At the release of Apple’s latest flagship range, the iPhone 13 series, Apple announced the introduction of the new Cinematic mode. Whichever model you go for in the iPhone 13 series, Cinematic mode will transform your filming experience, giving you professional-grade video and maximum control over your footage.

Find out more about this innovative new videography setting below.

What is Cinematic mode?

Back in 2016, Apple added Portrait mode to the camera system on iPhone 7 Plus. This function offered a whole new dimension for photography on the iPhone, by using a bokeh (lens blurring) effect on an image. Rather than capturing a whole scene as one, it focused on any faces or prominent objects in shot, blurring out the background in a manner similar to that of a DSLR camera.

Cinematic mode has seen Apple develop this technology for a video recording format, which is available on all iPhone 13 models. Not only are you able to focus on what's in the foreground, but you can also capture anything positioned further back, because Cinematic mode can now blur the area surrounding both subjects at once.

How does Cinematic mode work?

Behind the scenes, Cinematic mode uses a depth map whilst you’re filming. This gives it the ability to capture the background, foreground and midground at the same time, while also applying focus or blurring to the scene, using the phone’s lenses.

By using this depth map, Cinematic mode takes into consideration occasions when you have more than one person in shot. On top of this, focus-lock gives you the ability to focus on one of your subjects either while you’re filming or afterwards during your editing.

Cinematic mode utilises the 12MP ultra wide camera lens that’s present in all iPhone 13 models, giving you the ability to capture everything in your shot, even when you’re filming up close to the subjects in your scene.

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The AI behind Cinematic mode

Apple has described Cinematic mode as a pull force that is able to anticipate when someone is about to enter the frame, but just how have they produced this tech?

By studying the techniques used in films down the years, and working with industry experts, Apple created an autofocus algorithm for Cinematic mode, which is able to decide who, or what, to focus on while you’re filming.

Cinematic mode uses a predictive focusing tool to ensure that it reacts when someone new enters the frame. This autofocus is combined with built-in gaze detection. Cinematic mode uses gaze detection to predict your next subject, and can determine who, or what, to turn its focus to next.

This setting is intelligent enough to recognise when people are looking away from the camera, and that’s when its focus will shift. Plus – thanks to Apple’s Neural Engine – it will continue to learn and develop while you use it.

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Editing your Cinematic mode footage

Cinematic mode captures all elements of the scene simultaneously, so when recording, it’ll shoot everything in the background, midground and foreground. By securing the complete picture, it gives you the ability to return to the footage while you’re editing and change the focus of your video.

Footage you’ve captured can be immediately edited on your iPhone 13; use either iMovie or the photos app to review your films.

What speed does Cinematic mode capture footage at?

To work successfully on a smartphone, Cinematic mode utilises the high levels of power provided by the A15 Bionic Chip, which made its debut in the iPhone 13. Cinematic mode captures and edits footage at a rate of 30 frames per second (fps). All Cinematic mode videos are recorded in HDR with Dolby Vision at a resolution of 1080p.

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