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  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

Whoa... The iPhone 13 just got real

Every year Apple ups the smartphone game and every year it's always the "best" they've made so far. Some might call that marketing, er uh... propaganda, although many years that's actually true, but not every year.

This year though it happens to be true and at least from what I've seen so far it might just be the "best" year yet.

Of course understand that I'm viewing this through the lens of a filmmaker (no pun intended). And they've really added to the video capabilities of this new phone, which include:

  1. Cinematic mode (depth-of-field simulation)

  2. New 77mm telephoto lens

  3. New wider aperture f/1.8 ultra wide camera/lens

  4. Also the ultra wide now has autofocus and macro abilities

  5. Larger wide camera sensor (and maybe tele too, need to confirm)

  6. Sensor-shift stabilization now on both the wide + tele

  7. And now the phone will record in Apple's professional video codec ProRes (coming later this fall)

Each of these are amazing advancements on their own, but to add them all at once really shows that Apple is dedicated to bringing the highest quality video to the smartphone market - which has really always been the case - but it's even more evident now.

Here's a reaction video I made featuring my favorite filmmaking additions to the new phone (these are highlights of my Top 3):

And for a more detailed look at the announcement watch my podcast episode (same content as above, but the full reaction and analysis, not highlights):

Or, if you'd like to listen to the audio only version of the podcast instead here's that (also available on Apple, Spotify and more):

I preordered the 13 Pro Max with 1TB of storage and should have it soon and will be making a variety of videos comparing it to the 12 Pro Max and of course testing out all its new features. I ran a poll on Twitter about what folks most wanted me to test and the winner was Cinematic mode, so that will be one of the first things I do.

What do you think? Did you order a new iPhone 13?

As a filmmaker and video creator I think this is a very good upgrade, even if you have the 12 series phones. Of course a new camera is not going to make your videos or films better (you need to work on the craft regardless of what you shoot on), but it can help make them look better (from a technical perspective), especially if you're shooting in more professional scenarios.

Happy filmmaking!


UPDATE: Been doing some testing...

Accessory compatibility... This is one thing that always stinks when new phones are released - most of the (often expensive!) accessories you bought for the prior model phone will no longer work. And unfortunately that's the case here I'm finding so far. - The Beastcage doesn't work with the Pro Max - the new camera bump is larger. Not sure about the Pro, but believe that to be the same. - The Beastgrip Pro does work fine though, which is great and why it's a very good one to buy as it's more or less universal. But the lenses I've tried don't work (well, they kinda work). The Pro Series 2X tele is the best, but still has soft edges and the 1.55x anamorphic is not working well at all. So Beastgrip needs to update the lens mount to make these work properly. - The Beastgrip DOF MK2 I have not tested yet, but based on my other tests of the lenses I suspect this will not work without some modification. Will report back once I find out for sure. - The Moment "screw on" 67mm filter mount (the one that fits over the phone and then clamps down on the body/glass) seems to work fine with the 13 Pro Max. I'm guessing they'll still update it as the fit is not perfect due to the camera bump, but so far in my testing it does work fine. - I have not been able to test any Moment lenses, but the Moment guys have shown that they do work. I don't have a case for the 13 Pro Max yet, but have one on the way and so I'll hopefully be able to confirm this soon.

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