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Camera Comparison: Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro

How big are the differences between the iPhone 11 Pro's and 12 Pro's cameras?
How big are the differences between the iPhone 11 Pro's and 12 Pro's cameras?
Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro has finally arrived, and it does everything better. How well does, for example, the camera perform? And how much better is it than last year’s iPhone 11 Pro’s? Do the minor differences found on the spec sheet really justify switching? Let’s find out!
Daniel Schmidt, 👁 Daniel Schmidt (translated by Finn D. Boerne), 🇩🇪 🇪🇸 ...
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Beim Ultraweitwinkel kommt das neue Modell ohne chromatische Aberrationen an den Gebäudekanten aus und bleibt auch zu den Bildrändern hin ein wenig schärfer. 

According to the spec sheet the Apple iPhone 12 Pro only features a handful of improvements over its predecessor. Among others, the triple-camera is now supported by a LiDAR sensor supposed to assist the autofocus in low-light situations. It also collects additional depth-of-field information for improved portrait photos. The main 26-mm wide-angle camera features a slightly improved aperture of f/1.6, and the ultra-wide angle and telephoto lens remained practically unchanged.

During our tests, the new iPhone’s wide-angle camera turned out to create more balanced photos and performed better in situations with backlight, see our palace photo. It lacks the 11 Pro’s slight haze, and the sky turned out to be more pronounced and richer in contrast than on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Macro performance was almost identical to the 11 Pro. The only difference you may notice is ever so slightly bokeh.

The ultra-wide angle photos taken with the 12 Pro lacked the chromatic aberrations usually found along the edges of buildings, and photos remained a tad sharper towards the edges and corners.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

WeitwinkelWeitwinkelUltraweitwinkel
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Both Apple smartphones come with a 2x optical zoom and a 10x digital zoom. In both cases the iPhone 12 Pro produced a slightly better and clearer image albeit zoom quality remains in need of improvement.

In low-light situations the iPhone 11 Pro’s photos turned out brighter. In return, the iPhone 12 Pro produced photos richer in detail and a more fitting overall atmosphere. When using the optional night mode, the iPhone 12 Pro’s photos were slightly brighter with a finer grain.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Zoom (5-fach)Zoom (10-fach)Low-LightNachtmodus
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All things considered the Apple iPhone 12 Pro produced better images in all cases. More often than not the differences are very minor. That said those who insist on top quality are unlikely to be using a smartphone camera anyway. If you already own an iPhone 11 Pro you may find that the improved camera quality is not enough to make you switch. If, however, you use an older iPhone it may turn out to be rather enticing.

iPhone 11 Pro (green) and iPhone 12 Pro (blue) cameras
iPhone 11 Pro (green) and iPhone 12 Pro (blue) cameras
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Daniel Schmidt
Editor of the original article: Daniel Schmidt - Managing Editor Mobile - 388 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2013
As a child I was fascinated by my Commodore 16, and this sparked my enthusiasm for computers. Using my first modem, I surfed the BTX videotext system and later the World Wide Web. I have always been captivated by the latest technologies, and this is especially true for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. I’ve been part of the Notebookcheck team since 2013 and have also on occasion written for Notebookinfo.de, and I’m looking forward to testing new innovations for our readers. I like to spend my spare time indulging in photography and barbecues and being with my family.
Finn D. Boerne
Translator: Finn D. Boerne - Translator - 424 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
Born in the United States and raised in Germany I became acquainted with both languages from an early age and turned this into my profession later in life. Computers have always played an important role in my life, and my love for all things digital is a huge part of my daily routine. Virtual Reality has captured my imagination and interest in particular, and I cannot wait to see what the (near) future will bring.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Camera Comparison: Apple iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro
Daniel Schmidt, 2020-11-18 (Update: 2020-11-18)