Apple really wants you to believe that its iPhone can replace a movie camera. As expected, the ubiquitous ProRes codec has been implemented in the new iPhone 13 Pro, with ultra-advanced cinematic mode. Celebrity cinematographer Greig Fraser, ACS, ASC, as well as award-winning director Kathryn Ann Bigelow say this new toy can replace a high-end movie camera. Let’s read their thoughts.
Almost a year ago, when launching the iPhone 12 Pro, Apple recruited one of the most acclaimed filmmakers to try to make a movie using only the camera. This director of photography was Emmanuel Lubezki. From that moment on, Apple declared its intention to present the iPhone as a legitimate movie-making tool and thus bring it to the masses for all independent creators. Now, for the introduction of the new iPhone 13 Pro, Apple has recruited another award-winning director and cinematographer, Kathryn Bigelow and Greig Fraser, ACS, ASC, both of whom have worked on big Hollywood masterpieces. budget, like Dark zero thirty. Armed with demonstrations of the iPhone 13 Pro’s movie-making capabilities, Apple is pushing hard to convince us filmmakers to buy the iPhone 13 Pro instead of a large-sensor cinema camera. Unfortunately, they may be right. Let’s read the reviews of the pros.
Two-time Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Greig Fraser discussed the new video features of the iPhone 13 Pro:
Bigelow: âThe iPhone does not require additional equipmentâ¦ with so much accessibility, I think that all pretense tends to disappear. And so that makes the setting and the filming process a lot less fearfulâ¦ It’s a completely integrated process now â.
Fraser: âThere was no limit to what I could do with this particular camera. While normally everyone is so precious about a camera lens – it’s so expensive or it’s soâ¦ it’s so fragile. One of the things the iPhone couldn’t do until now was to create a sense of depth out of a lens. With Kinematic mode, what’s exciting is that we can choose the focus later. For me, it really comes down to professional cameras.
While normally everyone is so precious about a camera lens – it’s so expensive or it’s soâ¦ it’s so fragile. One of the things the iPhone couldn’t do until now was to create a sense of depth out of a lens.
Cinematographer Greig Fraser, ACS, ASC
Fraser adds, âWe can actually go ahead and do these stories, and make these movies using the tools on this iPhone. I believe that with the advent and with the addition of Cinema mode, we will very, very soon see filmmakers making films in a different way, which is exciting. We have the iPhone which is a professional filmmaking tool, which is exciting as a filmmaker. This is really the case with professional cameras.
We have the iPhone which is a professional filmmaking tool, which is exciting as a filmmaker. This is really the case with professional cameras.
Cinematographer Greig Fraser, ACS, ASC
Bigelow: “It could even give birth to a whole new genre”.
Fraser: ” I have no doubt about it. Just considering the size and the ability to move this camera â.
Fraser: “This will change the language of cinema in a very positive way”.
It might even spawn a whole new genre.
Director Kathryn Ann Bigelow
According to Apple, “the iPhone 13 Pro offers movie-making capabilities not possible with even the most expensive movie cameras.” The biggest Pro camera system upgrade with advanced performance in low light, macro photography and cinematic mode.
The iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode adds shallow depth of field and automatically changes focus. Check out the demo below:
Cinematic mode lets you shift focus from foreground to background, 3x optical zoom, advanced low-light performance, macro video, advanced stabilization, and the ubiquitous ProRes codec. Watch the video below directed by Kathryn Bigelow and shot on the iPhone 13 Pro by Greig Fraser, ACS, ASC:
And here is the BTS video:
Now iPhone can take photos with shallow depth of field and automatically add elegant focus transitions between subjects. Cinematic mode can also anticipate when an important new subject is about to enter the frame and bring it into focus when it does. You have the option to change the focus or adjust the bokeh level even after capturing. âIt’s so computationally intensive that we needed a chip that could handle the workload. Enter A15 Bionic, âsays Apple.
The calculations are so intense that we needed a chip that could handle the workload.
Here are the video capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro:
- “The greatest sensor ever” (there is no size information)
- Cinematic mode for recording videos with a shallow depth of field (1080p at 30 fps)
- HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps
- 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
- 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
- 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
- ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps for 128 GB of storage) *
- Dual optical image stabilization for video (telephoto and wide angle)
- Optical Image Stabilization by Sensor Shift for Video (Wide)
- 3x optical zoom, 2x optical zoom; 6x optical zoom range
- Digital zoom up to 9x
- Audio zoom
- True Tone Flash
- QuickTake Video
- Slow motion video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
- Time-lapse video with stabilization
- Time-lapse night mode
- Cinematic video stabilization (4K, 1080p and 720p)
- Continuous autofocus video
- Take 8 MP photos while recording 4K video
- Reading zoom
- Recorded video formats: HEVC and H.264
- Stereo recording
The iPhone 13 Pro is an advanced device, there is no doubt about it. Moreover, it is the most sophisticated movie making tool that is also a smartphone. Can you make exceptional films with it? Absoutely! Will it replace cinema cameras? Not so fast! Still, it can be a decent entry-level video camera for those looking to create their movies instantly while still getting professional-looking results. However, for the big screen, there is no replacement for the big sensors. BUT, we all know it’s only a matter of time that Apple will fix this problem as well.