Apple iPhone 12 DXOMARK camera ratings

Upwards price pressure on new smartphones

The Apple iPhone 12 DXOMARK camera ratings for the iPhone 12, Pro and Pro Max score a very respectable 120, 130 and 132 for the rear camera. Congrats Apple.

DXOMARK is an industry-respected test that’s consistent between camera brands and models. As such, it provides a ranking based on a weighted average of scores across still photos, zoom and video.

And before you read the reviews let me say that until recently DXOMARK had ranking out of 100. It had to invent new scales (V3) to accommodate multi-sensor/lens/AI as well as periscope zoom and night vision. As we used to say then – any score above 90 is damned good. Well, now any score above 110 (our reference is the Pixel 4a) is indeed very good.

Anyway, DXOMARK now has to invent a new test protocol V4 for future phones. Recent smartphones are pushing the limits of V3, especially in the areas of Dolby Vision HDR, DCI-P3 (movie gamut) and storage formats. Smartphone camera tech is leaping ahead as a major point of difference because, otherwise, seemingly any brand can make a decent phone!

It is interesting in the Google Android world that the Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra scores an average of 133, Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 128, Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G 126 and my favourite zoom cameras the vivo X50 Pro  137 and OPPO Find X2 Pro 126.

Apple iPhone 12 DXOMARK camera ratings for 12, Pro and Pro Max

Apple iPhone 12 – 122

Has 2 x 12MP sensors – standard-wide, ultra-wide.

It is strong on still images (Weighted Av 132) with its strongest points being Autofocus (106), Colour (98) and Texture (98).

It was let down on Zoom (41) – it is digital, not optical.

The AI also lets it down with Noise, Artifacts, Night, Bokeh (no LiDAR or depth sensors) and Preview (what you see is not what you get) scoring between 55-74. These are AI computational photography issues, and Apple may well address them in future firmware updates.

Apple iPhone 12 DXOMARK

Apple iPhone 12 Pro – 128

Has 3 x 12MP sensors – standard-wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto modules, differentiating it from the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini sans tele and LiDAR.

It is strong on still images (Weighted Av 135) with>100 colour accuracy, autofocus and texture. But it was let down by average to poor scores (66-77) in Noise, Artifacts, Night mode, Bokeh and Preview.

It lost points with the 2X Optical zoom and wide-angle lens averaging 66.

Video was 112 with all bar artifacts and texture scoring >100 – ditto to AI issues. Good reflecting Apples DCI-P3 colour gamut adoption.

Apple iPhone 12 DXOMARK

Apple iPhone 12 Pro MAX 130

Essentially the same as the Pro with bigger main lens sensor pixels and a slightly larger telephoto field of view.

It is very strong on still images (Weighted Av 138) with>100 colour accuracy, autofocus and texture; otherwise it scored similarly to the iPhone 12 Pro.

The bigger FOV telephoto gained it two more points to 68.

Video was 113 due to the slightly larger main sensor pixels. Otherwise it scored similarly to the iPhone 12 Pro.

Apple iPhone 12 DXOMARK

GadgetGuy’s take

Good job Apple!

These are credible overall ratings that show Apple can make a smartphone camera that is up there with the best Google Android phones (or vice versa😉)

Keep in mind that at the very top end, the small differences between scores will be indistinguishable or just a matter of preference.

And as these scores generally reflect the highest priced models, take heart that there are some great lower-cost phones with upper camera performance. Here’s our hotlist: