iPhone 12: Which models have which cameras?

Apple iPhone 12: which phone has which cameras? Apple doesn't make its naming system easy to understand, but to be fair, the company is hardly alone in this. This year's class of new iPhones includes four models – iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max – and aside from the size differences implied by 'mini' and 'Max,' you're on your own to figure out what separates them. One of the differences that matters to a lot of people is the device's camera features, and that's what we're here to help demystify. We'll go into depth on the more subtle differences between each device's cameras below, but if you're looking for a really quick answer here it is: the non-Pro models only have standard wide and ultra-wide cameras, while the Pro models have telephoto, standard and wide cameras. For visual learners, like us, here's what that looks like in table form: iPhone 12 iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max Standard wide camera ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ Ultra-widecamera ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅ Telephotocamera ❌ ❌ ✅ ✅ There's more to it than that of course. There's always more to it. Here's a detailed rundown of each phone's cameras and photo features. iPhone 12 ($800 and up) and iPhone 12 mini ($700 and up) Two rear cameras (Standard and Ultra-wide) Front-facing selfie camera The two non-Pro models offer the exact same camera hardware and features, which makes a choice between the two much easier – choose between the 12's 6.1" display or the 12 mini's 5.4" screen. As mentioned, both of these models lack a telephoto lens, as well as the Pro models' Time-of-Flight (ToF) LiDAR sensor, used for better depth mapping, augmented reality and Night Mode portraits. So what's changed since the iPhone 11? The 12, 12 mini (and both Pro models) use a new 7-element lens with a wider F1.6 aperture on the main wide-angle camera. All three of the 12 and 12 mini's cameras (as well as the Pros' telephotos) now support Night Mode and Deep Fusion; technologies that use computational methods to improve photo quality. Resolution Aperture Focal length (equiv.) Stabilization Night Mode portraits Standard wide 12MP (1.4 µm pixels) F1.6 26mm ✅ ❌ Ultra-wide 12MP F2.4 13mm ❌ ❌ Selfie camera 12MP F2.2 23mm ❌ ❌ iPhone 12 Pro (starts at $1000) Three rear cameras (Standard, Ultra-wide and Telephoto) Front-facing selfie camera Includes a ToF LiDAR 3D mapping sensor Apple ProRaw (via update later this year) Here's where the differences in camera features start to get a little more complicated. The Pro and Pro Max both have standard wide and telephoto cameras, but they're not the same. The Pro features the 12MP sensor found in the 12 and 12 mini, while the Max uses a different, larger sensor. The Pro offers a 52mm equiv. telephoto lens, while the Pro Max offers a slightly longer 65mm equiv. lens. Resolution Aperture Focal length (equiv.) Stabilization Night Mode portraits Standard wide 12MP (1.4 µm pixels) F1.6 26mm OIS ✅ Ultra-wide 12MP F2.4 13mm ❌ ❌ Telephoto 12MP F2.0 52mm OIS ❌ Selfie camera 12MP F2.2 23mm ❌ ❌ iPhone 12 Pro Max (starts at $1100) Three rear cameras (Standard, Ultra-wide and Telephoto) Front-facing selfie camera Includes a ToF LiDAR 3D mapping sensor (for better depth mapping, augmented reality and Night Mode portraits) Apple ProRaw (via an update planned for later this year) The 12 Pro Max builds on the 12 Pro's camera capabilities by opting for a larger sensor in its standard wide camera with bigger pixels, which should improve low-light performance. The standard camera also includes more robust sensor-shift image stabilization, and the Max's telephoto lens is also a bit longer for tighter portrait framing. Resolution Aperture Focal length (equiv.) OIS Night Mode portraits Standard wide 12MP (1.7 µm pixels) F1.6 26mm Sensor-shift OIS ✅ Ultra-wide 12MP F2.4 13mm ❌ ❌ Telephoto 12MP F2.2 65mm OIS ❌ Selfie camera 12MP F2.2 23mm ❌ ❌ Which one should you buy? The short answer is that if you care about getting the very best image quality from your phone, the iPhone 12 Pro Max looks to be your best option. We're be eager to test out Apple's big image quality claims, but on paper at least, the improvements that have been made – especially to the main camera sensor – should add up to better performance. Apple ProRaw is likely to be another key feature for those who care deeply about image quality, combining the flexibility of Raw capture with the benefits of computational photography. Unfortunately it's another unknown at this point, since it will come to the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max later this year. While it's a relatively safe assumption that the 12 Pro Max's camera will be better than that of the other 12-series devices, the question is how much better, and whether it's enough to make a difference to most people. We're looking forward to testing the phones and finding out for ourselves.

iPhone 12: Which models have which cameras?

Apple iPhone 12: which phone has which cameras?

Apple doesn't make its naming system easy to understand, but to be fair, the company is hardly alone in this. This year's class of new iPhones includes four models – iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max – and aside from the size differences implied by 'mini' and 'Max,' you're on your own to figure out what separates them. One of the differences that matters to a lot of people is the device's camera features, and that's what we're here to help demystify.

We'll go into depth on the more subtle differences between each device's cameras below, but if you're looking for a really quick answer here it is: the non-Pro models only have standard wide and ultra-wide cameras, while the Pro models have telephoto, standard and wide cameras. For visual learners, like us, here's what that looks like in table form:

iPhone 12 iPhone 12 mini iPhone 12 Pro iPhone 12 Pro Max
Standard wide camera

Ultra-wide
camera

Telephoto
camera

There's more to it than that of course. There's always more to it. Here's a detailed rundown of each phone's cameras and photo features.

iPhone 12 ($800 and up) and iPhone 12 mini ($700 and up)

  • Two rear cameras (Standard and Ultra-wide)
  • Front-facing selfie camera

The two non-Pro models offer the exact same camera hardware and features, which makes a choice between the two much easier – choose between the 12's 6.1" display or the 12 mini's 5.4" screen. As mentioned, both of these models lack a telephoto lens, as well as the Pro models' Time-of-Flight (ToF) LiDAR sensor, used for better depth mapping, augmented reality and Night Mode portraits.

So what's changed since the iPhone 11? The 12, 12 mini (and both Pro models) use a new 7-element lens with a wider F1.6 aperture on the main wide-angle camera. All three of the 12 and 12 mini's cameras (as well as the Pros' telephotos) now support Night Mode and Deep Fusion; technologies that use computational methods to improve photo quality.

Resolution Aperture Focal length (equiv.) Stabilization Night Mode portraits
Standard wide 12MP
(1.4 µm pixels)
F1.6 26mm
Ultra-wide 12MP F2.4 13mm
Selfie camera 12MP F2.2 23mm

iPhone 12 Pro (starts at $1000)

  • Three rear cameras (Standard, Ultra-wide and Telephoto)
  • Front-facing selfie camera
  • Includes a ToF LiDAR 3D mapping sensor
  • Apple ProRaw (via update later this year)

Here's where the differences in camera features start to get a little more complicated. The Pro and Pro Max both have standard wide and telephoto cameras, but they're not the same. The Pro features the 12MP sensor found in the 12 and 12 mini, while the Max uses a different, larger sensor. The Pro offers a 52mm equiv. telephoto lens, while the Pro Max offers a slightly longer 65mm equiv. lens.

Resolution Aperture Focal length (equiv.) Stabilization Night Mode portraits
Standard wide 12MP
(1.4 µm pixels)
F1.6 26mm OIS
Ultra-wide 12MP F2.4 13mm
Telephoto 12MP F2.0 52mm OIS
Selfie camera 12MP F2.2 23mm

iPhone 12 Pro Max (starts at $1100)

  • Three rear cameras (Standard, Ultra-wide and Telephoto)
  • Front-facing selfie camera
  • Includes a ToF LiDAR 3D mapping sensor (for better depth mapping, augmented reality and Night Mode portraits)
  • Apple ProRaw (via an update planned for later this year)

The 12 Pro Max builds on the 12 Pro's camera capabilities by opting for a larger sensor in its standard wide camera with bigger pixels, which should improve low-light performance. The standard camera also includes more robust sensor-shift image stabilization, and the Max's telephoto lens is also a bit longer for tighter portrait framing.

Resolution Aperture Focal length (equiv.) OIS Night Mode portraits

Standard wide

12MP
(1.7 µm pixels)
F1.6 26mm Sensor-shift OIS
Ultra-wide 12MP F2.4 13mm
Telephoto 12MP F2.2 65mm OIS
Selfie camera 12MP F2.2 23mm

Which one should you buy?

The short answer is that if you care about getting the very best image quality from your phone, the iPhone 12 Pro Max looks to be your best option. We're be eager to test out Apple's big image quality claims, but on paper at least, the improvements that have been made – especially to the main camera sensor – should add up to better performance.

Apple ProRaw is likely to be another key feature for those who care deeply about image quality, combining the flexibility of Raw capture with the benefits of computational photography. Unfortunately it's another unknown at this point, since it will come to the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max later this year.

While it's a relatively safe assumption that the 12 Pro Max's camera will be better than that of the other 12-series devices, the question is how much better, and whether it's enough to make a difference to most people. We're looking forward to testing the phones and finding out for ourselves.