ProRes on iPhone 13 Professional Evaluate: Nice Smartphone Video Will get Higher

ProRes on iPhone 13 Pro Review: Great Smartphone Video Gets Better

The iPhone has been one of the best smartphone for video seize for a while, and the iPhone 13 Professional is not any totally different — it’s at the moment our choose in that class. So, naturally, including ProRes 4:2:2 10-bit functionality solely makes that higher, proper?

The brief reply to that’s sure: completely. The lengthy reply is a little more sophisticated than that.

What’s ProRes, and Why Ought to I Shoot in It?

I’ve shot a number of clips with the iPhone 13 Professional in ProRes within the native digicam app and have examined the recordsdata carefully over the course of the final couple of weeks. What I’ve discovered is that, normally, these capturing video this manner received’t actually discover loads of variations between the usual video format and the brand new ProRes possibility. That is really much less of a knock on the power to seize ProRes as it’s an endorsement of the essential video capabilities of the iPhone 13 Professional.

ProRes is a file format that has a really excessive knowledge charge that preserves the element in high-dynamic-range imagery generated by the most recent sensors. ProRes HQ preserves dynamic vary a number of instances better than typical video recordsdata and has widespread adoption throughout the skilled cinema panorama. This codec helps full-width, 4:2:2 video sources at 10-bit pixel depths, whereas remaining visually lossless via many generations of decoding and re-encoding.

As a little bit of background on why you need to care what I take into consideration this, I owned and operated a video manufacturing firm out of San Francisco for the higher a part of eight years and have labored with just about each digicam system that got here out over that time period. From Canon DSLRs via RED cinema cameras, my group and I used what was one of the best match for a consumer’s challenge.

In some instances, that completely meant an iPhone. In others, the Panasonic GH5. Suffice it to say, I’ve seen and labored with lots of upon lots of of hours of various video clips from each main producer.

One factor that has at all times held fixed throughout all cameras is that if I wasn’t already capturing in RAW video, the one cause to shoot in 10-bit 4:2:2 was if I used to be additionally planning to paint grade that footage, wherein case I might shoot in log. A log profile, or logarithmic profile, is a gamma curve capturing profile on cameras that gives wider dynamic and tonal vary.

Taking pictures in log captures extra knowledge within the shadows and highlights so there’s considerably extra latitude when adjusting shade and publicity in publish. Taking pictures this manner is a nasty thought if you happen to aren’t capturing as a lot knowledge as doable, therefore why I at all times shot in 10-bit 4:2:2 any time I used to be capturing in log. You’ll be able to typically get away with 10-bit 4:2:0, however I’ve seen log footage completely crumble with little or no post-production utilized when captured in 8-bit 4:2:0.

Likewise, if I wasn’t capturing in log, that meant I didn’t plan to paint grade and there was nearly by no means a degree in making an attempt to document that a lot knowledge.

Is there a bonus to capturing in ProRes HQ 4:2:2 10-bit when not capturing log? Technically, sure, I suppose so. Some argue that regardless if you happen to plan to paint grade or not, the element preservation in advantageous movement that comes with ProRes is value it. Nevertheless, I feel that for most individuals exterior of high-end instances, it’s a lot much less apparent and normally not value the additional file sizes.

And boy, are these recordsdata sizes further in relation to ProRes on the iPhone.

Extra Knowledge All the time Means Higher Video High quality

That brings us to the iPhone 13 Professional and its 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes HQ codec. It is a beastly codec that chews via storage on high-end skilled camcorders and that’s no totally different when utilized to the iPhone.

At 4K and 24p, the information charge is 704 MB/s and at 4K and 30p, it’s 760 MB/s. A 4K file would require slightly below 6 GB of storage for every minute of footage captured. In Full HD 1080 at 30p, the storage charge is about 1.7GB per minute of video.

To place that in perspective, a ten second 4K 24p clip shot in Apple’s customary profile is 24.3 MB. The identical 10-second clip shot on ProRes is 781.6 MB.

Evaluating footage facet by facet in a wide range of lighting circumstances, I solely noticed a significant distinction in what I might outline as “sophisticated” lighting and shade environments. In my examples beneath, each have been shade graded to push the recordsdata.

To begin with, let’s take a look at what I might name a “regular” scene captured exterior. Beneath are two stills from clips I captured one after the opposite, and I problem you to inform me the distinction between the ProRes and the usual variations.


However complicate the set a bit, and ProRes does stand out as higher.


On this second set, the nuance of shade is extra outlined within the ProRes file, which is most blatant whenever you take a look at the gradations of shade on the nebula on my left-side laptop monitor. The shadows are additionally barely improved on the ProRes facet, although I think about this may change into much more pronounced had the iPhone’s native app allowed me to seize each choices in log.

single frames isn’t one of the simplest ways to gauge high quality, and I acknowledge that. ProRes will really seize advantageous movement higher too, however you actually need to be in search of it as a way to see it. Falling rain, blades of grass blowing within the wind, or mud kicked up by tires all may have a lot better-defined pixels that may stand as much as scrutiny. How typically will iPhone footage of those sorts of issues be topic to that stage of scrutiny? I say not often, however that’s as much as the creator to determine. If this type of element is necessary to you, ProRes is a should.

One other factor that ProRes did appear to provide me are clips which can be barely much less over-sharpened. I do imply barely, however wanting carefully, I feel the ProRes recordsdata typically look extra pure and extra like a devoted video digicam. That’s to not say there nonetheless aren’t issues which can be endemic to tiny smartphone sensors although that may present up no matter your format. Shadows and low-light environments get very noisy in a short time, and that’s not one thing you possibly can repair in publish very simply.


Craving for Extra

I discussed log and that sort of connects to my general needs for the capturing expertise: I discovered myself wanting extra. Apple’s interface is designed to be easy, however after I’m capturing footage I care about sufficient to seize ProRes, I wish to have extra choices and extra visibility.

Fortunately, now we have third-party apps for that. FiLMiC Professional, for instance, offers much more skilled of an interface with scopes, management over totally different body charges and side ratios, and much more capturing choices together with a number of ProRes codecs. It really makes the iPhone really feel like a devoted video digicam, which is superior. The native iPhone digicam app is ok, however it’s very fundamental. You are able to do so much with it, however it’s not going to really feel like capturing on an actual digicam does.

And that’s sort of the conundrum. The individuals who would profit most from ProRes aren’t going to wish to use Apple’s native app due to that easy interface, and those that in all probability can be simply advantageous utilizing the native video codec received’t really want the rather more out of the digicam app.

FiLMiC Professional

I suppose what I’m saying is that the parents who profit essentially the most from Apple enabling ProRes are FiLMiC Professional — who made an incredible video seize app even higher now — and its prospects.

As talked about, FiLMiC gives the power to shoot in a number of totally different ProRes codecs, together with ProRes Proxy which gives 90% of the advantages at one-fifth the storage capability of ProRes HQ. I feel that’s in all probability value it, particularly in comparison with the bear that’s ProRes HQ. FiLMiC can be engaged on enabling its iPhone log profile in ProRes, which I feel can be an incredible addition.

Workflow Wants Work

For those who’re capturing and enhancing solely in your iPhone, you’re in all probability not going to have any points with the workflow. For those who’re planning to edit in your laptop, nevertheless, it’s not one of the best expertise. To start with, most individuals will wish to flip off HDR video seize in the event that they aren’t enhancing in an HDR-friendly system. Premiere Professional is a ache on this regard, however Remaining Reduce makes it a bit simpler.

The primary difficulty for me is the bottleneck that occurs whenever you attempt to transfer footage off the iPhone. You should use a Lightning connection, however the switch charges are fairly sluggish: it caps out at USB 2.0 speeds. You can additionally passively add footage utilizing iCloud, however I don’t know many editors who shoot footage and are prepared to attend a day to get to a spot the place they may obtain them on prime of the time that obtain would take.

The opposite possibility is to make use of AirDrop, and whereas I discovered this to be very steady even with a bunch of recordsdata, it slowed down my WiFi connection so my laptop was fairly ineffective in the course of the switch course of and it took a really very long time: about 10 minutes to switch 8.5GB of footage. In distinction, it took 12 seconds to maneuver that very same batch of recordsdata onto my Thunderbolt onerous drive array after they have been AirDropped onto my iMac.

USB-C would have been a boon right here, and I discovered myself fairly jealous of the iPads which have already ditched Lightning for it.

A Nice Digital camera for Video is Even Higher

I wish to make two issues clear:

  1. I don’t suppose most individuals really want to shoot in ProRes HQ on the iPhone.
  2. I feel including ProRes HQ to the iPhone is a good factor.

Complicated, proper? I can’t fault Apple for including an excellent video profile to the iPhone. Fairly the opposite, really, I give them loads of reward for it as a result of it legitimately makes the iPhone higher. Even when most individuals received’t have any use for it, those that make content material in FiLMiC Professional are going to completely love getting access to this format. That’s to not say capturing ProRes on the native app doesn’t have its benefits, they’re only a lot much less obvious and infrequently not well worth the knowledge charge tradeoff.

Are There Options?

Proper now the iPhone is just about it in relation to getting access to this high-quality of a codec. As talked about, the expertise is definitely higher when utilizing FiLMiC Professional as a result of you possibly can shoot in ProRes Proxy, however FiLMiC required Apple’s {hardware} acceleration as a way to supply ProRes as a seize format to start with; so applause for everybody.

Ought to You Use It?

Sure, if you happen to’re capturing via a third-party app that helps ProRes LT or ProRes Proxy. A log profile can be good, too. For those who’re planning to simply seize ProRes HQ footage utilizing the digicam app, the usual video recordsdata are already fairly darn good and ProRes doesn’t typically make that a lot of an considerable distinction that’s well worth the tradeoff of large file sizes.

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