The new iPhone 13 camera doesn’t look much different from the iPhone 12. It offers the same number of cameras: two on the standard iPhone model and three on the Pro models. However, despite their visual similarities, the new iPhone 13 camera updates are, in fact, pretty stellar. One could even say that the improved features are professional-level stuff.
So what makes the latest Apple phone — the iPhone 13 — more advanced when it comes to photos and videos? Here are five iPhone 13 camera updates that will take your content to the next level (and make you want to upgrade and buy an iPhone 13 case ASAP).
1. 3x Telephoto Zoom and Macro
Both the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max have three new rear cameras that can zoom in from 0.5x to 3x. Plus, each one can take Night Mode shots in low lighting (more on that later). But when it comes to the ultrawide camera’s telephoto zoom, it offers the largest image sensor yet. And with an aperture of f1.8, it’s wider than the iPhone 12’s f2.4, increasing the performance in dimmer conditions by 92 percent. The primary wide-able camera on the iPhone 13 Pro offers an f1.5 aperture, a tad bit wider than the f1.6 of the iPhone 12, too. Also, the 77mm telephoto lens provides a 3x zoom over the main camera.
Apple’s new ultrawide macro abilities are also an improvement that can come in handy for certain content production. The new macro on the iPhone 13 allows users to focus on subjects super close. How close? You can capture something as close as 2cm. Of course, whether you plan to use an iPhone 13 Pro to take professional photos or not, be sure to protect it with an iPhone 13 Pro case or an iPhone 13 Pro Max case.
2. A 12-Megapixel Wide-Angle Camera
When it comes to content creation, one of the best advancements that the iPhone 13 and iPhone Mini has made is its new 12-megapixel wide-angle camera. This camera offers a main wide-angle camera that is excellent for shaky hands and low-light shooting. By capturing more light and offering sensor-shift image stabilization, it simply works when you are taking snapshots in a dark environment or have shaky hands.
3. Cinematic Mode
The iPhone 13 can also improve your content with the new Cinematic Mode. This helpful feature uses computational photography to detect a dominant face in the frame, refocusing as needed to guide the viewer’s eyes. The Cinematic Mode is so cleverly designed that it will even shift focus again if the dominant in-focus person looks away.
The Cinematic Mode will also shift focus on moving objects. All you have to do is manually tap the subject on the screen once, or to lock the focus on one person, tap twice. Don’t like the way the video was captured? You can always edit it afterward, narrowing the depth of field to focus on a person or object or deepening the image so everything is in focus.
4. ProRes Video Support
Lastly, Apple improved their video support with the ProRes video format, exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro models. So what does the ProRes video do and why is it important? Basically, ProRes protects the image quality of a video while using fast encoding and decoding. This allows you to keep the original video information without overcompressing.
Furthermore, shooting a video in ProRes keeps it in a more suitable, ideal video-editing format. If you are an entrepreneur who creates your own commercials and YouTube videos, having this tool in your arsenal is guaranteed to take your content to the next level.
5. The A15 Bionic Chip
All of Apple’s newest iPhones have the A15 Bionic chip, offering image signal processing that improves noise reduction and automatic tonal adjustments. And when it comes to the ProRes video, the A15 Bionic chip provides dedicated circuitry to help the video speed.
This processor also offers computational photography abilities, which can merge multiple frames with dark and light elements into one HDR shot to achieve a better photo. This computational photography can also detect and brighten people’s faces, blur the background of a portrait, and zoom in to objects in the far distance. Apple’s new HDR 4 feature can even lighten and adjust the tone of each person’s face in the shot.
The A15 also offers a still-image feature called Photographic Styles. This feature is perfect for professional photographers, inviting them to set parameters and presets for each shot. Contrast and color temperature, for example, can be spotted and applied in faces.
What the iPhone 13 Camera Is Missing
While it might have started that way, Apple hasn’t always had the upper hand when it comes to smartphone camera technology. Over the years, other Apple competitors like Samsung, Google, and Huawei have improved their own cameras, going head to head. However, Apple has consistently made intelligent improvements to its camera hardware and, more importantly, its camera software. Apple’s software is currently capable of creating a finished JPEG or HEIC photo file that has been processed from several frames of raw data.
Some of these smart improvements have been a good thing, too. For example, the Google Pixel Pro (arriving late 2021) has a 4x telephoto zoom camera option and an 8K video, while the newest iPhone does not. While this offers better than the iPhone 13, it has a major disadvantage — it eats up tons of storage space. Plus, only expensive, high-end TVs can display 8K, so it’s not something the average consumer can’t really appreciate just yet.
In addition, Apple’s wide-angle telephoto cameras offer more creative options without pixel binning, which takes high-resolution photos when light is decent. The same goes with periscope cameras to improve telephoto zoom factors. Instead of these certain improvements, Apple has shifted focus (pun intended) on the software features, such as portrait mode, low-light photo capabilities, and ProRaw photo format for photographers to have more pro tools. Not to mention the ProRes video format we commented on.
The iPhone 13 Camera Updates Are Top-Notch
Apple knows that the cameras are one of the main reasons their customers choose iPhones. And this is why newer phone models are designed with multiple cameras, better optics, and image sensors. People use their smartphone cameras every day to share their experiences and more, which is why Apple chose some of the fantastic camera upgrades for the iPhone 13.