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Apple iPhone 13 Pro Lands Including Game-Changing Image-Making Features

- 3 years ago

OK, we’re calling it. The new Apple iPhone 13 Pro is the smartphone that changes it all for photographers and, in particular, filmmakers, with internal ProRes without the drawbacks of H.265 in camera.


This new iPhone has a feature that we’ve been anticipating for a long time; advanced recording formats for shooting video. At the moment, even if you use a great app like FiLMiC Pro [which is a great way to record video using your smartphone and comes with the least processing], you are still stuck recording into the limited HEVC H.265 format. Whilst HEVC looks great, it doesn’t offer you much room to manipulate it in post and this is where the new Apple iPhone Pro 13 leaps ahead and changes the game, perhaps as radically as the shift we saw in video recording in DSPR cameras some years ago.

Yes, it’s that important.

With the new iPhone 13 Pro models allow you to shoot 4K 30p into Apple ProRes Video, which should be incredible for everything in post. Now, we’ll have more robust files that can be taken direct to editing without transcodes straight from the camera with the only drawback being the huge file sizes. Shooting this format is going to fill up your camera/phone much more quickly, so you’ll probably want to consider the bigger internal storage volume options if you are going to be shooting a lot of video.

There’s been a refresh on all of the cameras in the range, with one of the prominent features being that of a macro mode built into the wide-angle lens. The phone also has a 3X optical zoom built-in, which is super-cool.

The new iPhone 13 Pro also includes a new ProMotion feature that adjusts the frame rate of your screen from down to 10hz all the way up to 120hz. This means 24fps content will play actually at 24fps, not scaled to another frame rate. If you’re into gaming or want to watch a 120hz movie, it can show that with full accuracy, and with the new [1000 nits] screen, you could even do this outside on a sunny day!

Rack Focus & Cinematic Modes

The new lineup consists of both the Apple iPhone 13 Pro and a ‘regular’ two-camera iPhone 13, which lacks the more advanced video features of the Pro model but does include ‘Rack Focus‘, one of the potentially neat features that rolled out for both cameras.

On both the Pro and the regular iPhone 13 models, there is a new ‘Cinematic Mode‘ that uses focus racks to guide the viewer’s eye. Using computational algorithms, the iPhone is able to not just track objects moving around the screen, but also anticipate when a character is going to come into the frame [presumably with a wider angle view sensor]. It will even notice if a character looks away from the lens and rack focus to what the performer is looking at. Clever stuff, indeed.

This happens both automatically or, if you’d prefer, with ‘tap to focus’. You can lock focus on individual actors, or keep taping to move focus around.

The demo is really impressive, and we’re curious to see it roll out in the field to see how it actually works. we will run a test in #TheMeasure just as soon as we can, so keep an eye out for that. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and hit the bell for notifications, [etc].

This is one of those things that filmmakers have wanted to see in phone cameras for some time. Seeing it being implemented in such a simple way, really is a big deal. With the iPhone 13 Pro model, all of this is recorded with the file and you can actually change your focus racks in post, which is, frankly brilliant.


There’s so much to look forward to with this new iPhone and, quite frankly, it’s the first time in absolutely ages that we’ve got this excited about. It’s a device that represents a real step forward in shooting potential and might just put the brand ahead of all of the Android makers that have been snapping at Apple’s heels in recent years!

We’ll have to wait to see just how good it really is, but in the meantime, take a look at the demo video below. Skip to 01:08:00 to learn about the video features of the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro…

About the author

Read Apple iPhone 13 Pro Lands Including Game-Changing Image-Making Features

Simon Skinner

Co-founder // Editor

Having spent many years working in various pockets of the music industry, and always with a camera in hand, Simon has worked with organisations such as Warner/Chappell, Food Records and ultimately, co-founding the innovative independent record label, Izumi Records before moving fully into the world of publishing in 2007. Amongst numerous other projects in the last decade, he has been responsible for a number of specialist photo trade magazines and journals for the filmmaking and photography communities, along with a coffee table book entitled, "Great Britons of Photography' which he produced with Peter Dench and Leica. Now heading up PhotoBite, Simon and the team have set themselves a task of delivering informative and inspirational content for photographers of all levels, from the beginner, shooting with smartphones, to the seasoned photographer and filmmaker.