"The photographer's phone" is what Apple calls the iPhone 12 Pro, and almost the entire presentation of that model (and its larger iPhone 12 Pro Max sibling) focused on the cameras.

The iPhone 12 Pro has the same 6.1in screen with XDR technology as the iPhone 12, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has the largest screen ever in a 6.7in iPhone. They use the same ceramic crystal glass that should be four times more durable than iPhone 11.

The frame around the body of the phone is made of stainless steel that has been coloured and polished to an extreme sheen, and Apple says the gold-coloured model has a lustre that is more reminiscent of actual gold than ever.

Another novelty is even better sealing: the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max both offer an IP68 water-resistance rating to a depth of 6m.

But the really big improvements can be found in the cameras.

Super-sharp cameras

The iPhone 12 Pro has a new telephoto camera corresponding to a focal length of 52mm (which is to say, what most photographers would regard as a 'normal' lens), while the Pro Max goes a bit further with a corresponding focal length of 65mm.

As expected, both models have LiDAR sensors that are used partly for AR functions, but also to improve the cameras. In low light, the iPhone 12 Pro uses LiDAR to focus up to six times faster than infrared light. Together with the ultra-wide-angle camera with a corresponding focal length of 13mm, the iPhone 12 Pro thus has 4x optical zoom while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has 5x.

The image stabilisation has now moved into the sensor, something which improves shake protection as it can adjust the image five times faster than in the iPhone 11. Apple claims it is enough to take 2-second handheld exposures.

Better pictures - and video

For professional photographers, Apple has created a new format that combines the power of the RAW format with iPhone's machine learning-based Smart HDR image processing.

A lot is also happening on the video front: iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max can record video in 4K with 60fps and HDR with Dolby Vision and thus 10-bit colours.

iPhone 12 Pro can be ordered from 16 October and starts shipping on 23 October. iPhone 12 Pro Max can be ordered from 6 November with deliveries from 13 November.

Check for the latest bargains in our iPhone deals roundup. And for discussion of how photography will get even more sophisticated next year, read iPhone 13 'will feature much better cameras'.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation by David Price.