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iPhone 15 Pro Max, Camera Tech for the Creative Toolkit

New features in the iPhone 15 Pro Max may result in increased use of the device as an essential tool for filmmaking.

Image Credit: Apple


During their recent "Scary Fast" event, Apple promoted the use of the iPhone 15 Pro Max, revealing they used the device to record the event itself. 

The $1,199 smartphone was encased in a BeastGrip cage, with external hard drives linked to store the recording, external microphones captured audio, and professional lighting and modifiers ensured that everyone, from Cook to Issa Rae, appeared at their best. A camera crane, drone, gimbal, and dolly were also used. Don’t let the price of the iPhone fool you. The video shoot and post-production process would have involved a team of professionals, resulting in a substantial overall cost, likely reaching tens of thousands of dollars or more.

This iPhone offers an abundance of easily accessible features that cater to long-standing practices in filmmaking and video practice and even introduces some we didn't realize we needed.  One significant development in the iPhone 15 is the incorporation of the new USB-C connector, which will support ProRes recording directly to an external SSD drive. Additionally, the smartphone features seven different focal lengths and great depth of field. The A17 Pro chip is powering the new features with an upgraded GPU supporting ray tracing.

Image Credit: Apple

In a press release providing a behind-the-scenes glimpse, Apple highlights the use of an iPhone 15 Pro Max equipped with the free Blackmagic Camera app. This combination was used to record ProRes video in Apple Log, allowing extensive flexibility for color grading and minimizing image noise in shadowed areas. Despite the substantial lighting setup, significant portions of Apple's event video were filmed in low-light conditions, with Tim Cook addressing the audience under the night sky and wishing everyone a "good evening" instead of the usual "good morning."

Previous iPhone models have certainly played a role in shifting practices in filmmaking, with directors like Steven Soderbergh using them for full-length films such as "Unsane" and "High Flying Bird." Additionally, we've witnessed a surge in iPhone-shot music videos featuring celebrated artists like Lady Gaga and Olivia Rodrigo, underlining the device's creative potential.

Given this track record and the continuous advancement of iPhone camera technology, will we witness a substantial upswing in using iPhones for professional filmmaking in the near future? As these devices continue to evolve and offer more features for a range of creative fields, the possibilities are certainly exciting.