New Apple videos show off iPhone 13 Pro camera improvements such as deeper optical zoom and better low-light sensitivity

New Apple videos highlight different aspects of iPhone videography like the new Cinematic mode and increased optical zoom range available with the iPhone 13 series.

A still from Apple's ad promoting better low-light sensitivity on the iPhone 13 Pro camera. the image shows the triple-leans rear camera system with a woman's reflection in one of the lenses and the tagline "Hollywood in your pocket"
Image credit: Apple

Published on Apple’s YouTube channel, the three videos focus on a different aspect of iPhone videography such as the new Cinematic mode that’s available across all models of the iPhone 13 family. Titled “Detectives,” “The Basement” and “Pavel,” these videos continue to position the iPhone 13 Pro camera as “Hollywood in your pocket”.

“Detectives”: iPhone 13 Cinematic mode

“Shift the camera’s focus automatically, manually and even after you’ve shot,” says Apple. Shooting in Cinematic mode requires an iPhone that supports the feature. Although Apple’s video suggests you need a Pro model of the iPhone 13, that’s not the case—Cinematic mode works across all iPhone 13 models: iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini. Read: How to remotely control iPhone camera

A document on the Apple website explains how to record video in Cinematic mode.

“Pavel”: 3x optical zoom with iPhone 13

“Add even more drama to your movies with 3x optical zoom on iPhone 13 Pro,” Apple writes in the video’s description. The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models support 3x optical zoom in and 2x optical zoom out (good for 6x optical zoom range), as well as up to 15x digital zoom for photos (up to 9x when shooting video).

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini models lack a telephoto lens so they’re limited to 2x optical zoom out and up to 5x digital zoom for photos (3x for video). To zoom in or out in the Camera app, simply pinch the screen. Depending on your iPhone model, you may toggle between 0.5x, 1x, 2x, 2.5x and 3x to quickly zoom in or out, Apple explains.

“The Basement”: Advanced low-light video on iPhone 13

Pro-branded models of the iPhone 13 feature additional improvements to boost your low-light photography. The main wide camera now has a wider aperture and uses Apple’s largest sensor yet to gather more light. The company says the wide lens on the iPhone 13 models now captures up to 2.2x more light for better-looking photos and videos while the ultra-wide lens captures up to 92 percent more light.

The ultra-wide lens, meanwhile, now features a wider aperture, a faster sensor and the much-needed autofocus feature. Plus, Apple’s Night mode is now available on the telephoto lens. And thanks to the LiDAR scanner, you also get to shoot portraits in Night mode (in fact, the Night mode is now available on every camera).