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iPhone 15 Pro Max Film Production Features

By: Stephen Toback

There’s been lots of bellyaching that the new iPhone Pro Max 15 isn’t “new” enough, but there are some really great features that I think would interest digital film makers.

The new A17 chip has a new architecture and is considerably faster than previous processors. Beyond being able to do AI type processing on the phone (rather than the cloud), it allows the iPhone to support the A17 Pro is enhanced with custom-designed modules that cater to the iPhone 15 Pro’s standout functionalities, notably the ProRes video capability. It’s also optimized for the cutting-edge AV1 video codec, ensuring smoother performance on streaming platforms.

It has a 5x optical zoom (compared to 3x on the 14) and it does allow ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 fps but requires you to have external storage. I’ve seen people posting that this is a “drawback” – but really think about it. You can record directly to a USB hard drive now. That means NO transfer time. Disconnect it from your iPhone and connect it directly to your computer and start editing. I’m sure the iPhone “cage” manufacturers will start adding hard drive mounts if they haven’t already. I probably wouldn’t suggest connecting a USB-C Flash Drive because you don’t want it sticking out in the air. I’ve seen right angle USB-C cables, I’d opt for that.

The ability to shoot “log” or “flat” directly is a first for the iPhone. This allows you to capture a much wider dynamic range and apply transforms in post production to color grade the film as you like creatively. While this was possible using apps before, now it will be capturing log directly off the sensor. Another first is support for ACES, the Academy Color Encoding System, a global standard for color workflows.

Finally, as a way to create content for the upcoming Apple Vision Pro,  you can configure the two wide-angle cameras in parallel to shoot 3D “spatial videos” that can then be turned into video and images with depth perception.

All in all I think it is another step forward for digital film making.



Categories: Cameras, Video Production

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