Close, but no cigar.
First impressions – the iPhone 12 Pro represents a significant advance in imaging capabilities over the iPhone XS. Reviews also suggest it brings meaningful refinements to last years’ iPhone 11 Pro, a generation I skipped. For most people the iPhone 12 Pro will be all the equipment they need, and for practitioners of street photography there is much less reason now to head out with a separate dedicated camera.
To the image quality conscious Landscape, Sports, or Wildlife photographer, the iPhone 12 Pro falls well short of, and is not a replacement for, the full-frame DSLR/Mirrorless machines. Computational wizardry married to a tiny sensor can only take you so far (yet). No doubt the gap will continue to narrow in the coming years.
The Ganesha image below was taken in near-darkness, and I was expecting a blotchy, blurry mess. But the ‘Night Mode’ which kicks in automatically together with an assist from the LiDAR scanner produced a result that is shockingly impressive. This is almost magic, as in Arthur C. Clarke’s observation that “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”