The most advanced cameras on an iPhone
After the presentation of the new iPhone, the sensations regarding this new generation of phones must be admitted that they are somewhat strange. On the one hand it seems that little or nothing has changed, on the other there are details that will make a difference and put it back as the rival to beat the rest of the competition in the smartphone sector.
Among those changes are those that affect the photographic section and also the video section. Because the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have seen how all the main camera system is completely renewed. Not only in terms of sensors, but also in terms of optics. The result? Well, according to Apple, the biggest leap in quality issues in recent years and with which they become the iPhone with the most advanced camera.
Okay, this last statement is a bit obvious and was not necessary. Of course, it is assumed that they must be the most advanced iPhone in camera, they will not go backwards. But hey, we already know what marketing departments are like. What we are interested in is telling you what these changes are, what they imply and the details that you still missed if you saw the presentation. Or, in case of not being able, what you should know about them. So you can assess whether this is the phone you should or should not buy this year.
The cameras of the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max at a technical level
Let’s start by reviewing from a technical point of view how are these three cameras offered by the main module and why Apple insists on that phrase of completely renewed. Of course, before continuing the great news, this year there are no differences between the Pro model and the Pro Max. That means that opting for one model or another will no longer be something that you have to decide if you want the best in cameras or not. Now the decision will be conditioned by whether you want a screen with a greater diagonal and more battery. In the rest of the sections they are identical.
Come on, let’s start to reel off the cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Both devices have three cameras: telephoto, wide-angle, and wide-angle. The three sensors have the same 12 MP resolution and to make it easier for you to know the small details of each one, here is a quick diagram.
- The Angular (Wide) or main camera It has a sensor with a resolution of 12 MP and a pixel size of 1.9 microns. It is the largest seen on an iPhone to date and that allows it to perform better in low light scenes. In addition, the aperture is f1.5 and it has an optical stabilization system capable of moving the sensor to compensate for movements even when the user is not still.
- The ultra wide angle camera (Ultra Wide) for its part, it repeats in resolution issues with a 12 MP sensor, but the lens with a greater angle of view has an aperture f1.8. The most striking thing here is that together with the design of the lens plus the software of the phone, it can be used for macro photography with a minimum focus distance of 2 centimeters. An interesting improvement without having to resort to dedicated sensors that contribute little later in the day to day.
- The Telephoto For its part, it is also renewed with a new 12 MP sensor and a lens with a 77 mm focal length that allows a 3x optical and 6x digital zoom. Okay, you won’t use digital when you want the best quality, but it’s a bonus.
Only on a technical level the three cameras of the new iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max already improve compared to their previous models. And best of all, as we have said, is that there are no differences between the Pro and Pro Max. So if you like a more compact phone, you won’t have to sacrifice that comfort to get the best camera.
Everything they offer in photography
- 12MP Pro Camera System with Tele, Wide and Ultra Wide Angle
- Telephoto: ƒ / 2.8 aperture
- Wide angle: ƒ / 1.5 aperture
- Ultra wide angle: ƒ / 1.8 aperture and 120 ° field of view
- Optical zoom in x3, optical zoom out x2 and optical zoom range x6
- Digital zoom up to x15
- Portraits in Night mode with LiDAR scanner
- Portrait mode with advanced bokeh effect and Depth Control
- Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural Light, Studio Light, Outline Light, Stage Light, Mono Stage Light and Mono High Key Light)
- Dual optical image stabilization (telephoto and wide angle)
- Optical image stabilization by sensor shift (wide angle)
- Six-element lens (telephoto and ultra-wide) and seven-element lens (wide)
- True Tone flash with slow sync
- Panoramic photos (up to 63 Mpx)
- Sapphire glass lens cover
- 100% Focus Pixels (wide angle)
- Night mode
- Deep fusion
- Smart HDR 4
- Photo Styles
- Macro photography
- Apple ProRAW
- Wide color gamut for photos and Live Photos
- Lens correction (ultra wide angle)
- Advanced red-eye correction
- Photo geotagging
- Automatic image stabilization
- Burst mode
- Image capture in HEIF and JPEG format
Everything they offer in video recording
- Cinema mode for shooting 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, 25, 30 or 60 fps
- 1080p HD video recording at 25, 30 or 60 fps
- Video recording in 720p HD at 30 fps
- ProRes video recording up to 4K at 30 fps (1080p at 30 fps on 128GB capacity models)
- Dual optical image stabilization for video (telephoto and wide angle)
- Optical Sensor Shift Image Stabilization for Video (Wide)
- Optical zoom in x3, optical zoom out x2 and optical zoom range x6
- Digital zoom up to x9
- Audio zoom
- Flash True Tone
- QuickTake video
- Slow motion video in 1080p at 120 or 240 fps
- Time-lapse video with stabilization
- Time-lapse with Night mode
- Cinema-quality video stabilization (4K, 1080p and 720p)
- Continuous autofocus
- Option to take 8MP photos during 4K video recording
- Playback with zoom
- Video recording in HEVC and H.264 format
- Stereo recording
It’s not just hardware, it’s also software
The last few years have taught us that software is equal to or more important than the cameras themselves. Here the maximum representative of this statement has been Google with its Pixels, but Apple also has a lot to say in everything related to photography and computers. Especially this year, which incorporate a series of options that although other Android manufacturers already offered, now it will be necessary to see to what extent it is true that they are late, but better than anyone.
To achieve all this, the first thing is to talk about the new processor, the Apple A15 Bionic. This new chip is composed of 6 cores, two high-performance and 4 high-efficiency. Together with them there is a new 5-core GPU it will only be on the Pro and Pro Max models. In the iPhone 13 the GPU has one less core, something similar to what happens with the different configurations of the MacBook Air. Apple stuff.
And finally, the new processor is complemented by a much faster neural engine, a new ISP and advances in computational photography that allow new features when taking pictures or recording video. So, it is that combination of hardware and software that seeks to give you an edge over the competition and continue to make your cameras the benchmark to beat.
What’s new in software for the new iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max? Well, to begin with, the most striking of all: the cinematic mode. This basically consists of bringing the portrait mode that we know in the photo section to video recording. But be careful, because here are details that make a difference.
When the cinematic mode is activated in the new iPhone of 2021, the subject that we want to focus on can be selected and everything that is behind it will be applied that bokeh or blur effect, which can be selected if we want it to be more pronounced or less (varying the aperture value).
Interesting? Well, hold on, there is still more. That bokeh effect not only applied in real time, also can be modified laterafter the video clip has been recorded. Because these iPhones save all the information regarding depth of field, so you can enter the editing options and create focus transitions, thus giving new creative options that will emulate what can be done with professional photo and video cameras.
To this possibility in video recording we add the use of a new professional codec, ProRes. This allows you to create professional workflows and provide the user with a higher quality both in the final file and when working in post-production. Although be careful with this: only iPhones 256GB and up can record video ProRes at 4K resolution and 30 fps. The 128GB models only get 1080p resolution at 30fps using ProRes. The feature will come later, not with the launch of the phones.
By the way, in kinematic mode I know records in Dolby Vision HDR already one 1080p maximum resolution. And returning to the photographic section, the new ISP allows you to enjoy a new function called photographic styles. These allow the user to vary aspects of the image such as tone, warmth or vividness in real time. Always taking into account aspects such as skin color so that strange final images are not produced.
And speaking of the skin processor, the cameras will also enjoy Smart HDR 4, a new version that is capable of analyzing an image, separating it into capable and applying adjustments to achieve an optimal high dynamic range result without affecting the different types of skins. that may be at the scene.
Examples of the camera of the new iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max
The following Photographs are Apple’s promotional. This must be noted because, normally, they are carried out taking into account the lighting situations in each one of them. So they can be different from the real situations that most users with less photographic knowledge who only want to point and shoot will encounter later. However, they do serve to give you a good idea of how far these cameras and their different options could go.
The following examples correspond to the macro photography, which is the first time it is actually offered on an iPhone.
Some cameras to test thoroughly
The quality jump of the new cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max appears to be real. Knowing really to what extent compared to the previous generation will be difficult for now, but it does seem that not so much because of the sensors and optics but because of the software there will be an improvement.
So stay tuned because as soon as we can show you more details and examples made by ourselves we will do so both here and on the YouTube channel.