One of the requests in the comments on my previous camera shootout was to have the iPhone 12 Pro Max thrown into the mix as well, and in full-on ProRAW shooting mode, i.e. side-stepping a final JPG and edge enhancement processing stage. Given that this phone/mode triumphed previously, I think this is a good call. And timely, with the Galaxy S21 Ultra getting a major update since my previous article. With the Lumia ready as my reference and with the new genuine budget contender, the Redmi Note 9T thrown into the mix as well, what we have here is a full-on four way contest.
Recent Features - iOS
Following my initial imaging battle between the PureView champion and the new iPhone 12 Pro Max, in which the latter triumphed by a small margin, I promised a 'part 2', this time using the iPhone in its new ProRAW mode, in which you get the best of both worlds - modern multi-frame HDR and yet perfect pixel purity, with no populist enhancements. This should present the toughest challenge yet for the venerable 1020...
I've done a number of Lumia vs iPhone imaging battles in recent years, but one that keeps getting requested is the classic 2013 Lumia 1020 (running the original Windows Phone 8.1) against the new top end imaging monster, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Original PureView against seven years of sensor, stabilisation, and processor development. I've a feeling the 1020 might not pull this one back, despite this Flow recently. But let's see the margin, shall we...
Having already discussed the benefits of Apple's game-changing adoption of a new image capture format and workflow with the iPhone 12 Pro series and iOS 14.3, it's time to put it to the test. In theory, ProRAW means trivial output of photos which are as pure as the purest images coming out of the Lumia 950/XL. So let's hit the phones with a variety of challenging subjects and see how they do. I'm also throwing in 'default' iPhone 12 Pro capture as well, so that's clear whether it's worth hitting the toggle in the iPhone's UI. Is the newcomer the obvious replacement for a classic 'PureView' device?
In the latest in our occasional series on smartphone photography, I may have moved on from a Lumia as a day to day phone, but the ideas and ambitions are still there. In this example, I return to the graveyard featured in #17, but this time with oodles of December fog to add atmosphere. The result? One of the favourite photos I think I've ever taken with a phone.
A few days ago I did an imaging shootout between the Lumia 950 XL and the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G, which the latter won by a nose. But as I was capturing the test shots, I also did so on my iPhone 12 Pro Max - just in case. And, in view of the way the new iPhone flagship went down to the Lumia in my first head to head, I thought I'd give it another chance. I mean, it's only fair - and the data is all sitting here on my computer anyway, so why not look at this new test photo set afresh?
It's the one you've been waiting for. The highest end (in terms of imaging) iPhone ever against an AAWP stalwart. Last year's iPhone 11 Pro managed to win out against the Lumia 950, thanks to triple camera, restrained image processing, loads of horsepower, and some very clever multi-frame software. So the 12 Pro Max, with larger sensor, new OIS system, and longer lensed telephoto should do even better, right? Well... Let's find out.
It's the big one... the largest iPhone ever with the largest, most sophisticated camera ever. In an iPhone, at least. But it looks pretty good so far - an imaging shootout is coming next (of course), but in the meantime here's a specs feature. Yes, the 2015 Lumia's outgunned, but it gives me an opportunity to go over what's in the new iPhone flagship against a known bookmark.
Despite Apple's (and then Google's) attempts to quosh the humble wired 3.5mm audio jack on modern smartphones (and copied by many others), plenty of decent smartphones are still sold with jacks and with DACs feeding whatever wired headphones you care to plug in. Potentially higher quality, and certainly no issues with drained batteries or lost AirPods (etc.) In this update of an article from 18 months ago, I test some of the 'jacked up' smartphones that I've had in for testing in 2020. Any conclusions, any winners?
Something a little different here, with a three way test - just because I have the very latest from Google and Apple here. Pitched against the classic Lumia 950 (from 2015), because this is AAWP, after all, I've taken a number of test scenes in all light conditions - which will be the purest of PureView cameras? Do note that the 'big one' on the iPhone 12 imaging front is November's 12 Pro Max, so that'll have its own camera showdown in due course...