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iPhone 12 Pro's cameras got some new tricks that serious photographers will love – CNET

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Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro phones get new camera abilities, including a bigger image sensor, a faster main camera lens, improved image stabilization, a lidar sensor for low-light autofocus and a longer-reach telephoto lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max.


Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple’s iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini add significant new photography features, but camera hardware and computational photography software on the higher-end iPhone 12 Pro models really show how hard Apple is working to attract photo and video enthusiasts.

Among the changes in the iPhone 12 Pro models are new abilities to fuse multiple frames into one superior shot and a lidar sensor for improved autofocus. The iPhone 12 Pro Max also gets a larger sensor for better low-light performance on the main camera, a telephoto camera that zooms in better on distant subjects and better stabilization to counteract your shaky hands.


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The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max debuted at Apple’s iPhone 12 launch event Tuesday. The iPhone 12 (from $799, £799, AU$1,349) and 12 Mini (from $699, £699, AU$1,199) stick to last year’s design, with regular, ultrawide and selfie cameras. 

The bigger photography improvements come with the 12 Pro (from $999, £999, AU$1,699) and 12 Pro Max (from $1,099, £1,099, AU$1,849), which get a larger image sensor and a fourth telephoto camera for more distant subjects. The iPhone 12 Pro has the same 2x zoom telephoto reach as earlier iPhones — a 52mm equivalent focal length — but the 12 Pro Max’s extends to 2.5x zoom, or a 65mm equivalent lens.

The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini get significant improvements, too. They’ll benefit from Night Mode photos that now work on the ultrawide and selfie cameras, too, and an improved HDR mode for challenging scenes with bright and dark elements.  

Apple’s efforts in this area reflect the fact that consumers consider the camera one of the most important features in a smartphone, along with the processor and network speeds. We snap photos and videos to document our lives, to share with friends and family and to enjoy artistic expression.

Computational photography tricks

HDR stands for high dynamic range — the ability to capture shadow details without turning highlights into a washed-out mess. All the new iPhones bring third-generation HDR technology designed to better capture details like silhouetted faces, Apple said. It also uses machine learning technology to judge processing choices like boosting brightness in dim areas.


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The iPhone 12 Pro models get another computational photography technique that Apple calls ProRaw. iPhones and Android phones have been able to shoot raw photos for years, an unprocessed alternative to JPEG that lets photographers decide how best to edit an image. Apple ProRaw blends Apple computational photography with a raw format so photographers will get the benefit of noise reduction and dynamic range with the flexibility of raw images, Apple said. It’s similar to Google’s computational raw technology that arrived with the Pixel 3 in 2018.

Google pioneered work in the range of processing tricks called computational photography, helping erase the comfortable lead in image quality that Apple’s early iPhones held for years. 

But with the iPhone 11, Apple employed its own versions of some Google techniques, like combining several low-exposure frames into one shot to capture shadow detail without turning skies into an overexposed whiteout. Google calls it HDR+, and Apple calls it Smart HDR; a related technology called Deep Fusion blends frames for better detail and texture, in particular with low light.

On the iPhone 12, Apple’s deep fusion technology exercises all the major parts of the A14 Bionic chip, which includes the main CPU, image signal processor, the graphics processor, the neural engine and other elements. That means Apple can apply deep fusion technology to all the cameras on all the iPhone models, Apple said. And it means the iPhone’s portrait shots now work in Night Mode, matching an ability that Google added with its Pixel 5.


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Better iPhone camera hardware

The larger sensor on the iPhone 12 Pro models — 47% bigger than the iPhone 11’s main camera sensor — increases pixel size. That engineering choice increases the sensor cost but lets it gather more light for better color, less noise and improved low-light performance.

The Pro phones also stabilize images by shifting the sensor, not the lens elements, which Apple said lets you take handheld shots with a surprisingly long 2-second exposure time.

All the iPhone 12 models also benefit from a wider f1.6 aperture on the main camera for better light-gathering ability. And the ultrawide camera now gets optical image stabilization.

The phones feature better video abilities too, with 10-bit encoding designed to capture color and brightness better, as well as support for Dolby Vision HDR video technology. The iPhone 12 Pro models can shoot the HDR at 60 frames per second, but the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini top out at 30fps.

Ordinary 4K and 1080p can be shot up to 60fps, but slow-motion 1080p can reach 240fps. Time-lapse videos now are stabilized.

The Apple iPhone 12 brings Night Mode to ultrawide and selfie cameras, not just the main camera.The Apple iPhone 12 brings Night Mode to ultrawide and selfie cameras, not just the main camera.

The Apple iPhone 12 brings Night Mode to ultrawide and selfie cameras, not just the main camera.


Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

What the iPhone doesn’t do

But Apple hasn’t gone as far as some in trying to grab photography headlines.

The iPhone 12 employs no pixel binning, for example, a technique that uses much higher resolution sensors for photographic flexibility. Pixel binning pools data from groups of four or nine neighboring pixels to yield the color information for a single pixel in the photo being taken. Or, if there’s enough light when the photo is taken, the phone can skip the pixel binning and take a much higher resolution photo. That offers more detail or more flexibility to crop into the important part of the scene.

Another newer trick the iPhone skipped is the inclusion of a telephoto camera with much higher magnification. The Huawei P40 Pro Plus has an impressive 10X optical zoom, for example. That’s difficult since the laws of physics make telephoto cameras physically large, but smartphone makers like Huawei and Samsung are trying to solve the problem with a mirror that bends the light path sideways into the interior of the phone.

Apple could have other tricks up its sleeve, though. In 2017, Apple acquired image sensor startup InVisage whose QuantumFilm technology held some promise for making image sensors smaller or improving image quality. 

And it’s done plenty with computational photography on its own, notably a portrait mode that simulates the blurred backgrounds “bokeh” of high-end cameras and the lighting effects that can be applied to those portraits.

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Short queues in China as Apple's newest iPhone 12 hits stores – Sports Grind Entertainment

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By Josh Horwitz

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Two of Apple’s latest iPhone 12 models went on sale in China on Friday, after early pre-order data showed strong consumer interest in the 5G-enabled device in the firm’s second-largest market.

The short queues outside Apple stores in the business hub of Shanghai struck a contrast with the crowds that flocked to past launch events, as most ordering has now shifted online.

“I feel great being the first customer to get the new iPhone,” said Yan Bingqing, 30, who arrived before the store opened, and was in a line of about 20 people. “I’ve been waiting a long time.”

A new green shade for the iPhone 12 was also a top trending topic on Chinese app Weibo on Friday, prompting positive reactions.

Apple’s announcement last week initially drew mixed reviews in China, but analysts expect a surge in orders this year, as loyal iPhone owners finally buy new handsets compatible with an upgraded 5G network infrastructure.


Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com saw pre-orders for all four models of the iPhone 12 hit 1.6 million on the first day of the announcement.

“From the bottom of my heart, it’s a little bit late for Apple to release the 5G iPhone,” said Zhu Lin, another Apple fan who had queued. “I was expecting it last year.”

Apple and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd are the only top phone makers racking up shipment growth in China this year, with an annual rise of 35% for Apple in the second quarter, research firm Canalys says.

Apple’s store launch follows that of Huawei’s Mate 40 flagship device on Thursday, which some in China had said they would wait for before deciding on the iPhone 12.

(Reporting by Josh Horwitz; Editing by Karishma Singh and Clarence Fernandez)

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Christine founded Sports Grind Entertainment with an aim to bring relevant and unaltered Sports news to the general public with a specific view point for each story catered by the team. She is a proficient journalist who holds a reputable portfolio with proficiency in content analysis and research.

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Here’s our first look at Huawei’s Mate 40 Pro – The Verge

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Huawei announced the Mate 40 Pro yesterday, and now we have one in hand. It might not be easy to recommend Huawei phones outside of China, since the Trump administration’s targeted sanctions have prevented it working with US companies like Google, but devices like the P40 Pro Plus and last year’s Mate 30 Pro have had hardware as impressive as anything else on the global smartphone market.

The situation shouldn’t be any different with the new Mate 40 Pro. It’s likely to be Huawei’s most advanced device yet — even if there are still questions over the extent to which the company is actually able to manufacture it.

I thought the Mate 30 Pro was the best-looking phone released in 2019, and the Mate 40 Pro builds on that design. The unit I have is in the “Mystic Silver” colorway, which Huawei is promoting the most heavily. It’s a lot more unusual than the name makes it sound — the back is frosted glass, but there’s a kaleidoscopic effect where the phone shimmers different colors depending on the light. It looks great.

The camera module is circular, as it was last year, but this time the lenses are arranged in a ring around the Leica logo. I think I preferred the Mate 30 Pro’s two-tone glossy effect a little better, but Huawei says this year’s model was inspired by a black hole, so make of that what you will. This is still an attractive device from behind.

Around the front, the notch has been jettisoned in favor of a double-wide hole punch cutout for the dual selfie cameras. The OLED display is a little bigger this year at 6.76 inches, and it still has the 88-degree “waterfall” curves on the edges, which Huawei calls a “horizon” display.

These edges mean the power button on the side is still pushed back further to the rear than on most other phones. Unlike the Mate 30 Pro, however, Huawei has found space for physical volume buttons this time, which should be an improvement in usability.

Overall the Mate 40 Pro is looking like another physically and technically impressive Huawei flagship phone, and I’m looking forward to finding out what the company has managed to achieve — particularly with the camera and the new Kirin 9000 processor. The software, of course, will be another matter entirely. Stay tuned for a full review.

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Huawei Mate 30E Pro With Kirin 990E SoC Launched: Specifications – Gadgets 360

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Huawei Mate 30E Pro has been launched as an upgrade to the existing Mate 30 Pro. The new smartphone comes with Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 990E SoC, which is the latest chip in the Kirin family and is an advanced version of the earlier Kirin 990. The Huawei Mate 30E Pro also runs on EMUI 11 out-of-the-box, unlike the Mate 30 Pro that came with EMUI 10. Other specifications of the Mate 30E Pro are identical to those of the Mate 30 Pro.

Huawei Mate 30E Pro price

The Huawei Mate 30E Pro is currently available for pre-bookings in China. However, its pricing details are yet to be revealed. The phone also comes in four different colour options, namely Space Silver, Emerald Green, Cosmic Purple, and Black. There are also two additional shades along with a leather finish these are called the Vegan Leather Forest Green and Vegan Leather Orange.

Details about the global launch of the Huawei Mate 30E Pro are yet to be revealed.

Huawei Mate 30E Pro specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Huawei Mate 30E Pro runs on EMUI 11 based on Android 10 and features a 6.53-inch full-HD+ (1,176×2,400 pixels) OLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. The phone is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 990E SoC, coupled with 14-core Mali-G76 GPU and 8GB of RAM. There is a Leica optics-equipped quad rear camera setup that houses a 40-megapixel primary sensor with an f/1.8 ultra-wide-angle lens, 40-megapixel secondary sensor with an f/1.6 wide-angle lens and optical image stabilisation (OIS), and an 8-megapixel tertiary sensor with an f/2.4 lens and OIS support. There is also a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor for depth sensing.

For selfies and video chats, the Huawei Mate 30E Pro comes with a 32-megapixel camera sensor at the front. The front-facing camera sensor features an f/2.0 lens and is paired with a 3D depth sensor.

The Huawei Mate 30E Pro comes in 128GB and 256GB storage options that both are expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v5.1, GPS/ A-GPS, Infrared (IR), NFC, and a USB Type-C port. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light, barometer, colour temperature, gyroscope, hall sensor, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. There is also an in-display fingerprint sensor.

Huawei has provided a 4,500mAh battery on the Mate 30E Pro that supports up to 40W SuperCharge fast charging 27W fast wireless charging. The phone weighs 198 grams.


Why are smartphone prices rising in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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