Apple Launches New iPhone 12 Pro Line With Upgraded Cameras, LiDAR Sensor

Apple is introducing four new iPhones this week. Along with the regular iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Mini, the company is introducing two higher-end devices: the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.

All four of these new devices share a lot in common, so I would suggest first reading my article on the new entry-level iPhones here. But here is a quick breakdown anyway: Apple is bringing back the iconic squared-off design for the iPhone, all the new iPhones have 5G and Super Retina XDR OLED displays, none of them have displays with 120Hz refresh rates, Night Mode for all cameras, and all of them feature the new A14 chip which includes the fastest CPU and GPU in any smartphone.

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So what do you get for spending more on the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max? Firstly, the iPhone 12 Pro comes with the same 6.1-inch OLED display as the regular iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, features a 6.7-inch display — making it the largest iPhone ever. This thing is massive. It includes the same Ceramic Shield with improved 4x drop performance as the regular iPhone devices.

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On the back, however, there are some important changes — mainly to the cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro comes with a wide-angle lens (f/1.6 aperture), an ultrawide lens, a telephoto lens (f/2.0 aperture) with 4X optical zoom, and a LiDAR sensor that will help enable new AR experiences. The larger iPhone 12 Pro Max, on the other hand, features the best camera Apple has ever built. It comes with a similar same setup but features a 5X optical zoom for the telephoto lens, improved OIS, and a 47% larger wide-angle lens. The new A14 Bionic chip also enables Deep Fusion on all four cameras of the iPhone 12.

The new iPhone 12 also enables HDR video recording, bringing 10-bit HDR video recording to the iPhone 12. iPhone 12 Pro is also the first phone camera to record in Dolby Vision HDR at 4K resolution and 60FPS. You will also be able to edit this Doly Vision videos right from your iPhone 12 Pro.

The company is even launching a new feature called Apple ProRaw late this year, a new camera feature which will be available exclusively to the iPhone 12 Pro line. Apple ProRAW gives pros much more control over their photos, and Apple will also enable a new API that can be used by third-party apps to edit ProRAW pictures.

Apple is putting a lot of emphasis on the new LIDAR sensor on the back of the iPhone 12 Pro models, which we first saw on the iPad Pro earlier this year. Apple says the new LiDAR sensor will allow the iPhone 12 to understand the world around you, delivering “instant AR” experiences on the Pro line. The LiDar sensor is also used when taking low-light pictures, improving autofocus in low light, and low light pictures in general. Apple says autofocus in low light is now 6x faster with the new LiDAR sensor and improving low-light portrait pictures.

The new iPhone 12 Pro models come in gold, silver, graphite, and blue. For storage, iPhone 12 Pro models start at 128GB and go up to 512GB. The new iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at $1099. iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 will be available for pre-order this Friday, and ship on October 23. iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini will be available for pre-order on November 6, and ship November 13.

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Conversation 26 comments

  • coachjonno

    13 October, 2020 - 3:00 pm

    <p>and no type c?</p>

    • lezmaka

      Premium Member
      13 October, 2020 - 3:28 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586203">In reply to coachjonno:</a></em></blockquote><p>It has a type-c to lightning cable in the box lol</p>

      • ivarh

        15 October, 2020 - 2:26 am

        <blockquote>People whom have old chargers will also most likely have old USB-A to lightning cables as well. I like the new USB-C -&gt; lightning cables as I can use them on any of my USB-C chargers and get better charging speeds than the old USB-A to lightning cables could get.</blockquote><blockquote><br></blockquote><blockquote><a href="#586208"><em>In reply to lezmaka:</em></a></blockquote><p><br></p>

  • waethorn

    13 October, 2020 - 3:56 pm

    <p>…but can it make dinner?</p>

  • thejoefin

    Premium Member
    13 October, 2020 - 4:35 pm

    <p>Not enticed to upgrade my iPhone 8. No fingerprint reader, no Apple Pencil support. Nothing about these new iPhones would change how I use my phone. I'll keep using this refurbished iPhone 8 as long as I can.</p>

    • mclark2112

      Premium Member
      13 October, 2020 - 4:54 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586213">In reply to TheJoeFin:</a></em></blockquote><p>I have a iPhone X, and I'm with you. Nothing to see here, move along…</p>

      • SvenJ

        Premium Member
        14 October, 2020 - 3:24 pm

        <blockquote><a href="#586231"><em>In reply to mclark2112:</em></a><em> </em>Did you guys miss that there is a blue one?</blockquote><p><br></p>

  • glenn8878

    13 October, 2020 - 5:26 pm

    <p>iPhone 12 Pro having the same screen size as the iPhone 12 is a major improvement. I never thought having a smaller screen size makes sense. Now that I have an iPhone 11 with 128GB, the next phone must go to 256GB minimum. I would have maintained 128GB for 5 years and 2 iPhone models, and that's way beyond useful for the things I want to have on the phone. Hopefully, 256GB should be the standard in 2 years when I upgrade.</p>

  • nickel

    13 October, 2020 - 9:19 pm

    <p>I'm no apple guy, have no apple products, but is the no 120hz really a thing to knock? I ask as I have a phone with 120hz and I've switched between it and 60hz and well, don't really notice any difference in anything when I do….</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2020 - 2:37 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586255">In reply to Nickel:</a></em></blockquote><p>Same here, no visible difference, so I use 60Hz for more battery life.</p>

  • mikegalos

    14 October, 2020 - 1:13 am

    <p>And, once again, no, the telephoto lens does NOT have 4x "optical zoom". It has 4x digital zoom.</p><p><br></p><p>Optical zoom works by changing the physical positioning of the lens elements and gives full resolution regardless of focal length.</p><p>Digital zoom works by cropping the image. It does not change the perspective or depth of field and lowers the resolution.</p>

    • bhofer

      14 October, 2020 - 1:50 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586260">In reply to MikeGalos:</a></em></blockquote><p>Could you clarify on this? Apple states these phones have 4x/5x optical zoom, and 10x/12x digital zoom. Are you saying the optical zoom is really only digital zoom too? <span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">I understand that digital zoom is a blown up cropped image and can look pixelated, so I avoid going outside the optical zoom range; but photos I've taken within the optical zoom range look great.</span></p>

      • winner

        14 October, 2020 - 2:50 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#586371">In reply to bhofer:</a></em></blockquote><p>They have two cameras and one has like 4x or 5x the focal length of the other. The rest is software interpolation. Not "zoom" in that no physical lens elements are actually moving.</p>

        • rbgaynor

          14 October, 2020 - 8:51 pm

          <blockquote><em><a href="#586384">In reply to Winner:</a></em></blockquote><p>Not quite true, the telephoto has a real (moving lens) 2X optical zoom on the Pro and 2.5X optical zoom on the Pro Max. Optical zoom on the iPhone has been true for years.</p>

      • Paul Thurrott

        Premium Member
        15 October, 2020 - 9:18 am

        They only have 2x optical zoom out. The Max has 2.5x optical out.

  • wright_is

    Premium Member
    14 October, 2020 - 2:36 am

    <p>4x zoom from what? What are the equivalent focal lengths of the different lenses?</p>

    • Scsekaran

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2020 - 3:28 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586264">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>I think it is actually 2X and 2.5X zooms. </p>

    • StagyarZilDoggo

      Premium Member
      14 October, 2020 - 4:40 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586264">In reply to wright_is:</a></em></blockquote><p>13/26/52 mm for the Pro.</p><p>13/26/65 mm for the Pro Max.</p><p>I won't care about smartphone cameras until they manage to build one with actual zoom lens (with a continuous zoom range) instead of multiple prime lenses…</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        14 October, 2020 - 7:05 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#586284">In reply to StagyarZilDoggo:</a></em></blockquote><p>Thanks for that. So just about a standard focal length on a DSLR 3/4 format.</p><p>So, pretty useless for me. I spend most of my time in the 250mm – 500mm range.</p>

  • Saarek

    14 October, 2020 - 9:21 am

    <p>Smartphones are now like laptops and the product announcements, from any company, are just boring. Slightly faster this, barely noticeably better that, etc. I can't remember the last time any smartphone came out with a feature which I felt I had to upgrade for.</p><p><br></p><p>The HomePod Mini though…… I'm ordering three of those beauties.</p>

    • bkkcanuck

      14 October, 2020 - 12:12 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586327">In reply to Saarek:</a></em></blockquote><p>I am only ordering one – figured that at $99 (and not being an Amazon spy device…) it is worth the risk. </p>

    • RobertJasiek

      15 October, 2020 - 2:43 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#586327">In reply to Saarek:</a></em></blockquote><p>And this while there is still very great potential for improvement: unlimited supply with OS updates; matte display to greatly reduce reflectance.</p>

  • bkkcanuck

    14 October, 2020 - 12:10 pm

    <p>How many times do we 'spell' the acronym LiDAR: LIDAR, LiDAR, and LiDar….</p><p><br></p><p>Actually reminds me of one UI screen written by one very senior 'programmer' (he was promoted out of that into senior management to stop it :o)…. He managed to misspell withdrawal 5 times (5 different ways) … and the with all those combinations… none was correctly spelled. It is fine – the system only held peoples hard earned savings… </p>

  • waethorn

    14 October, 2020 - 1:29 pm

    <blockquote><em><a href="#586257">In reply to lvthunder:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>:-|</p>


    18 October, 2020 - 2:25 am

    <p>I would prefer Apple not normalize arming their customers to shoot other people with lasers, like that's okay now.</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      18 October, 2020 - 9:03 am

      Um. What.


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