Globe-trotting photog’s camera review shows power of iPhone 12 Pro Max

Globe-trotting photog’s camera review shows power of iPhone 12 Pro Max


Austin Mann reviewed the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Travel snapper Austin Mann put the the iPhone 12 Pro Max to the test.
Photo: Austin Mann/Cult of Mac

Austin Mann got early access to the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and the professional photographer really tested the improved camera in Apple’s latest. His laboratory was Zion National Park in Utah, where he took a series of photographs that pushed the handset to its limits.

The results are spectacular and informative. And good news for anyone who already got an iPhone 12 Pro.

Mann announced his much-anticipated review on Twitter, and gave a sneak peek.

As is his habit, he focuses entirely on the camera. Those looking for something more general should read other iPhone 12 Pro Max reviews.

Austin Mann takes the iPhone 12 Pro Max for a hike

Mann answered a question many have been wondering about. The travel snapper didn’t find many situations where the 6.7-inch version of this handset produced significantly better pictures than the somewhat cheaper 6.1-inch version. “I shot in tons of different lighting scenarios, and frankly in many of the scenes both cameras rendered a beautiful image and I could barely see a difference between iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max,“ said Mann in his full review.

He could find slight differences in low-light images taken with the standard “Wide” camera. While the Pro Max handled these better, he calls these “minor improvements.”

Also, Mann captured some spectacular shots of landmarks of Zion National Park with the 5x optical zoom in the Pro Max. The Pro has a 4x optical zoom.

He went on to use the iPhone 12’s camera to capture various challenging images, like using Smart HDR 3 to put both a brightly-lit sky and dimly-lit rocks in the same picture.

In his summary, Mann admits that going int the review  he thought the Pro Max would be the winner. And he likes the extra telephoto capabilities. But there were only a few scenes it produced better pictures, and he said the iPhone 12 Pro Max, “feels massive in my hand and it’s hard to operate as a single-handed camera.”


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.