Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
Digital Camera World|December 2021
A peerless performer underpinned by innovative tech
Rod Lawton

£1,049/$1,099

Specifications

Rear cameras: 12MP 13mm f/1.8 ultra-wide camera; 12MP 26mm f/1.5 wide camera;12MP 77mm f/2.8 telephoto camera

Zoom range: 6x optical

Front camera: 12MP f/2.2 TrueDepth

Display: 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED(2,778 x 1,284 at 458ppi)

Chip: A15 Bionic

Image stabilization: Dual OIS (telephoto and wide), sensor shift (wide)

Max video resolution: 4K 60p

Waterproof: Yes (IP68 – down to 6 metresfor up to 30 minutes)

5G: Yes

Capacity: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB

Dimensions: 161 x 78 x 8mm

Weight: 240g

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the biggest and best of Apple’s new-generation iPhones. There are four in total, including the pint-sized iPhone 13 Mini, the regular iPhone 13, the regular iPhone 13 Pro, and this one. (See table, page 128.) The 13 Pro has the same cameras and tech as the Pro Max, but the Pro Max has the bigger screen, at 6.7 inches versus 6.1 inches, and a slightly longer battery life of up to 28 hours of video playback, versus up to 22 hours on the smaller phone.

Both iPhone 13 Pro cameras share the same spectacular three-camera array. And spectacular it is – in its capabilities, its clever shooting modes and computational imaging tricks, and in the sheer quality of the results.

You only get the full suite of camera features with the Pro models, but they are the same for each, so the real decision is how much you want (or need) the bigger screen of the iPhone Pro Max.

Key features

Let’s start with the iPhone 13 Pro camera system. Apple says this is its biggest upgrade yet – and while Apple says this every year, and while the changes might appear incremental rather than revolutionary at first glance, there’s a lot to talk about.

First, the new 13mm equivalent Ultra-Wide camera has a wider f/1.8 aperture, all-new autofocus, and a ‘faster’ sensor. Overall, Apple says, it can capture 92% more light than the iPhone 12 Pro. More than that, it has a new 2cm Macro mode, which engages automatically as you move up close to your subject, and can capture tiny objects at a magnification that would previously have needed a clip-on macro lens.

The regular Wide camera has a wider f/1.5 aperture and a larger sensor, which incorporates sensor-shift image stabilization. Apple says this new camera captures 2.2x more light than its predecessor and uses the iPhone’s Lidar Scanner for Night mode portraits.

The telephoto camera has a longer 77mm equivalent focal length than before, to offer a 3x telephoto effect relative to the regular Wide lens. Factor in the 0.5x Ultra Wide camera, and you have an overall focal length range of 6x – which seems to have been muddled up with a ‘6x zoom’ by some. To clarify, the 77mm telephoto camera offers 3x magnification, which is not the same as a ‘3x zoom’ lens.

With Smart HDR 4, the iPhone 13 Pro can now pick out and optimize individuals in outdoor shots, and Portrait mode is as effective as ever at blurring backgrounds in people shots.

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