It wouldn’t be an iPhone update without at least an incremental update to the camera system on the world’s most powerful smartphone, and this year was no exception. The introduction of the iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max unlocks significant new powers for consumers and professionals to capture incredible photography and for the first time, cinema-quality videos.
PUTTING THE EYE INTO iPHONE
In recent years, Apple’s leaned on its camera systems to sell more iPhones, particularly in ‘lull’ years where there are fewer significant changes and tweaks. Many might consider this year to be one of those - last year’s iPhone 12 range broke records after introducing 5G and an all-new design, and so naturally this year’s release was always going to be a quieter state of affairs. Where Apple has excelled, however, is with its camera systems, and introducing new sensors and lenses into the rear cameras on the iPhone, which are optimized for iOS 15 and an all-new image signal processor (ISP) in A15 Bionic, which reduces noise and tone mapping. Apple has added a brand new Wide camera to its Pro range with a larger sensor with 1.9 µm pixels, the largest ever on iPhone, and when combined with the larger ƒ/1.5 aperture, the Wide camera on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max offers a massive improvement in lowlight situations, which the company says is up to 2.2x better than the iPhone 12 Pro, and 1.5x better than the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Apple also brings sensor-shift optical image stabilization (OIS) to both iPhones, which helps to stabilize the sensor of the lens to ensure that images are smooth, whilst videos are steady, even when users aren’t.
The brand new Ultra-Wide camera on the Pro and Pro Max models offer a much wider ƒ/1.8 aperture as well as an autofocus system and combined, allow for macro photography on the iPhone for the first time. Users and professionals are able to capture sharp, stunning images where objects appear larger than life, and Macro can even be extended to video in Slo-mo and Time-lapse. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models even come with a 77 mm Telephoto camera, which offers 3x optical zoom for a total 6x optical zoom range on the camera system. Five years ago, technology like this would have seemed like a lifetime away, but as Apple continues to push the bar that bit further forward, it reminds us every release cycle why it makes sense to lock yourself into the Apple ecosystem and depend on its tech.
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