I’m looking for variety in a smartphone camera so I can be creative and have fun with it. The iPhone 13 Pro achieves this goal, and I want you to be able to appreciate the phone’s camera capabilities as much as I have. I’ve been using the iPhone 13 Pro since its launch, comparing it to the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and the iPhone 12 Pro, and collecting hundreds of images and movies in the process.
Tips on how to accomplish the same feats with your phone.
The iPhone 13 Pro is the first iPhone to feature a dedicated macro photography mode, which use the ultrawide camera to focus on objects as small as 2 centimeters away – but how do you use it? You don’t have to since the iPhone does it for you. When you go up close to something in Photo mode, the camera shifts to ultrawide mode automatically, so you don’t have to do anything.
This is both useful and inconvenient. It’s useful since it speeds up and simplifies the process of taking macro images, but it’s inconvenient because you won’t always want macro mode on, and there’s currently no way to turn it off. However, when iOS 15.1 is released, this will be included.
The macro mode on the iPhone 13 Pro features autofocus, so you can tap on the screen to choose the focal point, and it also works with video and the iPhone’s night mode.
The outcomes can be shocking. While the photographs aren’t as impressive as those made with the Oppo Find X3 Pro’s microscope camera, they’re far superior to those taken with a 2-megapixel macro camera featured on many other phones. Sure, you can photograph anything around your house, but I’ve had the most fun going outside and getting as near to insects as possible. Because of the autofocus, you can shoot quickly, which is necessary for this type of photograph.
You won’t utilize this function as much as the other three main cameras, but it does something special in comparison, giving the iPhone 13 Pro’s camera a new dimension. The finest part is that, despite its automatic activation, it performs admirably.
Cinematic mode, arguably the most important new feature for the iPhone 13 Pro, adds a bokeh blurred backdrop effect to video while also intelligently knowing when to instantly shift focus to a new topic, giving your recordings the look of a professionally shot movie. It can be used with the main camera, as well as the wide-angle, telephoto, and selfie cameras, making it extremely versatile.
Before you begin, decide whether or not you want to employ the auto focussing tool, which necessitates the presence of other individuals in the photo. It won’t refocus on an object automatically, but you can force it to by touching on the screen. It can recognize some persons and objects, but not broad surroundings.
This is the iPhone 13 Pro’s Cinematic mode using the selfie camera. You can adjust focus manually and it will recognize objects. It keeps focus on the subject really effectively, and edge recognition is solid!
Apologies for my mug in the demo video. pic.twitter.com/uMKW0K2QO6
— Andy Boxall (@AndyBoxall) October 12, 2021
The effectiveness of edge recognition is astonishing, because it appears to be extremely natural at first glance. If you look closely, you’ll notice that it has a few issues with my glasses as I move, but it seems to comprehend that my cap is a part of my head. What I like best about Cinematic mode is how much it inspires you to try new things. The more you use it, the better the results become, which is a lot of fun.
3x optical zoom
The iPhone 13 Pro’s 3x telephoto camera, which improves on the iPhone 12 Pro’s 2x optical zoom, allows you to get even closer to your subject without sacrificing clarity. While phones like the Galaxy S21 Ultra offer two optical zoom capabilities, 3x is a good compromise if you only want one. It gives you more creative freedom than a 5x optical zoom, which gets a touch too close for everyday use but has a bigger impact than a 2x optical zoom.
Use Photographic Styles
Photographic Styles are a little-known tool that, while I’m not sure how effective they are yet, can alter the look of your images in a way that’s distinct from simply applying a filter. Tap the arrow icon at the top of the viewfinder to display the sub-menu at the bottom of the screen, then tap the icon that looks like many stacked windows to locate them.
You can choose between using the Standard view or switching to the Rich Contrast, Vibrant, Warm, and Cool filter-style views. Because it’s a live view, you can see how each option changes the scene’s appearance, but what sets it apart from a standard filter is that you can tweak the Tone and Warmth separately to customize the look to your preference. Photographic Styles, according to Apple, intelligently keeps skin tones and skies looking natural, and that appears to be the case.
Your preferences are saved even when you exit the camera app, so if you prefer the Standard view in most instances, you’ll have to manually switch back. Look for a reset button next to the sliders you used to adjust the Warmth and Tone if you want to undo any changes you’ve made; otherwise, they’ll be permanent.
This is significant because, like any other filter, there is a right and wrong moment to utilize Photographic Styles, and the adjustments won’t be appropriate for every photo you take. You might also find that utilizing the photo editing option improves the photo, but this is only available after you’ve taken it. Photographic Styles may provide you with the look you desire right away.
Photo editing and iMovie
Apple’s iOS comes with one of the greatest and most extensive picture editing suites available, and you should take advantage of it. While I believe the UI is a touch confusing, especially when it comes to cropping and adjusting the aspect ratio, there’s no disputing its power. Almost every feature of your image can be changed, and the results are visible in real time. I prefer my images to have a certain appearance to them, and doing so on the iPhone is quite simple.
There’s also a video editing mode in the suite, but don’t forget about iMovie. Cutting videos in the editor is excellent, but iMovie brings them all together into a professional-looking end product with little to no input from you. When you need to share videos rapidly, it’s quite useful. In the Cinematic mode demo film above, it took me five minutes to put together the different clips. If you want to get more involved than just letting iMovie do the work, you may reorder individual videos, change the style, change the duration, duplicate clips, and add titles and audio.
All of this adds to the iPhone’s overall experience. Everything happens really rapidly on the iPhone 13 Pro thanks to its A15 Bionic CPU, and I haven’t found any scenarios where it doesn’t feel instantaneous, whether I’m filming Cinematic mode films or later merging them all together in iMovie.
All of the aforementioned applies to both the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which I’ve been using. I’ve had a lot of fun getting out and about with the camera and all of its new functions, and I hope you will as well.