iPhone X and iPhone 12, which one takes better photos? — 2022

Three years separate the iPhone X from the iPhone 12. Although it is true that in the family of the latter we find two models with better camera performance, we believe that it is a fair and interesting comparison that can be made with that mythical iPhone X. In this article we compare all their lenses, analyzing the details that each one is capable of perceiving.

Note: In order to offer a better page loading speed, we have compressed the photographs shown in the following sections. However, both have the same compression percentage and we have tried to lose as little quality as possible, so the results can be seen perfectly.

Camera specifications of both devices

In the following sections you will find the real comparison between the results of one device and another, however we believe it is convenient to observe first what the differences are on paper between the cameras of the iPhone X and iPhone 12. Two models separated by several years of difference and between the that, in theory, there should be a leap in terms of performance at the camera level to take pictures and video.



specsiPhone XiPhone 12
wide angle lens12 Megapixels with f/1.8 aperture12 Megapixels with f/1.6 aperture
telephoto lens12 Megapixels with f/2.4 apertureDoes not have
ultra wide angle lensDoes not have12 Megapixels with f/2.4 aperture
general rear camera-Dual optical image stabilization
-2x optical and 10x digital close-up zoom
-Flash True Tone with slow sync
-Portrait mode
-Portrait Lighting
-Auto HDR
-Optical Image Stabilization
-Digital close-up zoom x5
-Optical zoom out x2
- Bright True Tone flash with slow synchronization
-Portrait mode with advanced bokeh effect
-Portrait Lighting
-Depth Control
-Smart HDR 3
-Deep Fusion
-Night mode
front lens7 Megapixels with f/2.2 aperture12 Megapixels with f/2.2 aperture
General front camera-Retina Flash
-Auto HDR
-Portrait mode
-Portrait lighting
-Retina Flash
-Smart HDR 3
-Portrait mode with advanced bokeh effect
-Portrait lighting
-Depth Control
-Night mode
-Deep Fusion

The Cupertino company has never made its devices stand out from the competition due to simple technical specifications, they have always wanted to stand out thanks to the user experience that people have when using their devices. Something similar can happen in this case. On paper the differences are not really very big, however, as you can see in the comparison of photographs, which is really what matters, the results between both devices are quite different. However, before entering fully into the comparison of results, we want to explain to you what are the most notable differences that you can find between both devices.

  • The ultra wide angle lens It is undoubtedly one of the great differences between the iPhone X and the iPhone 12. It is a type of camera capable of providing tremendous versatility and that, when taking images in good light, is capable of offering some really outstanding results. However, its performance when the brightness drops is quite poor.
  • goodbye to telephoto on the iPhone 12. If we previously commented that one of the great differences between the two is the existence of the ultra wide angle on the iPhone 12, so is the existence of the telephoto lens on the iPhone X. A lens that allows you to take pictures with something more zoom without losing quality in the results. However, on a regular basis the average user tends to use the ultra wide angle lens more than the telephoto lens.
  • The chip A14 Bionic It is another of the turning points between the results offered by one device and another. The iPhone 12 performs much more powerful image processing that generates much better results, as you can see below in the photographic comparison that we have prepared for you in this post.
  • The possibility of taking quality photos at night is, perhaps, the most notable difference at a functional level for a user who does not invest much energy in taking photos. night mode It shows, and of course it is a tremendous advance on the part of Apple, something that the iPhone 12 does have but that the iPhone X obviously does not enjoy.
  • A fundamental point that quite differentiates the benefits and, above all, the results that both devices can offer is the opening of your glasses , especially the difference in the main one, the wide angle.

Let's try the front camera

As you have seen in the comparison table, on paper you can find certain differences between the front camera of the iPhone X and the front camera of the iPhone 12 since the first has 7 megapixels while the second has 12 megapixels. However, this type of technical data is not always reflected in convincingly better results, so what really matters is what you can appreciate when you see the different images that one and the other capture.

How about selfies in Portrait?

Selfie Portrait iPhone X Selfie Portrait iPhone 12

Go ahead that the object of this selfie, which coincidentally is the same server that is writing these lines, was not as groomed as possible for photography. In any case, jokes aside, we can see that the treatment of colors that both terminals do is tremendously similar. Of course, the iPhone 12 is brighter or at least the computational treatment it performs makes it look this way. If we stick to details such as the hair clipping or the blurring of the background, we observe that both behave in a similar way. The unruly hairs on the neck have played a trick on both of them, who have offered it out of focus by confusing it with the background. We could give a technical tie at the hardware level here, but the truth is that the iPhone 12 takes the cake for treating photography better a posteriori and also allowing you to choose the level of depth, something not present in the iPhone X.

We also have to put the focus on the background of the image. In the case of the iPhone X we can see how the light has been overexposed too much, even hiding the yellow color of the wall with a dazzling white, which does not happen in the iPhone 12, which has undoubtedly treated the image much better.

What do your rear cameras offer?

The big difference between the iPhone X and the iPhone 12 is without a doubt in the back, specifically in the dual camera module that each of the devices mounts. And it is that, despite the fact that both have a double camera, these are not exactly the same, each offering a different option and, above all, making use of the processor to finish interpreting reality and show it as faithfully as possible. to user. Who will do it better? Then you can check it out.

wide angle photos

Wide angle iPhone 12 Wide angle iPhone X

The most obvious thing that we see at first glance is that both capture different angles and although we have tried to readjust the sizes later, we believe it is convenient to leave it that way to be able to appreciate the differences more. The sky is a very interesting differential point to analyze. While the iPhone X has captured whiter colors, the iPhone 12 for its part has made a more realistic interpretation that is also much more artistic, in fact, what the iPhone X has done is overexpose the sky when really the conditions to perform photography were not very demanding since there was no light source that was too powerful, on the contrary, the existing light is a soft light, typical of sunset, as the iPhone 12 has been able to capture. This great difference is marked by the difference in the HDR that each of the teams have. The iPhone X has the first version, while the iPhone 12 enjoys HDR 3, that is, a considerable evolution that, as you have been able to appreciate, makes the iPhone 12 capable of obtaining more information from reality and interpreting it much better.

If we zoom in on the bricks that are part of the building we can see how the '12' wins the game over the 'X' and although it is true that we cannot say that it is interpreting them in a very realistic way because they are distant elements, yes more detail is appreciated. Where we can see palpable differences is in the color of the building itself. On the one hand, the iPhone X slightly dulls its color, perhaps as a result of overexposure of the sky, while the iPhone 12 offers a more saturated and realistic color, in line with the rest of the image. These are surely expected and obvious differences between two teams that are separated by several years and several generations, in which the Cupertino company, as you have seen, has evolved in the photographic features it offers users through the iPhone.

iPhone X Telephoto vs iPhone 12 Ultra Wide

As you will have seen in the initial table, both devices have a double camera on the back, but they only share the wide angle (although with differences in both cases). The iPhone X has a Telephoto lens that allows you to take photos with x2 optical zoom that goes up to x10 thanks to digital zoom, although it has no way to create an ultra-wide angle view even through software. The iPhone 12, for its part, has an Ultra wide-angle lens x0.5 and although it is true that it does not have a Telephoto lens, it can show a digital zoom x5. What is the difference between optical and digital zoom? Well, this first one is done by the lens itself, guaranteeing greater sharpness and quality, while the digital one is done by software as if we were enlarging the image with our finger, which in the end offers inferior results in quality.

Zoom óptico x2 iPhone X Optical zoom x0.5 iPhone 12 Zoom digital x10 iPhone X Zoom digital x5 iPhone 12

As we explained earlier, the quality of a digital zoom is not the same as that of an optical one. If we leave aside that one is x5 and the other x10, the digital zoom of both terminals leaves much to be desired in terms of quality and sharpness. Can it be used to show something concrete at a given moment? Perfectly, but in this section we continue to find devices that are still very far from what a professional camera can offer in this regard, something logical on the other hand.

However, we must also emphasize the presence of the ultra wide-angle lens, which, as you have seen in the example that we have left you above, offers a really attractive point of view. Surely, if the vast majority of users had to choose between having a telephoto lens or a wide angle lens, most would opt for the latter since it is much more usable on a day-to-day basis, in addition to the results it is capable of offering. They are very eye-catching and attractive.

Shall we try Portrait Mode?

iPhone X Portrait Mode iPhone 12 Portrait Mode

This modality has been one of the most interesting for years because it offers a background blur effect that makes the subjects stand out more, so on an artistic level they are very beautiful to see. The iPhone 12 has a compelling argument to take the point and it is that it has a function that allows you to choose the level of blurring of the background, so in the end we are going to have greater possibilities in this regard, above all, because in this way they will be the users themselves who can choose the degree of blur that their photograph will have, making it very striking or, on the contrary, much more subtle and even natural. Leaving this aside, there is another appreciation to highlight and that is that the iPhone X takes these photos only with the telephoto lens. In the end, what we find are two similar interpretations, but with different nuances.

On the one hand, as we have just commented, the fact that the iPhone X takes the picture with the telephoto lens makes it look much closer to the subject, while the iPhone 12 takes it with the wide-angle lens and therefore, there is a little more distance between the device and the protagonist. However, we can see the difference in two key points, first the color, both devices interpret reality very differently, where the iPhone X has tended to darken the image, even generating some noise, while the iPhone 12 It offers a much more realistic and natural interpretation, being the degree of detail also greater. The second point we mentioned is how they interpret the background of the image. The iPhone X has quite a few doubts, it even puts the plant that you can see behind our protagonist almost in the foreground, something that does not happen in the iPhone 12 that perfectly interprets what is in the foreground and what is in the background.

Night Mode makes the difference

iPhone X Night Mode (2) iPhone 12 Night Mode (2) iPhone X Night Mode (3) iPhone 12 Night Mode (3) iPhone X Night Mode (1) iPhone 12 Night Mode (1)

The iPhone 12 has Night Mode and the iPhone X does not and this could be the best summary of what happens in this section. The sensors of the most recent device, accompanied by its software treatment, are more than prepared to be able to show greater luminosity in low light situations, while the iPhone X, for its part, does not have any mode that allows it automatically. native. There are third-party applications focused on improving this type of photography, but in the end, you can't ask for pears from the elm tree, since the camera is not designed for photography for these purposes.

This is without a doubt, as we mentioned before, the point that perhaps can make the greatest difference to the general public. The differences between the two are obvious, how could it be otherwise. Taking an image in low light in the case of the iPhone X is a real problem, you just have to see how it clearly overexposes the snow, and how the iPhone 12 is capable of treating both the lights and the color of the picture. Without a doubt, this could be a turning point for many users who want to make the most of the cameras and possibilities offered by their smartphone.

Computational photography wins the game

It is curious to see how in such similar 12 Megapixel lenses such different results are obtained. This is not magic, although it may seem so, but it is due, among other things, to Deep Fusion as the main differentiating element. This term refers to the processing that the phone does of photography, its computational improvement and its learning system that considerably improves the results in photography. This is a mechanic released in the iPhone 11 and it is expected that it will be maintained in each generation and will be seen improved at each step, but comparing an iPhone like the X without this system and one like the 12 that does incorporate it is the least ruthless for the first.

To all effects, the photos taken by an iPhone 12 are going to be better than those of an iPhone X , although the perception and taste of each person also comes into play here, which is tremendously subjective. What you can see is that today it is becoming more and more important what the device does once it takes the picture, that is, what is the treatment of the image that the camera has been able to take. Processors increasingly have a greater capacity to process photographs, which means that at the hardware level it is no longer so important and decisive to have a device loaded with specifications.

Is it justified to go to an iPhone 12 for the camera?

  • You like photography and you have any other device that is not any of these: bet on the iPhone 12.
  • You like photography and you have an iPhone X: bet on the iPhone 12.
  • Photography is indifferent to you, you do not have either of the two phones and you find a good offer on the X: bet on the iPhone X.
  • Photography is indifferent to you and you have an iPhone X: continue to keep your iPhone X.

Originally we were going to fill this section with ideas, but we believe that summary in four points based on our experience and perception is much clearer. We understand that if you are interested in photography this is a tremendously important point in your purchase decision, but in any case other aspects must be taken into account. It is true that the iPhone 12 surpasses the iPhone X in practically everything, even in those points where cameras and photography have nothing to do with it, but the price is usually a determining value and taking into account that the 'X' is older, the more likely you are to find a great deal for it. However, you have to take into account the useful life of each of these devices, since with the iPhone 12 you will have many more years of updates, which will extend the useful life of your device.