iPhone 12 Pro cameras show off around Lake Tahoe



For photographers, almost every new iPhone has a little something special, and one of Apple ‘s newest devices, the iPhone 12 Pro, is no exception. It brings a few seemingly simple, but entirely effective, upgrades that I think shutterbugs are going to love. 



a person taking a selfie in a forest: Shooting with the iPhone 12 Pro above Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California. James Martin/CNET


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Shooting with the iPhone 12 Pro above Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, California. James Martin/CNET

This week, I took the iPhone 12 Pro on a short trip to a beautiful place, Lake Tahoe, and found that the Night Mode software and ultrawide lens upgrades are pretty exciting. Let’s dive into some of these updates that make the iPhone so great and gauge how it compares with Apple’s previous phone, the iPhone 11 Pro .



a boat floating on a body of water


© James Martin/CNET


Though Apple’s most recent family of iPhones — the iPhone 12 , Pro, Pro Max and Mini — deliver a wild amount of camera tech, it’s spread across all four models. How much you want to pay will determine what kind of camera system you’ll get. 

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Loving lidar

The iPhone 12 Pro has a triple-lens rear camera setup that’s common on most current high-end phones , and it adds a depth-sensing imaging technology called lidar (it’s on the Pro Max as well).  

Lidar, which stands for light detection and ranging, uses lasers to survey the environment you’re shooting. By measuring how long it takes for light to bounce off objects and come back, the sensor creates a field of points that map out distances. It’s not too different from how Apple’s Face ID works.

Read more: iPhone 12 review: One of our highest-rated phones of all time

The technology promises to help capture image data in low-light situations by better reading the landscape and augmenting the visual data from the camera lenses. Apple says lidar also will improve low-light shots by allowing the camera to focus up to six times faster in darker conditions.

I noticed a huge difference from the improved focusing. It happened so fast and accurately while I was shooting, I quickly learned not to even worry about whether the shot was going to turn out well.



a person standing next to a body of water: Sunrise at Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe, shot on the iPhone 12 Pro with the telephoto lens at 7:07. James Martin/CNET


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Sunrise at Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe, shot on the iPhone 12 Pro with the telephoto lens at 7:07. James…

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