How to take better photos with an iPhone 12 or 12 mini — 2022
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini often tend to be underestimated in favor of the 'Pro' versions or the iPhone 13, which a priori have better camera specifications. But to what extent? These two devices that share camera technology are capable of real mischief, something that we will try to show you in this article so that you can get the most out of these phones.
Is it the same on all iPhone 12?
We warned at the beginning that this guide is basically for iPhone 12 and 12mini , which do have identical features in their dual rear and front cameras. It is true that in the 'Pro' and 'Pro Max' models we find certain similarities, but when it comes to the final result there are key differences thanks to the LiDAR sensor and the telephoto lens. That is why the photographs that we will show in the following sections do not correspond to what could be obtained with one of these more advanced pieces of equipment.
It should be noted that the great difference these have with the 'Pro' models lies in the absence of a telephoto lens. This type of camera allows you to have a higher optical zoom that, unlike digital zoom, is not done via software and the quality of the photos is much higher. They allow you to take pictures of elements that are somewhat further away without having to get closer, although in any case, in the end, similar results can be obtained by getting a little ahead of the object or person and capturing the correct frame with the wide angle.
Technical specifications available
|camera specifications||iPhone 12 and 12mini|
|Frontal camera||-12 Mpx |
-HD3 smart 3
-Portrait mode with Depth Control and Portrait Lighting
-Recording in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second
-HDR recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 frames per second
Cinema-quality video stabilization at 4K, 1080p or 720p
-Video recording in 1080p at 30 or 60 frames per second
-Slow motion in 1080p at 120 frames per second
-Extended dynamic range for video at 30 frames per second
|rear cameras||-Wide angle: 12 Mpx and f/1.6 aperture |
-Ultra wide angle: 12 Mpx and aperture f / 2.4
-Optical image stabilization
-Optical zoom out x2
-Digital zoom up to x5
-Portrait Mode with Depth Control and Portrait Lighting
-HDR inteligen 3
-Recording in 4K at 24, 30 or 60 frames per second
-Recording in 1080` at 30 or 60 frames per second
-HDR recording with Dolby Vision up to 30 frames per second
-Slow motion in 1080p at 120 or 240 frames per second
-Time-Lapse with Night Mode and stabilization
-Optical Image Stabilization
-Optical zoom out x2
-Digital zoom up to x3
Given this table, we could comment on the following sections as highlights when taking photos:
- Natural light
- studio light
- outline light
- stage light
- mono stage light
- mono high key light
- lived warm
- lived cold
- dramatic warm
- dramatic cold
- camera mode
- creative settings
- Exposure adjustment
- Live Photo
Deep Fusion and computational treatment
Despite having previously seen the table of technical characteristics of the cameras of these iPhones, the truth is that in the end they may end up being data that does not speak for itself. Actually, the photographic result that can be obtained is considerably improved at the software level by the so-called Deep Fusion, which is the computational processing system that these phones have and that is improved compared to the one that was released with the iPhone 11.
This processing is done in the background in a matter of milliseconds. You will not have to activate anything. The A14 Bionic processor is the main one in charge of carrying out this silent task and it is possible that when you open a newly taken photograph you will see that for a second it changes from looking somewhat blurry to looking better and it is precisely because this improvement system has acted. At a technical level, it has complex operations, but what you should know is that the 12 Megapixels of the main lenses are, in the end, mere witnesses of what the software is capable of doing.
iPhone 12 photo modes
If you open the camera of your device you will find the different modalities enabled for it. We analyze each one of them and the parameters that can be adjusted within all of them. As you can see, there are many and varied ways that iPhone 12 users have available to be able to shoot photos. Without a doubt, this is one of the strengths of the iPhone, the great versatility it offers at the photographic and video level.
This camera mode allows you to capture a multitude of photographs in a long time to end up offering a fast-motion video. As soon as you press the button, you can move the iPhone focusing on different situations that will later be compressed in time. It is striking how even a video that has taken several minutes to capture can be left in a few seconds. It should be noted that the zoom x0.5 (ultra wide angle) or x1 (wide angle) can be used with the rear cameras, while it is also enabled with the single sensor on the front.
It is one of the oldest modes within all the options that the user can find within the iPhone Camera app. The results offered by the device are really good, and also very striking since the speed at which everything captured moves and is displayed is very interesting. That if, when doing it you have to keep in mind that the stability of the device is essential for the result to be more or less professional, for this reason we recommend the use of a tripod or, failing that, if it is a Time-Lapse on the move, even the use of a gymbal that stabilizes the movements of the iPhone.
If the previous one made videos in fast motion, this one is the opposite. It is capable of significantly extending the length of a video by capturing up to 240 frames per second in 1,080p HD quality in the case of x0.5 and x1 of the rear cameras and 120 frames per second in 1,080p quality with the front.
For all users who want make very cinematic videos With your iPhone, the possibility of applying slow motion is something fundamental, since it adds an extra quality to all audiovisual creations. As we have mentioned before, this slow motion can be done directly with this recording mode, with the advantage that later on the device you have the opportunity to modify the part in which slow motion is applied. However, you can also record with the normal recording mode, and as long as you do it with the appropriate settings for it, later in the editing program you use, you can apply a slow motion.
If you're going to throw all the meat on the grill in photography with your iPhone, this is the main mode you should know. It allows you to take photos with all kinds of zoom range from the x0.5 of the ultra wide angle to the x5 that is achieved with the digital zoom of the wide-angle camera x1.
This is one of the most popular modes. The well-known bokeh effect is possible here, obtaining an almost perfect focus of the main object or person with the background out of focus. There are several modalities within this, such as the possibility of choosing the level of depth of field, but it is also possible to have portraits with really interesting artistic effects:
Both the mode itself and the effects are available with both the rear and front cameras.
Last but not least, this functionality allows you to take pictures of a much larger scene in a landscape format. You will only have to follow the instructions on the screen to move the iPhone from left to right.
Available settings while taking photos
Although the photos can be edited later from the iOS gallery itself or with a specialized app, the truth is that certain editing settings can be obtained before taking the photo.
focus and brightness
You can play all you want with the focus and brightness of the photos you take with the iPhone. You just have to press with your finger on the part where you want to take the focus and you will see that a yellow box . Precisely on the right side of this box, a vertical line will appear with a sun-shaped icon, and you can slide it up or down to play with the exposure and brightness of the photo depending on what you need at that moment.
If you are a fan of the Harry Potter saga, it is more than likely that you know the famous living photos that are in Hogwarts. Well, this modality allows you to give life to your photographs. If it is activated, you will make the photographs come alive for a few seconds and when you go to see them they will appear animated, and then you can leave them as a still photograph with long exposure, in loop playback as if it were a GIF or with a rebound effect very much in the style Instagram boomerang.
You have at your disposal different image formats in 1:11, 4:3 or 16:9. You can change it depending on the type of photography you need. This is a fundamental point and to which many users do not pay attention. Focusing on all those who take a photograph in order to publish it later on social networks, especially Instagram, the format is essential so that the image you are going to take draws attention later on this social network. You cannot use the same if you are going to upload a story to Instagram, a post or if you are going to use it for a Twitter profile image. Each social network and each type of publication has its appropriate format, and to stand out it is very important to take it into account.
If you take pictures at night or in places with low light, you can get pictures with great light thanks to this mode. It automatically appears on the interface when low light is captured and can automatically vary the exposure time depending on conditions. Normally this ranges from 2 to 10 seconds and up to 30 seconds if you have the iPhone on a tripod.
Both in the front and rear cameras you can take photos with flash, with the difference that in the rear ones this element physically exists and in the front one the white light emitted by the screen is used. You can have it always activated, deactivated or activated automatically in low light conditions. Having built-in night mode, this may not be so necessary.
Blur / Depth Control
In Portrait Mode it is possible to obtain a greater or lesser blur as we told you before. To do this, it is necessary to click on the icon with an f that appears in the upper right part of this mode. Once this is done, the bar appears below that allows you to add a greater or lesser depth, although in later edition it is also possible to edit it.
This functionality is accessible via a button with + and - icons and, as you may have already guessed, it allows you to precisely regulate the exposure level. All this through a sidebar. This is available on both the rear and front cameras.
Something very useful many times when taking a photo, either with the selfie camera or the main ones, is being able to have time to get ready until the button is pressed. The iOS camera timer allows you to set a time of 3 or 10 seconds for it.
Color filters are great for adding a different touch to your photos. With any of the cameras you can already set a previous filter of the following:
More options from settings
If you go to Settings > Camera you can find a multitude of settings for your photos and videos. These either serve to improve some aspects of the camera interface or to activate certain functions that cannot be accessed from the app itself. Below we break down what we can find in each of these settings.
It refers to the photo and video format in which the results obtained through the native camera app will be saved, finding the following two options:
Apart from this, we find other options available in this settings panel:
Record in slow motion
Entering this settings panel, what we find are two unique possibilities for recording in slow motion with the rear camera, since with the front camera you will always have 120 frames per second in 1080p quality.
Other options available
The previous settings have their own panels entering each one, while later we find other settings that are simply an activation/deactivation tab that allow other functionalities such as those described below:
And what does the iPhone 12 camera not have?
Obviously, the most important thing about the cameras of these devices is their real characteristics, like the ones we have been highlighting throughout this post. Now, it is also interesting to know what features it does not have and more in light of the arrival of more recent devices. If you are thinking of buying an iPhone 12 to take photos and videos with it and you have heard about the camera functions of equipment such as the iPhone 13, you should not be misled.
This is a photo format introduced in the iPhone 12 generation, yes, but only for 'Pro' models. If you have or are going to buy an iPhone 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, 13 Pro or 13 Pro Max, you will be able to access this format without any problem. However, with the iPhone 12 and 12 mini you will not have it available. This is an image format created by Apple that involves a type of standard RAW image processing that improves image quality and offers better options for editing aspects such as color or white balance.
If there is ProRAW for photos, this ProRes is intended for video. In this case, there is no iPhone 12 model that supports it, being exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. It is a video format that, as Apple itself explains, allows for multi-stream editing performance in real time with the ability to obtain a professional image from the Camera application of the aforementioned devices.
This is Portrait Mode in video and although there are applications that allow it to be emulated with greater or lesser success on these iPhone 12s, the truth is that natively it is not a function that they can boast of. This modality allows videos with background blur to be taken from the Camera app itself, being able to change the focus in real time automatically or manually, as well as in a later edition in which it is also possible to change the level of blur. .
Sensor motion stabilization
Of this generation, only the iPhone 12 Pro Max has it. Having a stabilizer that is fixed by movement of the sensor implies, among other things, obtaining much sharper and noise-free images without the need to use a tripod. Although it is true that the stabilizer of the iPhone 12 and 12 mini for photo and video is excellent, analyzing the results in detail, it can be seen that they are below the devices that have this functionality.