DxOMark: The iPhone 12 camera is much better than its predecessor

Apple iPhone 12

DxOMark specialists completed a series called “iPhone 12 tests” in three parts: in the first test, they examined the iPhone 12 Pro camera, in the second – the iPhone 12 Pro Max, and now it finally came to the base model of the iPhone 12 line. Note that the iPhone 12 mini has the same camera as the iPhone 12.

If the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max performed relatively well, receiving 128 and 130 points and taking the fifth and the fourth places in the rating, respectively, the iPhone 12 is far behind. It has 122 points and ranks in 13th place in the rating – this is the level of last year’s Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro and Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G. However, it should be noted that the camera of the iPhone 12 is much better than that of the iPhone 11 – that with its 109 points is now in 40th place in the ranking.

DxOMark: The iPhone 12 camera is much better than its predecessor

The iPhone 12 received 132 points for shooting a photo, 41 points for its zoom capabilities, and 112 points for shooting a video. The problem already looms here by itself. If Apple had provided this model with optical zoom at least at the level of the Pro model, then the final score would have been higher.

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When taking photos, experts note the exact metering and colors, but note that the dynamic range could be wider. Autofocus is fast and accurate (common to all iPhone 12 models), and the details are good. On the other hand, there is more noise than we would like, imitation of the bokeh effect in portrait mode is “disappointing”, and there is no sensible scaling due to the lack of a “telephoto-module”.

In video shooting, the smartphone has only 1 point less than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. There is a wide dynamic range due to support for Dolby Vision HDR, and rich colors, and accurate exposure, and good detail in bright lighting, and effective stabilization. However, with a lack of light, details are lost, and the main problem when shooting video is noise, which is visible even in good lighting conditions.

In general, Apple has squeezed out, probably, all that is possible from 12-megapixel sensors and optics installed in the iPhone 12. The smartphone cannot equal the top positions of the rating, but it cannot be called a failure either. Still, it shoots much better than the iPhone 11, and in this case, an upgrade for the camera makes sense.


  • Accurate and consistent autofocus
  • Accurate exposure
  • High detail outdoors and indoors
  • Accurate color indoors
  • Video dynamic range is wide.
  • Color and skin tones generally pleasant in video
  • Stabilization effective when still or walking


  • Limited dynamic range in stills
  • White balance casts outdoors in stills
  • Noise often visible in stills, especially in lower light
  • Color quantization, hue shift, ringing artifacts often visible in stills
  • Medium- and long-range zoom detail is very low.
  • Slight white balance casts in videos
  • Fine detail is lost in lower-light videos.
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