Apple will be betting heavily on the iPhone 13 camera features

Apple will be betting heavily on the iPhone 13 camera features
The announcement of the iPhone 13 series is about a month away — historically, the new iPhone event always takes place in September. And we already have some juicy leaks on what the new iPhones will offer. Here’s a spoiler — camera upgrades.

Yeah, obviously, we get those each year, but a new report by Bloomberg states that the iPhone 13 series will lean hard into camera features to differentiate them from the iPhone 12 generation that we have right now.

So, what are we talking about?

Portrait Mode for video

We’ve heard this before — Apple plans to add Portrait Mode to videos, meaning it will use software to simulate a wider aperture and shallower depth of field. We’ve seen other brands, like LG and OnePlus, attempt this before and the effect was less than stellar.

Putting fake bokeh in video is much harder than a still picture — the subject is constantly moving, the de-focus effect needs to correctly identify objects that are between the lens and the subject, and the background needs to blur gradually. Will Apple achieve a better effect? We don’t know yet, but the company certainly only releases something only when it’s certain that it works reasonably well.

ProRes video

Apparently, we will get a new ProRes video mode for a… more cinematic look? It’s still a bit unclear. Apple’s ProRes supports up to 8K video resolution, but the iPhone 13’s camera lenses are still rumored to have 12 MP sensors, which shouldn’t be able to hit 8K.

Supposedly, ProRes will offer better quality to those that aspire to record more professional-looking clips that lend themselves to better editing in programs like Final Cut. ProRes strikes a balance — it preserves more image data, like raw video, but doesn’t produce super-large files like raw does.

A new filter system

OK, we’ve had filters in the iPhone Camera app for a while now, so this is not new, per se. But it sounds like a different spin on it — software filters that mimic the filters you would put on a DSLR lens, maybe? Their effect would be to to affect color temperature or alter contrast.

Exclusive to the iPhone 13?

The Portrait Mode and ProRes video option sound like they would be more demanding of the hardware, so it’s possible that they will be exclusive to the iPhone 13 series and up. It’ll be interesting to see if older iPhones will at least get the new filters via an iOS update further down the line — it does sound more like a software thing.

Other camera improvements

Here’s some other camera improvements that the iPhone 13 series is rumored to get in the future:

  • Ultra-wide camera to get auto-focus
  • Ultra-wide camera aperture up to F1.8 from F2.4
  • Astrophotography feature to take pictures of the stars
  • Sensor-shift stabilization on all models (currently exclusive to iPhone 12 Pro Max)
  • 2.5x zoom on iPhone 13 Pro (currently exclusive to iPhone 12 Pro Max)
  • iPhone 13 Pro Max aperture increase to F1.5 (current iPhone 12 Pro Max is F1.6)
  • LiDAR on all models

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