Rad A. Drew Photography: September 2021

Continental Divide at Dawn

Continental Divide at Dawn
Continental Divide at Dawn

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The New iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max Go on Sale September 17!


The New iPhone 13 Line Up
(Image for Apple Site)

Apple announced its new iPhone lineup yesterday and there are plenty of things for photographers to be excited about!

While the entire line of 13 phones is quite remarkable, the two phones that provide the most advanced photography experience are the 13 Pro and the 13 Pro Max, the Pro Max being the most advanced of the group. 

The new line will feature many of the advancements that we saw with the 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max like Night Mode, ProRAW, and LiDAR sensor, but the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max take things a little further. Here are some of the new features I'm excited about and what they mean to photographers.

First off, if you’re into the cosmetic features of the new line, you’ll be happy to see new finishes in new colors, along with the very practical water resistance improvements and and tougher glass. 

New Sierra Blue
Photo from Apple.com Site

When it comes to photography, here are the things that I’m excited about.

  1. The new A15 Bionic is comprised of two new high performance cores, and 4 new high efficiency cores, as well as a faster neural engine. 

    All this tech jargon translates to faster operation of just about everything, and doing it with longer battery life.

  2. Improved ISP (Image Signal Processing) means improved noise reduction and tone mapping.

    I’m eager to see how the new 13 Pro Max does with creating Infrared images, as noise is one of the challenges when creating IR with the iPhone.

  3. A new display that will be 25% brighter when working outside in bright light. This should make it easier to see the iPhone screen on a bright day. Hallelujah!

  4. Three redesigned cameras!

    • The telephoto camera has a longer lens (77mm up from 65mm in the 12 Pro Max), allowing longer reach and making this a great portrait camera.

    • The wide angle camera has a larger aperture of f/1.5 which translates to 2.2 times improvement in low light images. That’s HUGE! (Again, I'm eager to see what this means for iPhone Infrared photography.)

    • The ultra wide angle camera also has a wider aperture (f/1.8), now has auto focus, and a 92% improvement in low light shooting.

    • The new Ultra Wide camera allows for macro photography! The camera can focus at just 2cm! This is a wonderful addition to this camera and I’m eager to see what this camera will do in combination with the Macro Mode in the  Camera+2 app. 

      Photo from Apple.com Site

  5. The improved Smart HDR 4 offers improved color, contrast, and lighting. Just like its predecessor, Smart HDR 4 adjusts for high contrast lighting in a scene to produce a wonderfully exposed image, while providing accurate skin tones. A good feature just got even better.

  6. Night Mode on every camera! This means we'll be able to take advantage of computational photography with night mode, or situations where the camera "thinks" it's dark (such as when we have a 720nm infrared filter attached!)

    Photo from Apple.com Site

  7. Improved video with the new cinematic mode that allows for professional depth and dynamic manipulation of focal points throughout the video. While I'm not a videographer, I'm excited to explore the new video features of the 13 Pro line.

In summary, the cameras I recommend for photography pros and enthusiasts are the 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max, (my preference is the Pro Max). 

Not only will the new phones do just about everything faster, all cameras now have Night Mode so they'll perform better in low light, allow us to make macro photos without an accessory lens, allow more focal length to play with for portraits, and help us see the screen better when shooting outside on a bright day. The wider apertures and larger sensor also mean each camera will be able to shoot faster (for sharper images) and produce less noise. 

The new phones go on sale this Friday, September 17, at 8AM EST, and will be available Friday, September 24.