIS on the sensor, and the sensor itself is better and captures more light.
If you're undecided between 12 and 12 Pro, LiDAR will help you a bit, but Max is the model to chose if you really care about taking pictures. And that's a bummer, as I like the smaller form factor.
This is one of the reasons why I'll skip the 12, I have a Xs and like that size, but the 12 Pro doesn't come with the best camera, and if I pick the 12 I lose the telephoto lens.
 

Ciscowithlimbo

macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2015
7
10
I can’t sleep. Currently have the 11 pro but despise how heavy it is. Can’t decide between the 12 or 12 pro. I would go for the 256GB so the price difference would be $150 for me. I really think i’ll love the light weight of the 12 and I always put a case on so I don’t care about the steel. My biggest concern is losing the Telephoto lens and what I may miss out on with the Lidar scanner. I’m not that big on photography just when going on vacation or random parties. Maybe some night photos. Anybody want to weigh in their opinion. I kind of want to just flip a coin but at the same time I would prefer to know what I really want.
 

dotnet

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,213
906
Sydney, Australia
I just wish Apple would stop calling the 52mm (or even 65mm) a “telephoto lens”...

Coming from a 7Plus 256GB I’m looking at a 12 Pro Max 128 or 256. The size is ok with me. What slightly worries me is the increased weight. Also, thumb reachability of the home bar (or whatever today’s all-screen kiddies call that thing at the bottom where the home button used to be). I do like the increased battery life of the Plus/Max sized phones.

Of course, what I really want is a 12 Pro Mini with 20mm wide, 50mm normal and 135mm telephoto cameras, 20h battery life and 6GB RAM. In white ceramic. ;)
 

Daniel Alvarez Arribas

macrumors newbie
Sep 15, 2020
3
2
What about sensor sizes? I am still confused now about whether the 6.1 non-pro and the 6.1 Pro have the same sensor or at least the same sensor size for the wide camera (i.e., the default camera). Apple is really not forthcoming at all in providing proper technical data, or even being clear about it, one relative to the other. For the 6.1 Pro a "1.4 ym" pixel size is stated. What about the 6.1 non-pro?
 

dotnet

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2015
1,213
906
Sydney, Australia
What about sensor sizes? I am still confused now about whether the 6.1 non-pro and the 6.1 Pro have the same sensor or at least the same sensor size for the wide camera (i.e., the default camera). Apple is really not forthcoming at all in providing proper technical data, or even being clear about it, one relative to the other. For the 6.1 Pro a "1.4 ym" pixel size is stated. What about the 6.1 non-pro?

Only the 12 Pro Max has a larger than before sensor, and only in the “wide” camera.
 

0x3333

macrumors newbie
Apr 17, 2017
2
1
Apples to Apples, compare the 128 gb models and factor in the true pricing which is $30 more for the non-Pro.

KEY Differences

iPhone 12

  • 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide camera lenses
    • Optical image stabilization
    • 2x optical zoom out, 2x optical zoom range, and digital zoom up to 5x
  • Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 30 fps
  • 4GB of RAM *


iPhone 12 Pro
  • 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameralenses
    • Dual optical image stabilization
    • 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out, 4x optical zoom range, and digital zoom up to 10x
  • Dolby Vision HDR video recording up to 60 fps
  • LiDAR Scanner for Night mode portraits, faster autofocus in low light, and next-level AR experiences
  • 6GB of RAM *

So really, it's just $120 more for telephoto, higher frame rate, LiDAR, and more RAM.

You missed the stainless steel, which is a much more tough material, my personal experience is that it worth the money, the body will not deform in case of a fall.
 

FujiLingo

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2020
25
32
I just wish Apple would stop calling the 52mm (or even 65mm) a “telephoto lens”...

Coming from a 7Plus 256GB I’m looking at a 12 Pro Max 128 or 256. The size is ok with me. What slightly worries me is the increased weight. Also, thumb reachability of the home bar (or whatever today’s all-screen kiddies call that thing at the bottom where the home button used to be). I do like the increased battery life of the Plus/Max sized phones.

Of course, what I really want is a 12 Pro Mini with 20mm wide, 50mm normal and 135mm telephoto cameras, 20h battery life and 6GB RAM. In white ceramic. ;)
I agree. 52mm is considered a normal lens by most photographers. A 65mm could be considered a short telephoto at best, but I still consider it a pretty normal focal length.
 
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BranCracker

macrumors member
Oct 15, 2020
61
26
Canada
You missed the stainless steel, which is a much more tough material, my personal experience is that it worth the money, the body will not deform in case of a fall.
The durability is actually the largest factor for me in this comparison; more so than the cameras. I'm thinking about going case-less so any improved ruggedness would be nice.

Hard to say if that alone is worth the extra money. I guess when you look at, say, the Apple Watches, the cost from aluminum to SS is pretty sizable (even with considering the sapphire screen too)
 

Dizzy714

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2009
111
20
I think it helps during autofocus, but if you care about low light pics, the better sensor on the Max is more important than LiDAR. The wide lens has OIS on the sensor, and the sensor itself is better and captures more light.
If you're undecided between 12 and 12 Pro, LiDAR will help you a bit, but Max is the model to chose if you really care about taking pictures. And that's a bummer, as I like the smaller form factor.
This is one of the reasons why I'll skip the 12, I have a Xs and like that size, but the 12 Pro doesn't come with the best camera, and if I pick the 12 I lose the telephoto lens.

This would be a no brainer decision if Apple did not spec bump the Max, easy decision - I’d have a 12 Pro pre-ordered. The fact that I did not pre-order it kind of tells me that I’ve internally convinced myself and accepted that I’ll be going with the Max this year. What worries me, however, is that if Apple decides to match the camera specs in next years refresh, then I’m once again in a bind because after a year on a larger screen it’d be nearly impossible to downsize - unless, of course, I absolutely hate how big the phone is in my day to day use and just can’t wait for that day to come, ha.
 

FujiLingo

macrumors newbie
Oct 15, 2020
25
32
This would be a no brainer decision if Apple did not spec bump the Max, easy decision - I’d have a 12 Pro pre-ordered. The fact that I did not pre-order it kind of tells me that I’ve internally convinced myself and accepted that I’ll be going with the Max this year. What worries me, however, is that if Apple decides to match the camera specs in next years refresh, then I’m once again in a bind because after a year on a larger screen it’d be nearly impossible to downsize - unless, of course, I absolutely hate how big the phone is in my day to day use and just can’t wait for that day to come, ha.
I'm ordering the Pro Max precisely for this reason. The Pro just sits in a weird place between the 12 and Pro Max. It doesn't have a whole lot offer over the 12 for $200, and it lacks a lot of the features the Pro Max has that is only $100 more. I don't know what Apple's strategy was here...
 
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