Cameras & iPhone 13

Updated: Oct 3

So, as the dust settles from the first of the expected two Apple events this autumn, we can begin to deep dive in to the camera feature on these new phones.

Make no mistake about it, the iPhone cameras are what many people update their phones for. Every year there are small improvements to these cameras, and this year is no exception. They are so good already, that from here on in, the improvements will always be incremental, but none the less, a step forward. This year is certainly no exception.

The cameras on iPhone and in particular the video side of its arsenal have been in a league of their own now for years when it comes to mobile devices. It is not unheard of for professionals to use iPhone for some shots on location, they really are that good.

The headlines on this years models are shooting in ProRes, the Cinematic mode and vastly improved wide & ultrawide lenses.

the two new Pro iPhones (credit Apple)

All these changes apply to both Pro iPhones and the only things you are lacking on the 13 is the macro & 3x zoom. Other than that, the camera set up is the same across the whole range which is great news.

The ultra wide lens is greatly improved with a 47% increase in the amount of light it lets is so really improving dark lit shots. It now has a 1.5 faster aperture too.

Cinematic Mode

you can edit on device in Cinematic mode

This has been the show stopper I guess and could well be a game changer for social media creators. Apple say it brings Hollywood to your pocket. Is that true? Well, straight off the bat, it is an amazing feature. Yes, there is a little ghosting, but unless you are really looking for it, in good viewing conditions, you'd be hard pressed to notice it.

Oddly, Apple have opted to lock this to shooting in 1080p at 30fps. All movies are shot at 24fps and you don't have the ability alter this. It is baked in. As mentioned, you cannot yet shoot at 4k either. And you can't shoot slow motion with Cinematic mode.

Another winner is you can alter the effect in post, right on your device, increasing or decreasing the effect after the shoot. And it continues to shoot in Dolby Vision too.


This is quite amazing. With a vastly improved ultrawide lens that we spoke about earlier you now have the ability to shoot, from roughly, 2cm from an object with ability to get amazing results. Stunning detail, not for everyday use, but a great feature to have.

With slo-mo you can shoot at either 120fps or 240fps. Battery life has been improved across the range too with anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, with and improved stabilisation too.

The iPhones ship with the A15 Bionic chip giving it the ability to process all these amazing features.

The ability to shoot Pro Res will not be for all. For starters, you only get this feature on the 256gb models and above. If you regularly shoot professional video, you'll already be aware of Pro res. It gives you so much more data and the ability to edit in post in Premiere Pro or other video editors. But, it comes at a cost, and that cost is storage! 1 minute of video equates to to about 6gb. Ouch!

The shouts for many years have been heard for Apple to switch from the lightning charger to USB-C. Although that will probably never happen, it would make so much sense now with these latest camera improvements. The bottleneck in the workload comes when you want to off load your content from phone to Mac. Big files are just going to take so long via AirDrop or the existing cable are even if you download from your iCloud account. I wonder what they have in mind for this in the future? Apple clearly have their mind on making these devices truly pro level.

So is it for you?

Broadly speaking, I'd say yes. Whatever your camera usage, be it just shooting pics of the family and friends or shooting video for social media use, there are improvements that over the whole range will benefit you. Ok, so at night there is a little ghosting and some flares, but really, that is being very picky. These new cameras are amazing. whatever phone you are changing from, you'll notice a huge improvement in your images. Oh, and don't forget the buttery smooth 120hz screen refresh rate on the Pros too.

So, will you be upgrading this year? I'd love to know. Leave a comment. How do you primarily use your phone day to day?

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