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iPhone 12 Pro to get more dynamic range than the Canon EOS R5!

iPhone 12 Pro to get more dynamic range than Canon EOS R5
(Image credit: Apple, Canon)

The iPhone 12 Pro and Max will soon benefit from 12-bit DNG files with 14 stops of dynamic range, courtesy of the new ProRAW features that have now entered developer beta with the new iOS 14.3. 

That means that the two iPhone 12 Pro models will possess even more dynamic range than the Canon EOS R5 – which is a remarkable achievement, even for two of the best camera phones on the market.   

• Read more: iPhone 12 Pro review

This gives the Pro and Max models even more oomph than the base iPhone 12 family, in addition to a third camera module (and, in the case of the Max, a 47% larger image sensor featuring sensor-shift stabilization). 

While it has been known since the phones were announced that ProRAW was coming to the devices, it's only now that its exact features have become a known quantity. PetaPixel broke down the details of the new imaging properties: 

"We now know that a ProRAW file will be a 12-bit RAW DNG with 14-stops of dynamic range. That file will give you access to the standard options like white balance, tone mapping, exposure, and black point, but Apple will also be providing more information inside the RAW file that includes tone mapping and pigmentation maps for skin and skies.

The file will be written to the DNG, or digital negative, file format. The native Photos app as well as certain third-party apps – like Darkroom – will be able to gain full access to a wealth of digital image data right off the bat. Programs like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop as well as Capture One will also be able to read the file, but those initial renderings will improve once those companies update their profiles to include the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max."

It's an exciting prospect for smartphone photography, and another stark reminder that phones are constantly catching up with even the best cameras on the market.

Read more: 

iPhone 12 Pro vs Max
iPhone 12 Pro review
Best iPhone for photography
Best camera phones

  • Dave Haynie

    The iPhone 12 shoots by default in multi-shot HDR mode. The Canon R5 can do that as well, as can pretty much any camera. Those that don't make it automatic still allow any experienced photographer to shoot as much DR as they need using bracketed shots.

    Smartphones use computational photography and AI to make these things more accessible to people who don't understand how to use a camera. They do not perform the miracle necessary to make a 1/2.55" sensor compete with a full frame sensor.
  • Tango Charlie
    Until the manufacturers start making larger sensors phones with actual lens mounts and actual physical programmable buttons/dials and an evf option, I wont be going anywhere near them for anything other than video and snaps.
  • vas85
    It's definitely a great achievement for smartphone's but it's all relative. Relative to the sensor size (pixel pitch) & relative to the actual amount glass collecting light.

    Let's not forget all smart phone's are fixed aperture. Only a Panasonic smartphone running Android I used to own with a 1" sensor had actual aperture blades.

    However, for the masses of the populace, this can only mean more people get interested in photography which is a good thing.

    Replace the full frame, crop or m43 systems? No chance.
  • Tobarus
    I own the R5 and also the iPhone 12 Pro Max and can tell you that title is very misleading, click bait like. There is no comparison in image quality.

    It is very impressive what Apple has done with the output images - putting what normally would be a considerable amount of editing and “know how” into everyday users hands (literally) who normally would not have the know how, time, or capability. However, this is an “apples to oranges” type comparison. Technically a Honda Civic can drive around a race track, but will it beat the lap times of an F1 car driven by a capable driver? Phone manufactures market things like 8k, but does that come anywhere close to the 8k of a Red cinema camera, or even the R5?

    I’m sure the title has done it’s job and worked very will to get users to click it.

    While the claimed 14 stops may be true on a technical level, the reality of the flexibility in shooting and output is far, far different, given a competent user with the iPhone or R5.