iPhone 12 Mini Review :: A Photographer’s Perspective
I decided to switch over to my iphone just to see how it would compare. It was actually quite impressive. Ive been using the iphone 12 mini for a few months now and as a photographer, its really easy to love this phone, its super compact. You know it takes great photos but for quote unquote serious work. It cant hold a candle to a proper camera right, or can it well on a whim? This morning i decided just for fun. I would challenge myself to make this entire video using the iphone 12 mini. It started out a little like this. Okay, buddy youll be good. All right, you can be good today, be back in a little bit. Music get your nap. So i got this crazy idea as i was leaving for work that, since this video is all about the iphone, i should shoot the whole video on the iphone. So everything you see in this video was shot entirely on the iphone 12 mini theres, a few exceptions where i had to get images of the phone, and so i used my iphone 12 pro max, but everything is essentially shot on iphone. 12.. The footage is all done using dolby vision, which i was able to work with in post production using final cut pro and the hdr tools plug in that comes with the software. I have to say what you can do with video on a phone now is impressive, to say the least, aside from the image quality theres, two things that i find really impressive, so the first is the size.
This is such a stealth and portable way to shoot video. That alone opens up possibilities over using a larger, more professional setup, and second, is the image stabilization. So i shot all of this footage hand held no cage, no gimbal. It is butter smooth right out of the camera, the mini uses, a combination of optical and digital stabilization, and it looks fantastic so back to the still life that i was shooting. This is a super simple lighting setup that im using ive got one light coming in the back going through this bottle, creating the amber beam – and i have a second light – just to spot the label on the bottle. So you can see it so initially. I was working with this shot using a leica m10p as well as a nikon z72. Then i got this crazy idea of seeing how the iphone would do. As you can see, the image quality is extremely close. The iphone 12 mini is very impressive. I think the biggest difference is how optics impact the image and theres really no, comparing leica or nikon lenses to the size, restrictions that you have on a phone lens, because it has to be really compact, really small but other than that. The quality on the iphone 12 mini its pretty good. So i want to talk about the lights that im using in this setup, because this is a really versatile and very compact setup that i really like using.
So both of these lights are the same and they come from lume cube. Who, incidentally, are our sponsor for this? Video limku makes this light called the panel pro, and i talked about this about a year ago, uh in a video and ill link that up, if you want to see more on the panel pro itself. So these are by color light, so you can set them to whatever white balance. You want theyre, also rgb. If you want them to do a hard color, which is really cool, they also have effects that they do. Limb, cube now makes a set of modifiers and im using those for this shot right here and these kind of really change the game in terms of what youre able to do with these devices. So the one that i have facing me right now, which is actually the backlight in this composition. This is kind of the stronger of the two lights for this setup and this one im using the honeycomb grid that goes over the top. So, essentially, what a grid will do is it prevents light spill and gives you a little bit of diffusion, so essentially allows me to keep the set fairly dark and just focus the light on what im shining that light on so thats a really versatile option. The other one that im using is this one that has the barn doors and im using these actually to very specifically shape the light.
So i dont want a really wide light source here. What i want to do is just bring these in and im using this light at a much lower power setting, because i just want to light up the label. I dont really want it to light the scene so much so these are two really cool options that you can do a number of different solutions to whatever it is that youre trying to do and im really enjoying using these, and they also have its not part Of this kit, but i want to show it to you: this is pretty cool, so this is a stand. Ive got it extended all the way right now and ive got the light with the grid on it right now, but it also has a little attachment here. So you can actually angle this if you want and the best thing about this is you can fold it down, including the tripod legs here, but this is really handy because its super portable, you could stuff this in a bag or luggage if youre traveling and take It with you so its a pretty awesome, little setup and i think the light modifiers really make it worth the whole thing. So if you want to check these out for yourself, there is a link in the comments and you can save 15 off a modifier kit. If you want to get one anyway, that link is below, and i want to give an extra special shout out and thanks to the awesome folks at loom, cube for sponsoring this video.
Next, i wanted to see if there were any differences between the iphone 12 pro max that shoots in apples pro raw format. Now, if you want to be able to push things like white balance, shadow detail really manipulate the image. Well, pro raw does have an edge over the formats that the mini shoots with jpeg and heic, which actually brings me back to the greatest feature of the mini its the size. This is my old iphone. 4 actually found it in a drawer. Yesterday this phone had one camera and it was not up to the image quality by todays standards at all, but its super small, its compact. I love shooting photos on this phone when it was my daily driver back in the day, and i got some really good ones. You had to understand its limitations. That was kind of the key, and this is essentially what i was reminded of with the iphone 12 mini, but with an infinitely better camera system. In reality, the iphone 12 mini is larger than my old iphone 4, but its still much smaller than what we have today with this phone meets tablet size that all of the max versions tend to come in, but a phone, this small, its all about trade offs. Its about the sacrifices that youre gon na have to make for this amazingly small and compact form factor most. Obviously the smaller size means smaller battery. It still easily gives me an entire day of filming, shooting editing and it can fast charge with the right power supply to 50 percent in only 30 minutes, thats definitely worth the trade off there.
The screen is also smaller as a result, and not quite as bright. So this is going to be a sacrifice if youre well, if youre over the age of 30 – and you do a lot of editing on this phone. This is the only thing i really missed from working with my iphone 12 pro max then theres, the third camera. The telephoto camera, which is really not a telephoto, but for some people this could be a point of contention, but you still get a digital zoom up to 5x. If you need it on the mini. This is actually way more focal range than i typically use with a phone and apple do a pretty good job with digital zoom, so i think it can still be used in a pinch, no pun intended. There are a few more small features that you sacrifice, such as lidar, 60p dolby vision, footage and some other small spec items, but im going to be honest for me, the trade off is all about the size. Creative work is about the ideas, its about telling the story sure theres a minimum quality that you want to do this the right way and the iphone 12 mini, makes incredible. Looking images it takes amazing video, but its also a tool and its the right tool for the right job, and even if its showing you what dinner time looks like at the forbes house. How are you documenting and telling your story so sure there are some trade offs, but for the price and the compact form factor and the ability to go, create things that you probably wouldnt with a larger device.