iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test.
iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test. Mark Furler

iPhone 11 Pro Max review: Just stunning at night

THE wow factor of iPhone 11 Pro's triple camera system comes out especially at night.

We're shooting a waterfront scene in beautiful Hobart. The reflections of boats' lights can be seen on the water. As we take the photo, the camera is automatically in night mode. Handheld we can get a two to three second exposure.

As we press the photo button, the most beautiful colours start to emerge on the Pro Max's brilliant display. 100 percent Focus Pixels and intelligent software creates some of the best night photography we have seen on any phone.

Multiple images are captured and fused together.  Prop the phone up or put it on a stand and you can get even longer exposures, to allow even more light and detail to be sucked in.

The phone's next-generation Smart HDR, which uses machine learning, treats people differently from objects around them, allowing for more natural looking skin tones.

QuickTake allows you to take a video by holding the camera down while taking a photo. Slide the button over and you're in video mode.

When you rotate your iPhone to landscape, the camera automatically zooms out - a clever touch.

Portrait Mode - one of the best features of the latest iPhones, has been improved further with  depth control which lets you adjust the depth of field before or after you shoot.
 

iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test.
iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test. Mark Furler

The six lighting effects  include natural, studio, contour, stage, stage mono and the new high-key mono.

The Pro features of the phone come into their own even further as you go to edit your creations.

Whether you are editing photos or 4k video, there are more options to tweak your images or videos, adjusting exposure, rotating videos shot the wrong way, adjusting colours, or removing unwanted noise.

 

Scenes from Hobart in Tasmania shot on iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Scenes from Hobart in Tasmania shot on iPhone 11 Pro Max. Mark Furler



Given the quality of the photos and videos created, it's unlikely most people will need to make massive changes, but it's nice to have a set of pro editing tools which are the same for both photos and videos.

These include full range of filters for video including variations of vivid, dramatic, mono, silvertone and noir. You also adjust highlights, exposure, shadows, contrast,  brightness, black point, saturation, vibrance,  warmth, tint, sharpness, definition and add a vignette.

And if you don't like the end result, you can quickly revert to the original.


The super wide angle camera captures some superb images. We put it to the test inside Tasmania's 200-year-old St David's Cathedral.

Focusing on the stained glass windows of the church, the iPhone 11 Pro Max captures the colour and light beautifully together with the surrounding stonework.



The wide camera is also very handy when shooting group selfies in confined spaces at close range.
The camera has a new 'see through' interface and a zoom 'wheel' which allows you to switch between the 0.5 to 1 to 2x zoom range. 

iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test.
iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test. Mark Furler



You can slide to zoom in between the three set ranges or zoom even further in using the digital zoom but the results won't be as sharp as sticking to the optical zoom.

As well as its best camera, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a superb display, offering up to 800 nits peak brightness outdoors and up to 1200 nits when watching HDR10 and Dolby Vision movies or viewing your high definition photos.

The new 12 megapixel selfies  camera has  a 120 frames per second slow-motion video option, dubbed the Slofie. It's quirky.

On the video front, you can record video up to 4K at 60 fps.

iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test.
iPhone 11 Pro Max put to the test. Mark Furler



One of the biggest improvements to last year's iPhone XS Max is in the battery life.  Even after a long day of using maps, WI-FI, emails, plenty of photos and videos, there's about 40% charge left.

Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro Max lasts up to 5 hours more than iPhone XS Max.

iOS 13.introduces a new look for night time use which is dark mode. Instead of a bright white screen, it's black with your writing in white. It's much easier on the eyes and the feature allowing it to change modes based on the sun is a nice innovation.

The front of the phone looks very similar to last year's model with the wide notch for Face ID still up the top.
The matte finish is a nice upgrade and means a lot less fingerprint smudges.

Water and dust resistance is now up to four metres for up to 30 minutes, though underwater photography is still to come.

The speakers offer spatial audio with Dolby Atmos support, resulting in impressive audio during movies and gameplay.

Is this Apple's best iPhone? Without a doubt.

Better than the best of Android including the Samsung Galaxy Note10 and Huawei's best? Arguably yes.

With a price tag ranging from $1899 to $2499, though, it certainly is a phone for those super serious about their photos and videography.



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