When Apple rolled out the most expensive model in its latest generation of iPhones on Nov. 13, users were quick to fangirl over the iPhone 12 Pro Max's groundbreaking camera upgrades, which helped set the $1,099 model apart from others in the 12 line. Considering the iPhone 12 Pro Max features three cameras, enhanced night mode capabilities, a longer zoom, and a wider image sensor, it's not surprising that both amateur and pro photographers are loving the device's new advancements. From shooting selfies and time lapses in night mode to capturing Dolby Vision footage in real time, these iPhone 12 Pro Max camera tips will help you make the most of your new device.
While the iPhone 12 Pro Max is more expensive than the $999 iPhone 12 Pro, the $799 iPhone 12, and the $699 iPhone 12 mini, it owes its higher price tag to its enhanced camera functionality. While it does have three cameras like the iPhone 12 Pro — in addition to the ability to take portraits in night mode through the Pro-only LIDAR sensor — there are a few features that sets the device apart.
For one, the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a primary sensor that's 47% bigger and uses significantly larger pixels, meaning the camera is able to capture more light and thus, clearer results even in darker settings. Paired with an extended telephoto lens, which "allows for longer framing in the classic portrait style," as well as enhanced stabilization technology due to the sensor shift, the low light performance of the 12's camera is 87% better than the camera of the 11 Pro Max.
Here are some tips to take DSL-quality photos and videos on your phone.
1. Use Apple ProRaw For More Control When Editing Photos
While iPhone users used to only be able to shoot in a "raw format" by using third-party apps, Apple has taken a cue from Google's pixel phones by introducing Apple ProRaw in its camera app. If you want greater control of your exposure, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance in settings where lighting can distort your image, you'll want to shoot in raw so you can choose the settings yourself and have greater freedom when editing later.
2. Capture Subjects From Far Away
One of the best parts of the iPhone 12 Pro Max is the wide-angle lens and the telephoto lens, which is exclusive to the model. A telephoto lens allows you to focus and zoom in on a subject even when you're far away with a 2.5X optical zoom while a wide-angle lens accommodates wide scopes by capturing more of a horizontal vista. In short, you have more options to capture the subject you want, even if you're too close or too far away.
3. Take Better Low-Light Photos
Thanks to the Pro Max's deep fusion and smart HDR capabilities, which adjusts different parts of the camera to optimize your images for detail, texture, and color, users can expect significantly enhanced photos even in low-light settings. Another advantage of the telephoto lens is enhanced portrait mode due to algorithm improvements between the subject and the background.
Compared to some of the other 12 models, the iPhone 12 Pro Max really shines when it comes to shooting in low-lighting. For example, it has a top ISO (a measure of light sensitivity) of 7,616 versus the Pro's 5,808, meaning you'll have less "noise" when shooting photos.
4. Brighten Up Dark Selfies & Portraits With Night Mode
In addition to regular night mode, which is available in all iPhone 12 models, you can now use portrait mode in night mode, thanks to the LIDAR scanner. In addition to better lighting, you can expect enhanced details and clarity in your low-light shots.
5. Take Better Videos
One of the most hyped features of the Pro Max is its video updates. In addition to offering HDR with Dolby Vision at up to 60fps, which should help balance highlights and shadows while filming, the device has an improved optical image stabilization, meaning any videos you take should be more stable by balancing out any potential movements or vibrations.
These are just a few of the many great features that make the iPhone 12 Pro Max camera comparable to any other standalone camera on the market, so don't hesitate to play around with some of the different upgrades to get the shot you want.