What is the iPhone’s “cinematic mode” for filming videos?

With the release of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro, Apple introduced Cinematic Mode, a new video shooting tool that lets you easily track and track subjects during and after filming.

Is this the iPhone video revolution we’ve been waiting for? Probably.

What does Cinema Mode do?

Cinematic mode provides smooth control over the depth of field, either during video shooting or after reality. In filmmaking, the term “racking focus” or “focusing focus” means that the focus is shifted to an object in a subject or frame to distract the viewer.

IPhone 13
Apple

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models (including the Mini and Max versions) are able to use this mode to capture up to 30 frames per second in 1080p in Dolby Vision HDR. Since the majority of cinema productions use 24 frames per second (24p), frame rate limitation shouldn’t be a big concern, but higher resolution footage would be good.

Once you’ve shot your video, you can use the keyframe to add Focus Plus at regular intervals, effectively allowing you to focus on anything in the frame that shortens the duration. Was noticeable for

Cinema mode on iPhone 13
Apple

Apple says it has adjusted its autofocus algorithm so that it can intelligently identify and track the articles you want to focus on. You can control the feature by tapping on a topic or object in the frame. Tap again and the camera will track the item, an “AF Tracking Lock” notification will appear on screen.

Apple says that the iPhone 13 will also expect articles to enter the screen, and when they do something, they automatically remove the rack, like looking away from the camera.

Related: Why Dolby Vision HDR recording of iPhone 12 is a big deal.

How Cinema Mode Works

Apple has produced a short film called Vodont, which they shot using cinematic mode and shows how well the technology works. The results are promising, with the Liquid Focus Plus not appearing to be over-racking where the camera overshoots the focus point before retreating and settling.

This flow is probably due to Apple implementing this feature using some software wizards. Cinematic mode uses both cameras on the back of the iPhone 13 (and two of the previous three cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro) to map the scene.

The iPhone uses this data to mimic the desired aperture, creating shallow depth of field effect provided you have enough depth in the shot.

Because the distance between the sensor and the lens in the iPhone is very small (known as flange focal length in interchangeable lens cameras), creating significant depth in the shot is much harder than comparing mirrorless or digital SLRs. Cinema mode will hopefully help emerging filmmakers get more convincing footage from their smartphones.

Related: What is aperture?

Limited to iPhone 13 models

Because the cinematic mode depends on the layout of the diagonal camera visible in the iPhone 13 family, this feature will not reach older devices. As is the case with Night Mode in the iPhone 11, third party apps may try to bring this feature to older handsets. In fact, the app has been doing just that since Focus Live 2020.

Remember the announcement of iPhone 13? Find out what’s new in Apple’s lineup.

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