The iPhone 13 is here with internal ProRes in your phone
With the new iPhone 13 Pro, filmmakers finally have access to a real recording format without the disadvantages of H.265 in the camera.
Today Apple launched a new iPhone, the iPhone 13 Pro, which has a feature we’ve been waiting for: better recording formats for videos.
Even if you’re using a great app like FiLMiC Pro (the best way to record video on your phone and with the least amount of processing), you’re still stuck in the limited HEVC H.265 format. HEVC looks nice but doesn’t give you a lot of room to edit it in the post.
That changes now with the new Apple Pro format for videos.
The iPhone 13 Pro models let you record 4K 30p in Apple ProRes video, which will be amazing for post-production. You have more robust files that you can edit right from the camera without transcoding.
The downside will be massive file sizes. If you shoot this format, your camera will fill up much faster. So you should get more internal storage space if you think this is something that you will want to record a lot of videos on.
All cameras have been updated, with the big feature being a macro mode built into the wide angle lens. The phone also has a built-in 3x optical zoom which is actually pretty darn cool. If you’re frustrated with your ability to get really great close-ups with the digital zoom, it is amazing to have true optical zoom built in.
The new 13 Pro also includes a new ProMotion feature that adjusts the frame rate of your screen from 10 Hz to 120 Hz. This means that 24fps content is actually played at 24fps and is not scaled to a different frame rate. If you want to play or watch a 120Hz movie, this can also be displayed in full.
Combined with the new 1000 nits screen, you can even do this outdoors on a sunny day.
The new lineup is both the 13 Pro and a simple old dual-camera iPhone 13 that lacks the more advanced video features of the professional. But it does include one of the potentially cool features introduced for both cameras: rack focus.
There is a new “cinema mode” on both the Pro and regular iPhone that uses focus racks to direct the viewer’s eye. With the help of computational algorithms, the iPhone can not only track objects that move on the screen, but also predict when a character will come into the frame (presumably with a wide-angle sensor).
It will even notice when a character is looking away from the lens and focusing on the rack the performer is looking at.
It does this both automatically and, if you wish, with a tap to focus. You can lock the focus on individual actors or keep recording to move the focus.
The demo is very impressive (although they always are) and we’re excited to see how it is rolled out in the field to see how it actually works. This is one of the things filmmakers have wanted in phone cameras for a while, and seeing it implemented in such a simple way is a big deal.
On the Pro, this is all recorded with the file and you can actually change your focus racks in the post which is insane.
There are honestly a lot of updates here that are pretty amazing for filmmakers, and we can’t wait to see what people do with it.
To start with, we received a short film from director Kathryn Bigelow and DP Greig Frasier to show how dramatic the image improvements are that have been achieved with such a simple device.
We’ll have more updates for you soon. But what do you think so far?