These are the top 7 upgrades in the iPhone 13 Pro’s camera system

Cameras are what get people excited, and this year Apple is going all in.

With every new iPhone comes improvements to the phone’s camera quality and video capabilities, but this year Apple is really going for it.

From improved lenses all around, huge upgrades to low-light shooting and some advanced video tools, the iPhone 13 Pros appear to be a substantial upgrade.

1. Larger camera sensors

Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro are getting serious sensor upgrades. The new wide camera has a larger sensor with 1.9 µm pixels, the largest ever on an iPhone (the 12 Pro Max sits at 1.7μm pixels and every iPhone prior to the XS has only hit 1.4μm pixels).

A larger sensor means less noise and faster shutter speeds, increasing the iPhone’s performance in low-light conditions. The primary wide-angle camera on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a f/1.5 aperture, which Apple says will perform 2.2x when compared to the iPhone 12 Pro in low-light conditions.

2. Longer telephoto lens

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have a new 77 mm telephoto lens for a total of 6x optical zoom (all the way from ultra-wide to tele). For comparison, the iPhone 12 Pro came with a 52mm telephoto lens for 4x zoom.

The new 7mm focal length makes it a good option for portraits and isolating your subjects from a busy background. The zoom range is also good for nature and landscape photography, allowing for even more foreground and background compression.

3. Macro mode

The phone’s ultra wide camera features a ƒ/1.8 aperture and a new autofocus system that brings macro photography capabilities to the iPhone for the first time.

With the new autofocus capabilities users will be able to capture photos with a minimum focus distance of two centimeters. These new macro capabilities extend to capturing video, including the Slo-mo and Time-lapse options.

4. Night mode

Every phone in the iPhone 13 lineup is getting improvements to Night Mode, and those improvements will come to all three cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max.

Night Mode helps compensate for unideal lighting situations, and the feature is beefed up on the iPhone 13 thanks to that larger sensor that brings in 47% more light, faster capture speeds and improvements to optical image stabilization. A next-gen LiDAR doesn’t hurt either. It might be the year to jump into astrophotography.

5. Photographic Styles

Photographic Styles will give you advanced control of how your photos look before you shoot them. You’ll be able to alter settings to make your photos have your go-to look and edits at the point of capture, instead of adding filters or making adjustments after the fact.

These style settings will capture certain elements like contrast or vibrancy with increased focus while leaving things like skin tones alone for great portraiture using algorithms.

The feature will have four default styles to choose from, which you can fine-tune further by adjusting tone and warmth. These settings can be saved to achieve a consistent look across your photos, no matter what you’re shooting.

6. Cinematic mode

A new Cinematic Mode should be an exciting upgrade for iPhone videographers. This new mode is meant to bring more serious video capturing capabilities to the iPhone through an increased focus on cinematography and rack focusing.

In Cinematic Mode, the iPhone will be able to capture scenes with multiple subjects with more depth, bringing multiple people into focus automatically without you having to tap your screen to adjust mid-filming. The focus can be changed during and after capture — but the machine learning algorithms have been trained on classic cinematography and Apple expects you’ll like its automatic edits.

7. Apple ProRes support

The iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will be the first iPhones to support ProRes, an advanced video format designed to maintain detail and dynamic range in footage. The ProRes video format won’t be available on the new iPhone at launch, but Apple says it's coming later this year.

With ProRes, you’ll be able to capture video with less compression and your footage will already be in the format many professional video editors like to work with.

Videos in this format will take up some space though, so spring for an iPhone with high storage capacity if you’re interested.

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