The iPhone 13’s new camera tricks include cinematic video and macro photography

With a design that largely resembles last year’s phones, Apple is leaning on major upgrades inside the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro lineups to get people excited. Some of the most substantial improvements to the 2021 iPhones will be in the camera(s), and the company today announced several new features that will produce better photos and videos on the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The first is a new “movie mode” for video that replicates the rack focus effect often seen in movies. The iPhone 13 smoothly switches between foreground and background focus based on what’s happening in the frame. The system is intelligent enough to change focus when a subject looks away from the phone. You can also manually tap to change or lock the focus on your favorite subject. Movie mode is also available on the iPhone 13 Mini.

Movie mode intelligently switches between foreground and background focus.

On all iPhone 13 models, a depth map is built into the video file in movie mode, giving you the option to change the focus point afterwards. And for the iPhone 13 Pro, Apple is introducing a macro photography feature that can focus on subjects as close as two centimeters from the lens.

The 13 Pro also gets new “photographic styles” that apply different adjustments to scenes and subject types, so you can set and preserve your favorite visual effects for your future shots. Later this year, Apple will roll out ProRes video support on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, giving creators more leeway in post-processing.

Correction Sept 14, 3:23 PM ET: The article originally stated that changing the focus after shooting video in movie mode is only available on iPhone 13 Pro models. This feature is also available on the iPhone 13 and 13 mini. We regret the mistake.


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