Looking for the best iPhone for photography? Well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll end up choosing the most expensive model with the most sophisticated set of cameras. The very best iPhone for photography may be obvious with the release of the iPhone 12, but other iPhones are almost as good as 12.
There’s no denying that the latest up-to-date iPhone 12 series offers some of the best camera phone photographic capabilities around. The iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max are the flagship iPhones, offering a triple camera rear unit with a 4x optical zoom and the ability to capture Night Mode portraits. Meanwhile, the vanilla iPhone 12 and the newly introduced iPhone 12 Mini still offer fantastic shooting capabilities, with a wider aperture on the main camera.
Depending on your budget and your needs, you might actually find that an older, more affordable option is actually the best iPhone for photography for you. If you’re truly looking for the newest, most up-to-date handset, then you might actually want to hold off on making your purchasing decision until the iPhone 13 series announcement which is expected in September 2021 and is predicted to be a small update to the iPhone 12 series.
However, if you’re looking for the best iPhone for photography, but you also like to search for a good bargain, then you might want to consider either the iPhone 11 Pro or the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Both handsets also feature rear triple camera units -and they have the additional benefit of being a year older and, therefore, better value for money. We’ve listed out the best iPhones for photography below to help you find the right model for you-good luck!
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro is one of the most advanced handsets for photographers currently available. When compared with phones such as the Samsung Galaxy $20 Ultra, which packs a 108MP sensor, you might initially consider the iPhone 12 Pro’s 12MP camera sensors to be slightly less impressive. However, when you’re working with a sensor as small as a smartphone sensor, huge megapixel counts don’t necessarily mean good image quality
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
You can’t judge camera phones purely on specs. The iPhone 11 Pro’s triple-camera array is hardly cutting edge by today’s camera phone standards, but it works brilliantly. The colors, tones and exposures are consistent across all three cameras, and the image processing is perfectly judged to produce natural looking detail and not the usual over-sharpened, over-smoothed smartphone look. The new ultrawide camera is just brilliant for travel photography, landmarks and spectacular interiors, and while it can’t quite match the edge to edge image quality of the other lenses, it still produces sharp, distortion-free ultra-wide images that widen your horizons in every possible way. We like the regular iPhone 11 Pro best – the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the same cameras but it’s just a bit big, while the regular plain-vanilla iPhone 11 is cheaper but doesn’t have the 52mm telephoto lens.
Apple iPhone 12 Mini
iPhone 12 Mini puts out big flagship phones with more features, cameras and pixels than ever. This means it’s much more affordable than its contemporaries, as well as being easier to hold and carry around.
Despite the reduction in size, Apple hasn’t skimped on tech for the iPhone 12 Mini. It boasts a beefy dual camera array, with a 12MP 26mm f/1.6 and a 12MP 13mm f/2.4. There’s no telephoto like you get on the Pro, but it’s still very impressive, and with the capacity to shoot 4K video as well, any content creator is going to have a whale of a time with it. The only real disappointment is the battery life.
Apple iPhone 11
It’s cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro, but you lose the telephoto’ lens. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck when it comes to a new iPhone, then we’d argue that the iPhone 11 might just be it. The iPhone 11 does have a few downsides, namely its lack of a telephoto lens and OLED screen, but you can pick it up for such a great price now, that you have to ask yourself how important these features are to you? If you’re looking for the very best iPhone for photography, then we’d recommend going with a Pro Max model. However, if you want a great iPhone for taking pictures that won’t break the bank, then the iPhone 11 is a natural choice.
Apple iPhone 12
It might not have the telephoto camera, but iPhone 12 is still a great buy. iPhone 12 might not have quite the same wow-factor as the iPhone 12 Pro, but it’s certainly no slouch when it comes to its photographic capabilities. It has dual camera system featuring an ultrawide f/2.4 camera and a wide f/1.6 camera. While the iPhone 12 doesn’t have a dedicated telephoto camera, users can achieve a digital zoom of up to 5x. All of the iPhone 12 models are now capable of HDR video recording with Dolby Vision, although on the iPhone 12 this is only up to 30fps as compared to the iPhone 12 Pro’s 60fps. The iPhone 12’s front-facing camera is capable of both Night mode and Deep Fusion, which weren’t available on the base iPhone 11’s selfie camera. The iPhone 12 is also now capable of Night mode Time-lapse.
In its time, iPhone XS was the best iPhone. The regular iPhone XS has the same cameras as the Max version. The rears offer two 12-megapixel cameras, one for standard wideangle shots, the other for 2x zoom images. Apple offers a very natural and faithful image preview, which shows a good estimate of the benefits of image processing before that processing has even taken place. The color balance and the character of Apple’s processing are also very pleasant. Other highlights include 240fps slo-mo at 1080p and X-series-only additional modes in the background blur portrait mode, such as Stage Lighting. This blacks out the background, for an image that looks a little like an actor’s headshot. The 2x zoom is also useful, particularly as it has optical image stabilisation just like the main camera. Many people might find this more useful than the new ultra wide lens on the iPhone 11, so the iPhone XS is still a good option, even though it’s now last year’s model.