The iPhone 12: Could this be your best camera on the boat?

Apple’s iPhone 12 is out. They have some of the best camera technology in the smartphone market. Your new designated fishing camera phone?

Why is a fishing charter company reviewing the new iPhone 12?

What does this mean for us anglers?

In today’s day and age, average joes like us can take ‘magazine-quality’ photos when out fishing, just by using our phones. That’s why it matters.

For the past 5 years, we’ve been spoilt with smartphone options that provide us with amazing camera capabilities, that allow us to take amazing photos of our adventures.

But among the vast options available, we have to admit that Apple’s iPhones have been dominating the camera game.

We’ve watched full-length indie movies filmed exclusively on iPhones. And they were amazing!

Can we say that long gone are the days of lugging around a bulky video camera when we are out fishing? This has already been true for most of us.

Apart from their amazing camera systems, the phones are just so easy to use. Keeping things simple yet effective, is what we anglers are all about.

Convinced yet? Is the iPhone 12 the one for you? Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

The Lineup

You’ve got the iPhone Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

Four new iPhones, but not much of a big difference between the models to be honest.

The overall focus during the Apple event was 5G connectivity.

This means higher data speeds, higher data capacity, faster download, and upload speeds. All that good stuff.

5G, right now is still just in the developmental stages as the infrastructure is still being expanded as we speak. So don’t expect super fast speed right off the bat.

It’ll take some time before telecommunications networks get it perfect, but it is great to have your phone 5G ready.

Let’s check out what’s new in the latest iPhones.

The iPhone 12

The new body design takes us back to flat-sided awesomeness. Why is ‘flat sided’ awesome?

No more rounded edges that cause them to slip out of our slimy hands. Admit it. You know how hard it is to keep them rounded cornered phones in our hands while taking a photo of thrashing fish.

Then there’s the frame. It’s got a full aluminum frame, just the way we like our fishing reels. Durability and corrosion resistance.

Too much reel reviews I tell you…

Waterproofing-wise, we have IP68 water resistance. Always important for on the water activities.

There’s also a new “ceramic shield” specialized glass on the front. An upgraded Gorilla Glass that Apple claims to be tougher.

4x better drop protection, they say. We won’t want to test this out ourselves so please be careful. We’ve smashed enough phone screens to last a lifetime.

Let’s look at the biggest changes that the new iPhones are experiencing.

The Screen

We finally have a highly improved screen!

From a 720p screen to a now 1080p OLED display. This is a significantly better screen than the previous iPhone 11.

But honestly, most of us won’t notice the difference.

For those with HD cameras for eyes, you’ll notice crisper images, and fewer pixels on your screen.

Making for a smoother and closer to real-life on-screen images and videos.

The Cameras

This is where all the action is happening.

For the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini, you’ll get a new dual 12MP camera system.

A 12MP F2.4  Ultra-wide camera for those epic landscapes and scenery shots.

And a standard 12MP F 1.6 wide camera for your fish and fishing photos.

The F 1.6 aperture is amazing for a phone camera as this makes for better low light performance, which is great news for us anglers.

Apart from low light performance, this 1.6 aperture also allows us to get the ‘depth of field’ shots, where the fish is in full focus while the unimportant stuff, like the angler, is blurred out.

Talk about upping your photography game.

For those who like to fish alone, the front-facing camera has also got an upgrade, with Night-mode capability. For selfie-worthy fish photos.

Moving on to the next innovation on the iPhones, it’s charging.

The Charging

Apple’s gone away with plugging chargers into the phones.

We’ve now got a magnetic charging system.

There are magnets built into the back of the phone. Similar to the MagSafe system of the older MacBook Pros.

You just snap the phone onto the charger and off you go. No need to clumsily try to plug the phone for a charge after a long night on the piss.

Worried that your waterproof case will affect the magnets? No need to fret. The magnets are strong enough to pull through any case you’ve got planned to put on your phone.

Companies like OtterBox and LifeProof have already prepared aftermarket cases that will be perfect for the outdoors.

Also, can you imagine the aftermarket magnetized accessories that can be put on these phones? You can keep all your small terminals like split rings and solid rings on the back of your iPhone. Just kidding.

Unfortunately, the MagSafe Charger, available as a separate purchase. Thanks, Apple.

There will be officially NO charging brick in any of the iPhones you purchase. This has to upset you right? Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

This is Apple trying to be environmentally friendly and improve E-waste savings. The smaller box saves space and shipping. Sounds funny, doesn’t it?

But you’ve gotta admit, you’ve got a ton of USB charging bricks sitting around the house waiting to be used. So it’s not a major deal-breaker, to be honest.

Improved Chip

The future is now, and there is so much power in our hands, literally. Something so small and compact, but so powerful and efficient.

A new A14 6-core CPU. So technical. But what does this mean?

Better image processing would be at the top of the benefits that would work for us. This is going to be a fast phone for a long time.

The iPhone 12 Mini

The iPhone 12 Mini is just a smaller version of the iPhone 12.

All the features listed above will be present on the iPhone 12 Mini but packed into a smaller body with a 5.4in display.

A great comparison to its size is the iPhone SE. Which in my opinion is just the right size. Unless you have mitts for hands, then you’d have to go Pro Max.

With an overall smaller footprint, it’ll take up less space in your pockets, it’ll feel lighter, and easier to grasp.

The iPhone Pro and Pro Max

Again, not that much of a difference versus the iPhone 12, except for the size, colors, and camera system.

It has the same IP68 water resistance, A14 chip, 1080p OLED display, and MagBack for charging.

Size-wise, the iPhone 12 Pro has a 6.1-inch display, whereas the Pro Max has a 6.7-inch display.

The frame is also stainless steel versus aluminum.

But the area where the Pro models are better is the camera system.

The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max have a triple camera system.

A 12MP Ultra-wide F 2.4 camera for scenic and landscape shots.

A 12MP Wide F 1.6 camera for standard fishing and fish photos.

And a 12MP telephoto F2.0 camera for zooming in on a GT smashing a popper on the surface!

Apart from these three cameras, you’re going to get a lidar sensor, which helps improve the focusing in the dark. Super unnecessary, but still something you’re paying for.

Apple also promises a ProRaw image format, which increases the dynamic range of your photos for better post-processing power. Best for those who do plenty of post-processing of photos.

Not too important for us regular joes, as the standard photos will be plenty good enough.

Where the Pro models shine is in the video department! 10bit Dolby Vision HDR, 4K 60fps video capability. Whew! That was a mouthful!

This is just unheard of in terms of compact video taking.

4k in a phone is amazing in itself, but you get 60 frames per second video which allows you to get sexy slow-motion shots.

There is also great image stabilization on the phone, so you’ll get stable footage even when on a moving boat.

You’ll get great fishing videos for sure, as long as you take usable footage.


iPhones have great cameras. Great cameras help preserve the amazing moments that we experience when we are out fishing.

The days of lugging around a bulky camera designated to take photos and videos of your fishing trip are long gone.

Hardcore adventure anglers like Andre Van Wyk exclusively use his iPhone when fishing remote destinations. If he takes magazine-worthy shots using his iPhone, we can too. With a bit of practice of course.

With everything Apple, look forward to future accessories that can help improve the overall experience.

Like underwater dome cases for split shots. Magnetic lens attachments like filters, and macro zoom lenses. The sky’s the limit.

The future is now, and there is so much power in our hands, literally. Something so small and compact, but so powerful and efficient.

It doesn’t have to be an iPhone. A decent enough smartphone will get the job done. Get the right fishing and boating apps, some good practice with the camera and you’ll be set to go.

But if you’re in the market for an easy to use a smartphone that has amazing photography capabilities, durability, waterproofing, and overall fishing-related advantages, the iPhone 12 will be very tough to beat.

Which model will you get? The 12, Mini, Pro, or Pro Max?

If you are looking for a true sport fishing company that offers you more than just a Vanuatu fishing adventure, look no further than Ocean Blue Fishing.

We’ve currently got a $2000 Rediscover Adventure Promotion going on. You’ll get a $2000 voucher to use on your next booking with us! If you are keen, check out the promo here

Call us now at (AU) 1300 564 616 or at (INTL) +61 436 020322 or you may also contact us through our website at

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The iPhone 12: Could this be your best camera on the boat?

John is originally from the Philippines. John has extensive guiding experience throughout Asia and...Learn more
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