New iPads, new iPhones. Rinse, wash, repeat. But this event felt different. Apple, it seems, is laying the groundwork to be the defacto workflow for professional photography and videography, and computational photography is leading the way.
Stand out feature: Cinematic Mode
Think of computational photography as a way to fill in the blanks left by lenses designed for a small form factor—for example, depth of field. Depth of field is truly one of the last features that separates a pro DSLR from a smartphone camera like an iPhone. That is, until today.
Cinematic Mode applies depth of field to video in real-time, using the iPhone’s Lidar sensor. Lidar sends out infrared beams into the world and creates a 3D model of its surroundings. Using this model, Cinematic Mode can blur out the background in real-time, giving video a depth of field the same as a professional DSLR with an expensive lens would. But it can do so much more.
Its autofocus is based on cinematography best practices. It offers features like anticipating when a subject will enter the frame and blurs out the background a fraction of a second before. That feature alone blows most DSLRs out of the water. Why? Machine learning and the so-called computational photography. I’m writing an article about the new iPhone 13 Pro cameras and why DSLR cameras’ days are numbered. Look out for it this week.
Here is the list of everything announced at today’s Apple Event. I highlighted some of what I believe are significant upgrades, most specific to computational photography and Apple’s continued courtship of the professional photographer and videographer.
Apple TV +
- See (Season 2).
- The Morning Show (Season 2).
- The Problem with Jon Stewart (excited for this!).
- A13 Bionic chip with 20% faster performance.
- Improved autofocus in low light.
- New 12MP ultra-wide camera.
- Center stage: Tracks your movement when on FaceTime, Zoom, etc.
- Storage starts at 64GB, double than the previous model.
- Starts at $329, $299 for schools.
- Flat-edge and all-screen design (like the Pro).
- New colors: purple, pink, starlight, space grey.
- Liquid Retina display.
- Larger 8.3” screen while maintaining the same footprint.
- 500 nits of brightness.
- Touch ID on the sleep/wake button.
- 40% increase in CPU and 80% increase in GPU performance.
- 2x faster machine learning.
- USB-C port, ditching the Lightning port.
- 5G on cellular version.
- 12MP Ultra-Wide camera with a larger aperture.
- True Tone flash.
- Smart HDR.
- Ability to record in 4K.
- Center Stage: The camera tracks your movement when on FaceTime, Zoom, etc.
- Compatible with Apple Pencil 2.
- Starts at $499.
- 5G and WiFi models.
- Order today, available next week.
New Apple Watch
- Larger display, 20% more screen area than Series 6 accomplished with smaller bezels.
- 70% brighter always-on display when the wrist is down.
- Full textpad for typing or swiping.
- New watch complications.
- Improved durability— Crack-resistant crystal screen, WR50 water resistance.
- Charges up to 33% faster than Series 6.
- Eight minutes of charging is enough for eight hours of sleep tracking.
- Five midnight, starlight, forest green, blue, and product red.
- Compatible with all existing bands.
- Series 7 starts at $399. Series 3 starts at $199.
- Apple: “The future of health on your wrist.
Apple Fitness Plus
- New mindfulness app with Guided Meditation
- Snow season workouts for skiing and snowboarding.
- Group workouts via Fitness+ and FaceTime. Up to 32 people at the same time.
- New pilates workouts.
- 3 months free trial with new Apple Watch purchase.
- Same flat-edge design as 12.
- Lenses are arranged diagonally.
- New colors: midnight, blue, product red.
- Bigger battery with 2.5 more hours than the previous model. 1.5 more hours for the iPhone mini.
- 28% brighter display with up to 800 nits.
- 1200 nits peak brightness for HDR.
- Improved power efficiency.
- A15 Bionic chip. 5-nanometer technology. 15 billion transistors.
- 6-core CPU.
- Improved machine learning.
- 4-core GPU. 30% faster graphics compared to the competition.
- Neural engine can compute 15.8 trillion operations per second.
- New augmented reality capabilities for 3rd party apps.
- Improved computational photography.
- 47% more light. Larger sensors. Biggest sensor ever put in an iPhone.
- Improved Night Mode photography and videography.
- Improved 5G performance.
- Supports over 200 5G carriers, double of the previous model.
- Smart data mode: shifts to LTE when 5G speeds aren’t needed.
- Siri requests are now computed on your phone (they snuck this one in there, but it’s an excellent feature for privacy).
- Leather, silicon, and clear cases for MagSafe with new colors.
- New wallet that supports Find My for if you lose your wallet.
- Starts at $699.
- 128GB of storage for the base model.
- Orders starting Friday.
iPhone 13 Pro
- Stainless steel bands.
- Colors: graphite, gold, silver, and new Sierra Blue.
- 20% smaller true depth front-facing camera.
- Stronger ceramic shield.
- Newly-designed camera system.
- A15 Bionic.
- 5-core GPU. 50% faster graphics performance.
- New Super Retina XDR: 1000 nits peak outdoor. 25% higher than iPhone 12 Pro.
- ProMotion Display: 120Hz refresh rates! Preserves battery life with dynamic frame rates.
- 6.1 inch and 6.7 inch.
- All-day battery life. 1.5 hours more for Pro. 2.5 hours more for Pro Max. Longest battery life ever in an iPhone.
- Starts at $999 and $1099.
- 1TB storage option. (For all those heavy video files)
New Camera System
- Biggest camera advancement ever.
- 3x optical zoom with a total of 6x optical zoom range.
- 1.8 aperture.
- 2.2x greater improvement in low light situations.
- Improved ultra-wide lens in low light situations.
- 6x optical zoom range.
- Macro photography: detailed close-ups.
- All lenses now have night mode through computational photography.
- Photographic styles: Customize and save styles to apply to your photos in the editing tool.
- Pro-level video.
- (Apple is really pushing the ability to make pro-level films with the iPhone 13 Pro.)
- Macro slow motion.
- ProRes video: 4k at 30fps at ProRes.
- Dolby vision or ProRes.
Some more on Cinematic mode:
- Depth of field for video (Like Portrait Mode but for video).
- Change the level of depth and bokeh even after shooting.
- Dynamic depth of field with autofocus abilities.
- Autofocus anticipates when someone is about to enter the frame.
- Tap to shift focus, double-tap to lock focus.
- Shoots in Dolby Vision HDR.
That’s all, folks! Keep an eye out for my next article detailing the new camera system for the iPhone 13 Pro and why it's closing the gap with DSLR cameras.
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