Report: iPhone 13 Pro models to add Portrait video mode, ProRes recording, other camera improvements

Apple is about a month away from announcing the new flagship iPhone lineup for 2021, colloquially dubbed the iPhone 13.

While the exterior industrial design of the phones won’t change much this year — aside from a visibly smaller notch cutout at the top of the display — Bloomberg reports that a big focus for the higher-end iPhone 13 Pro  and iPhone 13 Pro Max will be camera upgrades with new features when shooting video and taking photos …

Bloomberg specifically mentions the addition of a Portrait mode when shooting video, expanding Apple’s synthetic background blur effect beyond static photos. Portrait mode was first introduced with the dual-camera iPhone 7 Pro in 2016.

Earlier this year, leaker Matt Weinbach said that iPhone 13 Portrait mode would use new algorithms that incorporate data from the LiDAR scanner, as well as support video output.

The report also says that the iPhone 13 Pro models will also be able to record in the ProRes video format for the first time, offering higher-quality output for creative professionals. The Apple ProRes format was developed by Apple more than a decade ago, and now supports up to 8K resolutions. Final Cut Pro is coded to efficiently handle and edit ProRes content, and is widely used in the professional video industry for delivering final rendered projects.

As far as photography is concerned, Apple is said to be using a new “filters” system to improve photo color reproduction. Unlike the existing filters in the Camera app, these new versions will be smarter and “precisely apply changes to objects and people using artificial intelligence,” according to Bloomberg. This will likely be assisted by an upgraded image signal processor in the Apple A15 chip, Apple’s next-generation custom SoC.

The iPhone 13 will come in the same four screen sizes as iPhone 12, with one “mini” 5.4-inch size, a standard and pro 6.1-inch size and the largest 6.7-inch pro size.

Today’s Bloomberg report did not say for certain whether the phones will feature 120Hz ProMotion screens, but said that they will include “new screen technology that could enable a faster refresh rate for smoother scrolling.” Other rumors have indicated that ProMotion would be limited to the two high-end “Pro” models.

From leaked schematics and dummy units, we already have seen how the lenses of the iPhone 13 are getting substantially larger, another hint at forthcoming camera improvements.

We currently expect the iPhone 13 to be announced in early September and ship later in the same month.

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