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Apple’s 2021 iPhones will reportedly have a video portrait mode

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ProRes video recording support could be on the way

The iPhone 12, in blue.
Last year’s iPhone 12.
Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Apple’s upcoming flagship iPhones, likely to be called the iPhone 13 line, will be able to automatically blur the backgrounds of footage as part of a new video portrait mode, according to a new report from Bloomberg. This “Cinematic Video” feature is said to be one of three major new camera features coming to this year’s iPhones. The other two are support for ProRes video recording, and new editing options for photographs.

The improvements join another camera upgrade that’s believed to be on the way for this year’s phones. Last November, reliable Apple analyst Min-Chi Kuo said that the phones’ ultrawide cameras would be improved, with a larger aperture for better low-light photography.

ProRes support will be especially helpful for video editors, giving them more control over footage once it’s already been shot. Its rumored arrival follows the addition of ProRAW support to Apple’s iPhone lineup last year, which allows more flexibility while editing photos. When it comes to photos, Bloomberg reports that this year’s iPhones will have a new filters-style editing feature, which will let users choose a style to apply to their photos. Unlike a filter, the new feature will apply changes to specific elements within photos, rather than uniformly across the whole shot.

Bloomberg re-iterates some previous reporting about this year’s devices. It says the phones could have faster refresh rates, echoing a previous rumor that this year’s Pro models could have 120Hz LTPO displays. All iPhone 13 models could have smaller display notches, as well as the traditional boost to processing power with a new A15 chip. However, Bloomberg says this year’s updates will be “modest,” and there will be the same variety of models and screen sizes as what we saw last year.

The report doesn’t indicate when the new iPhones might be announced, but Apple tends to announce its flagship phones in September each year (the exception was last year, when they were announced in October due to the pandemic). Other new Apple products thought to be on the way include new Apple Silicon-powered MacBook Pros, Apple Watches, AirPods, and iPads.