The iPhone 12 Pro Max could be Apple’s biggest camera jump in years

Apple has announced its iPhone 12 lineup, and as ever, the phones’ camera systems were the focus of much of the company’s presentation. This year, though, there’s more to differentiate each model than ever before. The iPhone range is getting improvements across the board, but Apple appears to be reserving the biggest advances for its biggest phone. The 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max has some serious hardware improvements that set its camera apart from every other iPhone.



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Hardware-wise, there doesn’t appear to be much difference between the iPhone 12, 12 mini, and 12 Pro when compared to the 11 and 11 Pro. All of these phones use the same-sized 12 megapixel sensors for wide, ultrawide, and the Pro model’s telephoto cameras, and the shape and size of the camera bump remains essentially the same.

The biggest hardware change is a new seven-element f/1.6 lens for the primary wide camera. That’s a modest aperture increase on the iPhone 11’s six-element f/1.8 lens; Apple says it improves the lens’ light-gathering ability by 27 percent, which should enable slightly faster shutter speeds or less grainy ISO settings in low light. There are often compromises to sharpness and performance when designing lenses with larger apertures, but the new seven-element structure will “maintain sharp detail in your photo from edge to edge,” according to Apple.

New glass is always nice, but the bigger improvements are likely to be in how Apple’s software makes use of the new A14 Bionic processor. The iPhone 12 cameras use Smart HDR 3, the latest generation of Apple’s computational photography pipeline; it’s previously identified and optimized for people’s faces, but now it uses machine learning to apply adjustments to a wider variety of elements in a scene. Apple is also claiming improved performance in night mode, which can now

Apple’s full-size iPhone 12 costs at least $100 more than last year’s iPhone 11

  • One of the biggest changes to the iPhone lineup this year deals with its segmentation and pricing.
  • Apple changed its iPhone lineup so that the entry-level new model advertised at $699 is now a Mini device with a smaller screen. The regular iPhone 12 costs $799, $100 more than the iPhone 11 did when it came out.
  • If the iPhone 12 becomes the most popular of Apple’s current models, as is likely, the increase could boost the average iPhone selling price, a key metric for Apple investors.



Tim Cook holding a sign: Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals the new iPhone 12.


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Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals the new iPhone 12.

Apple announced new iPhones Tuesday in a video presentation just over an hour long covering the new devices’ faster chips, 5G speeds and capabilities, and improved cameras.

But one of the most important pieces of information for investors and customers got significantly less stage time: Changes to the iPhone lineup’s segmentation and pricing.

Apple changed its iPhone lineup so that the new model advertised at $699 is now a Mini device with a smaller screen. The iPhone 12, the direct successor to the iPhone 11, got a price bump to $799. Some people will pay even more — the phone costs $829 if it’s not paired with wireless service from Verizon or AT&T, according to Apple’s website. (The iPhone 12 Mini also costs $30 extra without cell service.)

Here’s the full line-up, including the low-end iPhone SE and previous models with price cuts:

  • iPhone SE (2020) — $399
  • iPhone XR (2018) — $499
  • iPhone 11 (2019) — $599
  • iPhone 12 Mini (2020) — $729
  • iPhone 12 (2020) — $829
  • iPhone 12 Pro (2020) — $999
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max (2020) — $1099

Apple now has an option at every $100 starting from $400 and ranging up to $1,100, enabling it

IPhone 12 Prices in Line With Recent Years

So what will these latest iPhones cost you?

Many of us can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple stuck with a proven pricing model for the new devices, releasing the entry-level phones for $700 and up and higher-end phones starting at $1,000 — both prices in line with previous years.

What is different this year is that Apple will sell four iPhone models, up from its typical three in recent years.

At the entry level, the iPhone 12 Mini will start at $700 and iPhone 12 at $800. Last year, the iPhone 11 started at $700, meaning the flagship iPhone 12 device will start at $100 more. People will still have a $700 option, but it will be smaller.

On the higher end, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will start at $1,000 and $1,100, identical to last year.

Apple might have been able to hold prices mostly steady this year by no longer including headphones and a power adapter. The company said it was an environmental decision but it also likely saved it money and will cause many customers to buy extra accessories from Apple.

Analysts and investors have long anticipated the new iPhones as a boost to flagging sales of the company’s main product. A larger than normal share of existing iPhone owners are due for an upgrade, and many have held out for a 5G iPhone, not wanting to invest in a device that didn’t work with the faster wireless speeds.

Whether Apple was able to capitalize on the swelling demand for a 5G iPhone was something of a question this year when the coronavirus disrupted its supply chain in China. But its Chinese manufacturing partners quickly rebounded and the iPhone event was delayed by only about a month past its usual September date.

3M Survey Reports Decline In Science Skepticism For First Time In 3 Years

Since 2018, 3M has launched an annual State of Science Index to track public attitudes towards science across the world. But for 2020, the company conducted two surveys, a Pre-Pandemic Wave and a Pandemic Pulse Wave survey, finding that science skepticism has declined for the first time in three years, and that there is an increased public understanding of the importance of science in our daily lives.

In the Pre-Pandemic Wave survey, representative samples of 1,000 adults (aged 18+) in 18 countries, including China, Mexico and the US, were asked to complete a 15-20 minute long survey to assess their attitude towards science. Among the pre-pandemic survey findings, there was a rise in science skepticism to 35%, from an original 29% in 2018.

“As the pandemic sort of spread, the question was: has the relationship with science changed for people as this is going on?” says Jayshree Seth, who is a corporate scientist and the chief science advocate at 3M.

In the summer of 2020, 3M launched a second survey, titled the Pandemic Pulse Wave, to understand whether public attitudes changed during Covid-19. 1,000 adults were asked a series of questions in 11 of the 14 countries from the Pre-Pandemic survey. India, Mexico, and South Africa were excluded due to logistical reasons.

When comparing the two surveys, there were a few key findings.

Firstly, there was a decline in science skepticism for the first time in three years. Specifically, when respondents were asked about the following sentence, “I am skeptical of science,” the percent who agreed fell by seven points between the Pre-Pandemic (35%) and Pandemic Pulse (28%).

Similarly, public trust in science has increased from 85% (Pre-Pandemic)

Study Suggests A Supernova Exploded Near Earth About 2.5 Million Years Ago, Possibly Causing An Extinction Event

Supernovas are amazingly bright explosions of massive stars at the end of their lives. During the gravitational collapse, the outer layers of the star are pushed away, and chemical elements formed inside the dying star are released into space. This cosmic dust rains down onto the Earth continuously, eventually becoming part of sediments deposited in the sea.

Research published in the journal Physical Review Letters used the concentrations of elements formed in an exploding star and preserved in oceanic sediments to hypothesize that a supernova exploded near Earth just 2.5 million years ago.

The authors, led by Dr. Gunther Korschinek from the Technical University of Munich, focused their study on ferromanganese crusts collected in the Pacific Ocean. Ferromanganese crusts form on the bottom of the ocean by layers of iron- and manganese-oxides precipitating out of seawater. The studied samples started to grow some 20 million years ago at depths ranging from 5,200 feet to 3.18 miles (approximately 1.600 to 5.120 meters). The researchers measured the concentrations of iron-60 and manganese-53 isotopes in the hardened crust. They differ from Earth’s most common form of the elements by their varying number of neutrons in the atomic nucleus. Both isotopes are synthesized in large stars shortly before supernova explosions and are unstable, decaying completely after 4 to 15 million years. Their presence in sediment samples is evidence for Earth passing through a cloud of cosmic dust generated by an exploding star in – geologically speaking – recent times.