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iPhone 12 vs. iPhone 12 Pro Buyer's Guide

rg80

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2020
1
1
I am torn between waiting for the 12 mini and the 12 Pro! I love the fact that the mini is slightly smaller than my current iPhone 7 and its a whopping 60g lighter than the 12 Pro.
Never had a telephoto lens in the phone so not sure if its worth the added $250 for the telephoto in the 12 Pro. That is the main feature I would care about. Not sure why folks are going crazy over the new Pacific Blue color. I feel both the shades of blue they have this year are quite dull. I would go with the white (if 12 mini) or silver (if 12 Pro).
 
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Dizzy714

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2009
111
20
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...

Cheers to being Max brothers!
 

Codpeace

macrumors regular
May 13, 2011
124
82
NYC
I am torn between waiting for the 12 mini and the 12 Pro! I love the fact that the mini is slightly smaller than my current iPhone 7 and its a whopping 60g lighter than the 12 Pro.
Never had a telephoto lens in the phone so not sure if its worth the added $250 for the telephoto in the 12 Pro. That is the main feature I would care about. Not sure why folks are going crazy over the new Pacific Blue color. I feel both the shades of blue they have this year are quite dull. I would go with the white (if 12 mini) or silver (if 12 Pro).
So this seems to me like a fairly easy analysis: 50-100 times per day, every day, you’ll notice and enjoy the smaller form of the mini. You’ll revel in it, even, when fishing for your keys or maneuvering for your pen.

How often would you really use that “telephoto” lens? Me, maybe 1 out of 3 days being really generous, but in a real life year probably more like once a month. Max.

Just my $.02. It seemed like you were asking for advice.

But, that pro is sexy. I like it, too. Sure I want to sleep with it tonight — but which one do I want to have dinner with and sleep with every night for many years...
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors G4
Jan 17, 2013
10,344
16,180
Wales, United Kingdom
Having an aluminium phone is enough to tempt me towards the 12 despite sharing many of the similarities with the 12 Pro. I prefer the lighter weight premium feel and the blue is nicer on the 12 than the Pro IMO. It’s all a personal choice though, there is no correct answer here.
 

IAmNotDonaldTrump

macrumors newbie
Feb 20, 2017
15
13
This is the reason I will get the Pro. Should be able to merge personal and business numbers on one phone and its only $120 more for 256gb version.
 

rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
76
50
Copenhagen, Denmark
Actually, the Pro telephoto lens has a larger aperture than the Pro Max. The lower the f-stop number means the lens opens up wider. This in turn means that theoretically the Pro telephoto would do better in low-light situations than the Pro Max, especially when you factor in the fact that it's a shorter focal length, but it's probably splitting hairs when comparing f/2.0 vs f/2.2 and 55mm vs 65mm.
55 mm/2.0 = 28 mm
65 mm/2.2 = 30 mm
So aperture is a bit larger on the 65 mm, but due narrower field of view less light reaches the sensor...
 

rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
76
50
Copenhagen, Denmark
That's complete nonsense, the Telephoto lens is leaps beyond the Wide lens + digital zoom.

And the Telephoto lens in the 12 Pro Max takes another leap forward with ƒ/2.2 aperture and 5x optical zoom range.

It is by far the most important camera.
f/2.2 is in itself a step backwards from f/2.0 though 😅
Also “5x zoom” is just a figure of the relative difference between min. and max. focal lengths - it’s the “mm” you want; “65 mm” translates to a narrower field if view than “55 mm” 😃
 
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rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
76
50
Copenhagen, Denmark
That f/2.0 telephoto lens is lacking in sharpness that the main lens has; in fact Tony Northrup said it is no better than if you’d simply cropped a photo taken by the wide lens. The telephoto lens hasn’t improved at all on the 12 series. The real improvements will happen when they finally introduce that periscope lens.
Well if you compare the two that is obviously just not true 👀
 

rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
76
50
Copenhagen, Denmark
Cropping isn’t the same as using digital zoom. The tele lens aperture is the same as the iPhone 11. “Leap forward”? lol. It’s not “5X optical zoom range” despite what  marketing calls it. The wide lens is a 26mm equivalent lens. The telephoto lens is a 52 mm. Effectively giving you 2x optical “zoom”.
The tele is 65 mm equivalent, the ultrawide is 13 mm equivalent - 65 mm/13 mm = 5 😊
 

rmariboe

macrumors member
May 27, 2015
76
50
Copenhagen, Denmark
"a telephoto lens with a larger aperture"

This is _incorrect_. The 12 Pro Max has a higher f-stop... but a SMALLER (yes, "worse"/"slower") aperture.

The aperture on the 12 Pro telephoto is: f/2.0
On the 12 Pro Max it's: f/2.2

(larger numbers mean _smaller_ apertures)

That means the 12 Pro telephoto lets in ~20% more light than the 12 Pro Max telephoto.
Actually... ☝🏽🤓
The aperture is 10% larger (65 mm/2.2 vs 55 mm/2.0) - but due to increased focal length (smaller FoV) lets in less light 😅
 
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Usernotmaker

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2020
11
7
Apologies for double posting, wrote this under wrong (Pro v Pro Max) comparison yesterday

Does anyone know why the 12 and 12 mini don't have a telephoto camera but do have an ultrawide?
What's the logic or technical reason?
I use telephoto a lot since 7+, am I the only one?
 

lietsche

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2006
144
49
I will get the 12 Pro

I had the iPhone 11 Pro Max for the last year and it was really bothering me, because of its weight and because it is cumbersome. I always have my phone with me and use it several hours per day, it is just not practical for me so I found myself multiple times thinking "if only I had taken the non Max version". Before I had the iPhone X which was perfect in size.

Even though I am a photographer I hate it not to have the best cameras/lenses/sensor/stabilisation available offered by the max version, but then again I think it comes more down to the actual composition of the photo itself. Will the difference be so drastic between the PRO and the PRO MAX version? I honestly don't think so, it is more of a marketing speech, probably. We will find out soon. Compared to the 11 PRO MAX the advantages with deep fusion and especially night mode on all lenses (as well portraits) is quite significant.

So yes, I prefer the smaller size and do a compromise of missing out the additional features in photography, because in a year or two I will get a new iPhone anyway and let's see what the features are then. I really hope that with the LiDAR Scanner and the additional computing processing power, we will be able to take "portrait" videos soon, that would be a game-changer.
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors G4
Jan 17, 2013
10,344
16,180
Wales, United Kingdom
Apologies for double posting, wrote this under wrong (Pro v Pro Max) comparison yesterday

Does anyone know why the 12 and 12 mini don't have a telephoto camera but do have an ultrawide?
What's the logic or technical reason?
I use telephoto a lot since 7+, am I the only one?

I would imagine because the wide angle is perhaps more widely appealing and useful in general day to day use than zooming. I rarely use the zoom on my current phone so won’t miss the lack of it on the iPhone 12. When I know I’m out for the day with my family I tend to take a camera as I want better results than a smartphone too.
 
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cwwilson

macrumors 68000
Jan 27, 2009
1,531
879
Oklahoma City, OK
I’m still torn between which iPhone 12 I will ultimately get. If I go with the regular 12 then I’ll just get the 128GB version as it’d be only $8 more a month on my bill. If I go Pro, I’d go for the 256GB model...that would be $15 more a month than what I’m paying for my 11. I’ve estimated that the Max may be $5 more a month than the equivalent Pro, not sure about the mini (maybe $5 less than equal 12?). So there’s a lot to think about!

One thing is for certain, I’m going blue for the color.
 

slimejester

macrumors regular
Apr 5, 2020
167
217
I ordered the 12 Pro and I’m having doubts about it being much more of an upgrade over the standard 12. 6GB RAM, LIDAR and possibly a better quality screen are the big selling points for me, but I feel like the gap between the two devices is more narrow then ever. I’ll likely keep the Pro, but it would be nice to have a lighter device and save $200 for nearly the same exact features. Anyone else feeling the same way?
 

friedmud

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,317
1,081
Actually... ☝🏽🤓
The aperture is 10% larger (65 mm/2.2 vs 55 mm/2.0) - but due to increased focal length (smaller FoV) lets in less light 😅

Hah - true enough... but it's difficult to get that subtlety across. The statement in the article that it has a "larger aperture" is deifnitely misleading as it's written in a positive way like the Pro Max has more light gathering capability because the number is larger... but that's not the case.
 

Deinocheirus

Suspended
Oct 5, 2020
380
561
f/2.2 is in itself a step backwards from f/2.0 though 😅
Also “5x zoom” is just a figure of the relative difference between min. and max. focal lengths - it’s the “mm” you want; “65 mm” translates to a narrower field if view than “55 mm” 😃
Also you should note that it probably doesn't matter and is still better. It is a smaller aperture to accommodate the increased zoom. But iPhone already does not use the Telephoto camera in too-low light scenarios...it automatically uses the wide camera instead, cropped, if there is not enough light when you choose 2x. So depending on how that software threshold works, this wouldn't necessarily ever be a noticeable downgrade...only an upgrade when actually using Telephoto in good/normal lighting.
 

Usernotmaker

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2020
11
7
I would imagine because the wide angle is perhaps more widely appealing and useful in general day to day use than zooming. I rarely use the zoom on my current phone so won’t miss the lack of it on the iPhone 12. When I know I’m out for the day with my family I tend to take a camera as I want better results than a smartphone too.
Thanks for this.
I use the zoom pretty much every time I use the phone to take photos (which is as much if not more than I use it as a phone).
Not having had a phone with ultrawide I need to research this. So far I've understood it to be a faster alternative to panorama shots (which I use but much less than zoom).
Also use a camera but mainly when travelling. I find using the phone faster and more discreet even if the result is not as good. And I'm often too slow to get the camera out and onto the right settings so miss the moment. I need setup time!
 

The-Real-Deal82

macrumors G4
Jan 17, 2013
10,344
16,180
Wales, United Kingdom
Thanks for this.
I use the zoom pretty much every time I use the phone to take photos (which is as much if not more than I use it as a phone).
Not having had a phone with ultrawide I need to research this. So far I've understood it to be a faster alternative to panorama shots (which I use but much less than zoom).
Also use a camera but mainly when travelling. I find using the phone faster and more discreet even if the result is not as good. And I'm often too slow to get the camera out and onto the right settings so miss the moment. I need setup time!

Out of curiosity, why are you using the zoom every time you use the camera? Do you take a lot of photos of things you can’t get close to?
 

Usernotmaker

macrumors newbie
Sep 26, 2020
11
7
Out of curiosity, why are you using the zoom every time you use the camera? Do you take a lot of photos of things you can’t get close to?
Sorry, my wording was not precise enough. I meant that pretty much every time I use the camera I use zoom for some of the shots. Yes, often I can't get close enough whether in museums, at concerts or just out and about.
Also forgot to say that I use the zoom in Pano shots as well.
 
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stylinexpat

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
1,968
4,191
For the amount of money they are asking their zoom numbers are still quite far behind compared to some of the Chinese smartphone manufacturers like say “Huawei” and the same goes for the wireless charging features where they are at 15W and new ones like the one from Xiaomi are at 80W for wireless charging. The RAM at 6GB is still half of what others are offering. Last but not least is the outdated and slow 8 year old lightning port still being used. Asides from these 4 small negatives the new iPhone should be quite good. I will most likely update mine this year but these 4 things are still a negative for a new top of the line smartphone from Apple. Also they did not seem to address the issue of being able to download dual apps for their dual sim smartphones unless I somehow missed that part. Their smartphone competition from China allows dual app downloads for dual sim smartphones essentially allowing one smartphone to become two smartphones in one. Apple seems to be half way there just like with other things while prices are not half way there.
 
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stylinexpat

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2009
1,968
4,191
Out of curiosity, why are you using the zoom every time you use the camera? Do you take a lot of photos of things you can’t get close to?
The zoom features are actually quite useful for those who don't see so well. Say you are somewhere like a restaurant and can't read the menu well or want to read a car plate down the street. A lot of times a good optical camera these days can be like wearing glasses without the need of wearing glasses. These 2 car plates could not have been read without zoom from a smartphone and the same with what the sign read on this sign. More helpful in reading things from a distance. Like having two types of glasses in 1
IMG_20201018_172306.jpg IMG_20201018_172221.jpg IMG_20201018_172340.jpg
 
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