I’m on my third iPhone: iPhone 5, iPhone 6s, and now iPhone 12 mini. It’s great to always have an easy-to-carry camera in my front pocket. With each successive model I’ve owned, Apple has improved the camera in remarkable ways that are plain to see in the images the camera makes.
That said, I’m not in love with the images I get from my iPhone 12 mini. They look extra saturated and extra sharpened, with contrast boosted too much for my taste. And the camera is clearly doing heavy processing of skies, or perhaps even inserting skies the software behind the camera is making up.
On my Ride Across Indiana last year, I photographed the Indiana Statehouse with my Canon PowerShot S95 and my iPhone 12 mini. Check out how each camera rendered the sky. The S95 is true to life, even though the clouds are a little blown out.
The iPhone 12 mini brought out a lot more blue in the sky than was actually there, and faded the clouds considerably.
I saw the same thing on my trip to San Diego recently. The day was mostly cloudy. A little blue sky peeked out from between clouds here and there. I made the same shot with two cameras one right after the other. The first was my Olympus OM-2n with the 40mm f/2 Zuiko lens on Kodak Ektar.
Look at what the iPhone 12 mini did with the sky!
I never did this kind of comparison on my iPhone 6s, but I don’t believe it was as aggressive in processing the sky as my iPhone 12 was. The 6s probably enhanced skies a little, with the effect of making them look epic. Here’s a photo from somewhere in County Galway, Ireland, that I made with the 6s.
I believe my iPhone 5 did little or no manipulation of skies. Here’s a photo of an old house in Hamilton County, Indiana, that I made with the 5.
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