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The iPhone 13’s new camera tricks include cinematic video and macro photography

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Plus photo styles that let you customize how your shots look

With a design that’s largely similar to last year’s phones, Apple is leaning on big upgrades inside the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro lineups to get people excited. Some of the most substantial improvements to the 2021 iPhones are found in the camera(s), and the company today announced several new features that will produce better still photographs and videos on the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The first is a new “cinematic mode” for video that replicates the rack focus effect commonly seen in movies. The iPhone 13 smoothly transitions between forefront and background focus based on what’s occurring in the frame. The system is intelligent enough to change focus when a subject looks away from the phone. You can also manually tap to change or lock focus on your preferred subject. Cinematic mode is also available on the iPhone 13 Mini.

Cinematic mode intelligently shifts between foreground and background focus.

On all iPhone 13 models, a depth map is built into the cinematic mode video file, giving you the option of changing the focus point after the fact. And for the iPhone 13 Pro, Apple is introducing a macro photography feature that can focus on subjects as close as two centimeters away from the lens.

The 13 Pro is also gaining new “photographic styles” that apply different adjustments across scenes and subject types, letting you set your favorite visual effects and maintain them across your future shots. Later this year, Apple will roll out ProRes video support on the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max, giving video creators more leeway in post-processing.

Correction September 14th, 3:23PM ET: The article originally stated that changing focus after the fact for cinematic mode video recordings is only available on the iPhone 13 Pro models. This feature is also possible on the iPhone 13 and 13 mini. We regret the error.