When it comes to smartphone requirements, a fantastic camera is usually on the top of everybody's list.

While it's easy to see how far iPhone cameras have developed since the first generation, understanding the differences between models is much more difficult. To take a closer look at what's currently available, we put the new generation of iPhones up against previous releases.

iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini

The much-anticipated iPhone 13 series brings four new handsets onto the market, each of which boasts an industry-leading camera system, with multiple lenses and a whole host of software to explore. iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini are each equipped with a dual-lens rear camera, comprised of one 12MP wide lens, and a second 12MP ultra wide lens, to help you capture those stunning landscape shots, or get the whole family into a group photo. All the standard photography settings you’d expect from a premium iPhone are included – such as Night Mode, Time-lapse, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting with six different effects.

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With 2x Optical Zoom range, you can also experiment with closeup photography, catching every minute detail in superb clarity. Meanwhile, when you’re filming in 4K, you’ll also be able to make the most of Audio Zoom – a feature which focuses on the sounds that matter most, leaving out any disruptive background noise for a professional-grade cut.

One exciting videography setting that Apple has debuted on the iPhone 13 series is Cinematic Mode. Much like the standard video recording mode, this feature defaults to a 16:9 aspect ratio, but it also provides you with an aperture number in the top-right corner, which you can tap to manually alter the depth of field. This setting can also automatically identify the most important subject in shot and change the focus accordingly. So, if someone else in your video starts to speak, or a new person enters the frame, Cinematic Mode detects this, and anticipates the necessary change in depth control. To access Cinematic Mode, just open the camera app, go to the regular video mode and swipe right once more to the next available choice.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

The two flagship devices in the iPhone 13 series have even more to offer when it comes to camera tech. Both iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max feature three 12MP lenses – one telephoto, one wide, and one ultra wide. On top of the inclusion of an additional lens, there’s also a LiDAR scanner on board, which enables Night portraits and faster autofocus after dark, so you can take beautiful headshots in low light.

This combination of hardware also allows you to record Macro video, thanks to the ultra wide lens which can focus from just 2mm away, granting you new perspective on everyday objects. Put 6x Optical zoom range to the test too, and capture the whorls of a fingerprint, or the precise grain of a leaf – there’s no end to the possibilities.

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Just like iPhone 13 mini and iPhone 13, the Pro and Pro Max have Apple’s new Cinematic mode, and HDR video recording with Dolby Vision. This last feature records more details about a specific scene, to give you greater autonomy during the editing process – with Dolby Vision, you can edit your footage at a granular level, frame by frame. Both of these flagships are rated IP68 water and dust resistant, so there’s no need to worry about filming in the rain, and with Cinematic video stabilisation, you can bank on getting smooth video, even when you’re on the move.

As well as this, Night mode is present on every camera in the iPhone 13 series, including the 12MP front camera on each device. These are all TrueDepth cameras, which emit thousands of infrared dots to accurately map your facial data, enabling you to unlock your phone seamlessly with Face ID.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini

With advanced dual-lens cameras on the rear, and a brilliant 12MP True Depth camera on the front, budding photographers won't be let down by iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini. Pulling out all the stops, Apple has added identical specs to both handsets - meaning fans of smaller smartphones won't have to miss out on the latest camera tech.

On the back there's a dual-lens camera system, with a 12MP wide lens and 12MP ultra wide lens. Upgraded from previous iPhone models, the main wide lens now uses an f/1.6 aperture, enabling the rear camera to take in 27% more light. Combined with Night Mode on both lenses and Apple's new Deep Fusion technology, capturing photos in low-light conditions has never been easier.

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And that's not all, you'll also find Optical Image Stabilisation on both iPhones, 2x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom, and Apple's own Portrait Mode and Depth Control. Zoom in without sacrificing photo quality, experiment with new styles and explore the blurred background bokeh effect. You can even shoot with confidence, knowing Smart HDR 3 has your back. New for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini, this feature will automatically adjust your camera's settings, fixing the white balance and enhancing details and colours for the best results.

4K Dolby Vision HDR up to 30fps is now possible with any of the iPhone 12 series. A first for smartphones, this professional 10-bit HDR video format means you can expect to produce outstanding, cinematic videos directly from your phone. There's end-to-end support too, so you can record in real-time then edit and play back video all in Dolby Vision.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max

If you've been enticed by iPhone 12, but you're after more advanced camera specs, then you're sure to love iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max. Featuring a triple-lens camera (reserved only for Apple's Pro models), you can shoot like a professional straight from your smartphone.

iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max are both packed with Apple's finest smartphone photography specs. There's a 12MP wide lens, 12MP ultra wide lens and a final 12MP telephoto lens, with all three equipped with Night Mode for beautifully clear and vibrant results. iPhone 12 Pro Max, however, has a larger sensor on its wide lens, resulting in a huge 87% improvement when shooting in darker environments. Pro Max is also capable of some seriously impressive zoom capabilities: you can look forward to 5x optical zoom, 12x digital zoom, 2.5x zoom in and 2x zoom out. Even when shooting from far away, you can expect nothing less than super detail shots.

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iPhone 12 Pro has plenty to offer too. It sees a 27% improvement in low-light, and has its own cutting-edge zoom specs, with a 4x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom and 2x zoom in and zoom out. You'll have everything you need to take up-close macro shots or photos from far away, and exclusive Apple features like Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 3 and Apple ProRAW help you to take your smartphone photography and edits further.

Just like iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini, you can record with the outstanding 4K Dolby Vision. For Pro models, there's a choice between 30fps or 60fps, and the specs don’t stop there. As well as shooting in real time in 10-bit HDR quality, you can edit Dolby Vision directly on the devices, and even play your homemade film for friends via AirPlay.

iPhone SE (Second Generation)

Apple is calling it the "best single-camera system on an iPhone", so the second generation iPhone SE is a brilliant choice if you'd prefer to stick to a mid-range budget for your next handset. New for 2020, the new iPhone SE has been built with a 12MP rear camera and 7MP front-facing camera - that's plenty of megapixels to snap professional-looking shots in both bright and low light.

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iPhone SE shares many of the photography features found on Apple's premium handsets, including Portrait Mode with all six Portrait Lighting effects. You'll be able to get creative with the subject of your shot, and on both the front and rear cameras you can access Depth Control, which will use machine learning and monocular depth estimation to allow you to adjust the amount of background blur in each picture. Simply use the toggle to add more or less blur to a photo - you can even do this after you've taken the shot.
Next-generation Smart HDR, meanwhile, helps to enhance every single photo taken. It intelligently adjusts highlights and shadows to ensure your picture has the very best lighting, removing any overexposed or unnaturally dark areas.

Last but not least is iPhone SE video. You can record on the rear camera at an amazing 4K up to 60fps, and with stereo audio recording the sound will be crisp and crystal clear. You can even use the new QuickTake feature to take a still photo while filming - perfect for capturing unforgettable moments to share on social.

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Apple's first triple-lens rear camera can be found on both iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max - two of Apple's flagships released in September 2019. With an additional lens, Apple has taken smartphone photography up a notch, and all three lenses measure 12MP.

The 12MP Ultra Wide lens shoots with a 120-degree field of view. This means you'll be able to see four times more, making it a perfect option for capturing breath-taking landscapes. The 12MP Wide lens helps autofocus happen at lightning speed - even in low light. Finally, the 12MP Telephoto lens uses 2x optical zoom to give you more control over the depth in your images. You can manually switch between all three lenses quickly and easily, so you'll never miss that vital moment.

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Both iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max include a new feature called Night Mode which ensures low-light images are refined, well-lit and showcase colour beautifully. Portrait Mode and Portrait Lightning have been improved as well, with new effects added for more flattering photos.

4K video recording, slow-motion selfies (aka Slofies) and a new 12MP True Depth selfie camera are all yours to explore on both phones.

Whichever iPhone you choose, you can be confident that two high-spec cameras will be ready and waiting for you. And, whether you have your eye on iPhone 13 Pro Max or iPhone 12 Mini, you'll always be able to find an unbeatable deal online at Mobiles.co.uk.