How iPhone 12 Pro Max Compares as a Cinema Camera [VIDEO]

Image: michael tobin on YouTube

Apple is certainly proud of the camera modules on its latest line of iPhones, and extensive testing has revealed that the iPhone 12 Pro Max outshines its siblings when it comes to snappers.

Just how good is the iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera, though? Former Apple Specialist Michael Tobin sets out to answer this question in his latest YouTube video, seeing how the cream of the iPhone 12 crop stacks up in the world of professional photography/videography.

Michael was thoroughly impressed by Dolby Vision HDR with 10-bit color depth on the Pro Max, which makes for “vibrant, but natural” colors and an immaculate viewing experience, especially on a Dolby Vision-capable screen like the Pro Max’s.

The ex-Apple Specialist was, however, quite disappointed by the lack of “Pro” features on a phone that is, quite literally, the “Pro Max” version of the base iPhone 12.

Unlike phones like Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 Ultra or Sony’s Xperia 1 II that offer more advanced and in-depth settings in the stock Camera app as compared to their base models, the stock Camera app on the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers the same settings and features as the one on the iPhone 12.

Michael was, in particular, peeved by the lack of an option to adjust the bit rate (or data rate) for captured video. The iPhone 12 varies bit rate during video recording on its own, reaching a peak of 110 MB/s. However, the Pro Max is capable of going all the way up to 140 MB/s, but there is no option in the stock Camera app to crank the bit rate up (or even to set it to a specific value).

Using a third-party camera app like Filmic Pro (which is specially designed for professional photography and videography) will give you the option to increase the bit rate. For example, turning bit rate in Filmic Pro up to “Extreme” will utilize the Pro Max’s full 140 MB/s capability.

YouTube video

Michael urged Apple to bring some actual “Pro” features for power-users or videographers to its Pro line of iPhones, especially the ability to control bit rate for video recording. “You don’t even have to call it bit rate — come up with some fancy Apple term for it. You love doing that,” said the former Apple employee.

Michael also tested out an intricate lens rig from Beastgrip that adds incredible depth of field to the Pro Max’s snapper and makes it almost comparable to a professional camera.

At the end of the day, however, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is still a phone — it does not compare to a cinema camera, and it is not meant to. As far as phones go, the iPhone 12 Pro Max smokes anything on the market right now, and does so in stellar fashion.

Click here to buy your own iPhone 12 Pro Max starting at $1,549 CAD from

P.S. Help support us and independent media here: Buy us a beer, Buy us a coffee, or use our Amazon link to shop.