5 Pros and Cons of the New iPhone 12 for Designers and Videographers

Apple’s iPhone latest 12 models undoubtedly offer cutting-edge technology. With new features and capabilities like Dolby Vision HDR, 5G capability, and more, they are decidedly different from their predecessors. And while these options are mostly boons to their products, there are more elements to the latest release than meets the eye. Below, we’re discussing five pros and cons of the Apple’s iPhone 12 series, specifically for creatives and videographers.

iPhone 13
Image of iPhone 13 by Tom’s Guide

Pro: Dolby Vision HDR

We’ll begin with arguably the most significant upgrade for videographers: the iPhone 12 has the ability to record in Dolby Vision HDR. This is the first mobile device to ever boast this feature. Recording in Dolby Vision boosts video quality quite a bit — it allows the device to automatically adjust metadata in real time, which optimizes every moment of video. It surpasses HDR10 in that it enhances colors and sharpness and is arguably as close as you can get to looking like the “real thing.” In short, this feature makes mobile phones a truly viable — and valuable — piece of recording equipment.

Videographers can also edit clips filmed in Dolby Vision right on the device, instantly. There’s no wait time when it comes to uploading and working in an editing software. This feature makes it an ideal choice for projects that require a quick turnaround.

Along with Dolby Vision, the iPhone 12 models offer a variety of shooting speed options. The iPhone 12 and 12 Mini offer a maximum of 30FPS, while the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max offer a maximum of 60FPS. Alternatively, users can still shoot in 4K at 24FPS or in Slow Motion at 240FPS.

Con: Dolby Vision Uploading Issues

While most reviews are singing the praises of the Dolby Vision Recording capability, there’s one relatively small hiccup. The iPhone 12 Dolby Vision is built differently than that of “normal” Dolby Vision (which designers and videographers already commonly use for recording and designing games). This means that certain software, devices, and smart TVs may not support Apple’s version, resulting in a less-than-quality video experience. While those technologies are certain to catch up, right now, the sharp, innovative Dolby Vision video that you record might not be able to be viewed in its best form without the correct supporting equipment.  

Pro: Night Mode and Deep Fusion on All Cameras

Photo Credit: CNET

With the iPhone 12 models’ upgrade to Dolby Vision HDR also comes an upgrade to the phones’ cameras. The main camera on the iPhone 12 boasts faster glass with a maximum aperture of f/1.6. And the Ultra Wide lens provides a 2x optical zoom. But the upgrade that has everyone talking is the fact that both Apple’s Night Mode capability and Deep Fusion feature is available on all three of the phone’s cameras. This is the first time that each camera has had both of these features.

The combination of Night Mode and Deep Fusion make for much-improved evening photos and videos. Deep Fusion essentially improves textures and sharpness. On the iPhone 12 Pro Max models, the sensor is 47% larger than the previous models’, increasing the cameras low light performance by a good bit.

The combination of these changes — the larger aperture in the primary camera, the integration of Nigh Mode into all models, and the addition of Deep Fusion — improve the iPhone’s handling of low-light situations. This increases their versatility and allowing for a day — or night — of shooting to last longer.

Pro: Increased Video Stabilization

Another boon to the iPhone 12’s video capabilities is the fact that video recording can be stabilized much more effectively than in previous models, lending the phone the ability to produce videos that feel more professional, without the need for stabilizing hardware. Unfortunately, this advancement is only currently available on the iPhone 12 Pro Max model.

While most smart phones on the market provide some stabilization in the lens element using optical image stabilization (or OIS), the iPhone 12 Pro Max now offers sensor-shift optical image stabilization. To put it plainly, the latter is just better than OIS. It more effectively reduces camera shake and allows users to capture shots with a longer exposure time that look less shaky and unprofessional. In short, this feature offers another increase in iPhone camera quality for both still photos and videography.

Pro and Con: 5G Capabilities

We’ve labeled the iPhone 12’s 5G capabilities as both a “pro” and a “con” — here’s why.

The iPhone 12 models are built to locate and use 5G when it’s available. The issue, though, is that it’s not readily available in many places. So while these phones can provide fast, 5G speeds, they often don’t. 

Thankfully, most early reviewers note that this network switching and searching doesn’t drain the battery too much. Since the iPhone 12 models are built to default to 5G only when users are within a 5G network area and when it’s needed for faster processing, they save the hard work for only when it’s available — and needed. This “Smart Data Mode” helps mitigate the increased pressure on the battery. While it’s unfortunate that 5G isn’t yet readily available in most places, Apple’s latest models will be able to run with it when it does become available. If that’s sooner than later, users of these models will be on the cutting edge.

While we know that every new device can’t be perfect, the iPhone 12 comes pretty close. The fact that these mobile devices, especially the Pro Max, can film in a way that’s comparable to professional video equipment is impressive. For designers, videographers, or the “Average Joe” looking to utilize iPhones and portable equipment, these models deliver and work with other iPhone filmmaking accessories.

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