Apple iPhone 13 may get pro-focused camera and substantial video updates

Unbox Therapy
(Image credit: Unbox Therapy)

Apple's hotly anticipated iPhone 13 lineup will get at least three major new camera and video-recording features – that's according to a new missive from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, at least. 

The new Apple handsets will allegedly include a video version of the phone’s Portrait mode feature, support for video recording in a higher-quality format called ProRes, plus a new filters system that will improve the colour-depth and overall look of photos, according to Gurman's sources. 

An upgraded snapper is always one of the most convincing arguments for updating to the newest and best iPhone iteration, which is expected to go on sale on 14th September. Tim Cook’s behemoth typically unveils its new iPhones during a  September big-reveal bash, but last year’s iPhone 12 launch was put back until October due to production delays resulting from Covid-19. And with Apple postponing its official office return by a few weeks, it seems highly likely that company’s iPhone 13 launch will be an online-only event.

Beyond the camera enhancements, Gurman admits that the new iPhones will get relatively modest upgrades. Last year, Apple added 5G wireless networking, updated the camera hardware and completely reworked the design for the iPhone 12. 

For 2021, the noted tech analyst says that the Cupertino giant will retain the same 5.4-in and 6.1-in regular sizes and 6.1-in and 6.7-in Pro screen dimensions and the design will remain unchanged. 

What is exciting, however, is Gurman's confirmation that the new phones will include Apple's faster A15 chip and a smaller notch (aka the display cutout) plus new screen tech that he suggests could enable a faster refresh rate for smoother scrolling.

Apple first introduced Portrait mode with the iPhone 7 Plus in 2016, and it quickly became a huge hit. The feature can put a person in sharp focus while blurring the background in what's known as a bokeh effect. For its new iPhones, Apple will apparently add this same technique to video. Gurman explains that internally, the feature is being dubbed 'Cinematic Video'. As with photos, the iPhone’s depth sensor will create the effect and allow users to change the amount of blur after recording.

Meanwhile, the new ProRes video-recording feature should let iPhone users capture clips in a higher-quality format and one that gives editors more control during post-production. It's a format used by professional video editors and one that isn’t usually available for the mass market, partly because of the large file sizes. ProRes, says Gurman, will record in HD and 4K resolutions on the next iPhones.

The ProRes feature would follow on from last year’s addition of ProRAW (a higher-quality still photo file format that gives editors more control) but as with ProRAW, ProRes video recording may well be the sole preserve of the pricier Pro models.

Apparently, the upgraded filters expected in the iPhone 13 will differ from standard filters, (which have been available in the iPhone’s Camera app since 2013) because the iPhone will apply changes to objects and/or people using artificial intelligence across an image, rather than applying a single filter over the entire photo.

According to the report, Apple’s new iPhones are codenamed D16, D17, D63 and D64. But they are just a few of the new devices poised to launch in the coming months: Gurman confirms earlier rumours that the tech leviathan is also working on a redesigned iPad mini 6 and the non-Pro AirPods 3, plus an "entry-level iPad geared at students".

It's mid August and iPhone 13 leaks and rumours will start coming in thick and fast. As we hear them, so shall you. 


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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds. 

  • Friesiansam
    What Hi-Fi? said:

    Apple iPhone 13 may get pro-focused camera and substantial video ups : Read more
    Seriously? Would any professional photographer use a phone to take pictures for work, unless there is a special reason for doing so?