The camera of the iPhone 13 Pro impressed this professional photographer. Here’s why


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    the iPhone 13 Pro cameras aren’t a complete overhaul from those on the iPhone 12, but there are some nice tweaks that a pro photographer like me will get pretty excited about. Here’s what got me popped.

    Continue reading: CNETs iPhone 13, 13 Mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max reviews

    I used that iPhone 12 Pro Max since its inception, and I’ve always been impressed with the quality of the recordings I can get with it. This is especially true when using ProRaw and editing my recordings in apps like Adobe Lightroom. So I’m interested in the fact that the main camera has an even larger image sensor with an f1.5 aperture. This allows it to capture a lot more light. And more light means better photos.

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    The telephoto zoom has been increased from 2.5x to 3x, which is also to be welcomed. I use the telephoto zoom a lot on my phone to find more interesting compositions in the landscape that could be lost if I only shoot with the wide-angle lens all the time. Still, I would have liked an even bigger zoom boost to bring it closer to the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s amazing 10x optical zoom.

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    An example of a macro taken on iPhone 13.

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    Super wide and macro

    Then there is the super wide-angle lens, which has a much larger aperture and an improved night mode for better shots in the dark. That’s great, because the super-wide shots of the 12 Pro Max weren’t always that good at night. The super-wide model also has a new macro function that lets you take pictures of objects up to 2 centimeters (just over three-quarters of an inch) from the phone. I love macro photography and can spend hours crawling through the underbrush looking for things to photograph, so I’m really excited to see how the 13 Pro compares to my usual macro setup.

    But it’s the video skills that may have received the biggest updates here. I’ve been shooting videos with my 12 Pro Max for hours and regularly use it as a vlogging tool for my own photo YouTube channel. The 13 Pro’s larger apertures and telezooms will already go a long way towards improving the overall quality of the video you can capture, but the new Cinematic mode could add an extra professional touch to your filmmaking.

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    Cinema mode

    In cinema mode, the camera dynamically maintains focus on a subject’s face as the subject moves through the scene. If the person looks away from the camera, the focus also shifts – just as the focus would be shifted manually with professional cinema cameras. You can also tap to move focus and double-tap a face to lock the focus on it. But that focus and depth data isn’t burned into the video clip – you can go back and edit the amount of bokeh and focus points in your video after you’ve captured it.

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    The iPhone 13 Pro was shown in action to capture cinematic moments in difficult locations.

    Screenshot from CNET

    Apple ProRes

    I’m also really excited to see that Apple ProRes will be coming to the 13 Pro later this year. For those of you who don’t know ProRes is a video codec Apple designed that compresses the video file but retains excellent image and color data, allowing for much better control and quality in post production. It’s widely used for commercials and feature films, but this is the first time it’s seen on a mobile device.

    The 13 Pro will be able to record at 30fps in ProRes at 4K resolution, and I can’t wait to see what professional cinematic quality you can get in your phone videos. Am I curious to see if I can give my little YouTube channel a fundamental cinematic overhaul over the weekend? Damn right I am.

    Of course, the brighter and faster display is helpful when shooting in sunny conditions, the 1TB max storage option is useful for storing all those 4K ProRes videos, and I think the new A15 Bionic processor is the beating heart all of these fancy new processings are handled by video.

    No, this isn’t a revolution in photography, and I’m a little disappointed not to see an even bigger zoom lens. But the iPhone 12 Pro Max was already great for photography, and the 13 Pro takes all of the elements that made it great and gives everyone a nice upgrade. Upgrading from the 12 Pro Max probably won’t be worth it, but if you’re using an older handset and are looking for the ultimate in mobile photography and videography, the iPhone 13 Pro might be the phone for you.


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