iPhone 13, X-ray cameras

During the event California Streaming which was held yesterday at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino , Apple has made official a series of highly anticipated products: Apple Watch Series 7, 9th generation iPad, 6th generation iPad mini and, of course, iPhone 11 / 13 mini and iPhone 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max.

Compared to last year, Apple has changed its approach in differentiation between the so to speak standard iPhones and those of the Pro line: now the step between the two is more marked, while the Pros are equipped with identical cameras unlike the previous ones. anto occurred between iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.

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It is therefore worth take a closer look at the cameras of the four iPhones again generation , digging as deeply as possible in search of differences and “quibbles”. Let’s start, first of all, with the “pure” technique, then with the specifications of the rear cameras of the four iPhones 13 in comparison.


  • iPhone 13 / 13 mini: 12 megapixels, aperture f / 1.6, large pixels 1.7 micrometers, equivalent focal length 13 mm, stabilization optics on the sensor (sensor shift) and not on the lens
  • iPhone 13 Pro / 11 Pro Max: 12 megapixels, aperture f / 1.5, large pixels 1.9 micrometers, equivalent focal length 26 mm, optical stabilization on the sensor (sensor shift) and not on the lens


  • iPhone 13 / 13 mini: 12 megapixels, f / 2.4 aperture, equivalent focal length 13 mm, viewing angle 120 degrees
  • iPhone 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max: 12 megapixel, aperture f / 1.8, equivalent focal length 13 mm , viewing angle 95 degrees , autofocus for macro up to 2 cm from the subject


  • iPhone 13 Pro / 13 Pro Max: 12 megapixel, f / 2.8 aperture, equivalent focal length 77 mm, for an optical zoom compared to the 3x wide angle sensor, optical stabilization on the lens

Please note. The data obtained from some online surveys are in italics: we believe them to be consistent, but it is fair to point out that they do not come from Apple.


Let’s start with the most trivial, that is on iPhones 13 there is one less telephoto lens. Arrives on all iPhones 13, mini included, the optical stabilization on the wide-angle sensor and not on the lens, as usual for the smartphone sector: the sensor shift last year featured only the iPhone 12 Pro Max, which had annoyed those who, for a purely ergonomic matter, looked at iPhone with interest 12 Pro. Apple didn’t just retrace its steps, but extended the sensor shift to the whole range .

The wide-angle sensors of the two iPhone families are quite similar, even if the one of the Pro variants is slightly brighter and can count on larger dimensions. Apple did not disclose the sensor size of the iPhones 13 Pro and probably never will, but judging by the size of the individual pixels we can assume the use of a wide sensor quite large even relative to the best Android competition , contrary to what the company got used to it over the years.

Big differences between the ultra wide-angle cameras included in iPhone 13 And 13 Pro . On the latter, the aperture is significantly wider, so they have an advantage when the light goes down, and the autofocus debuts, which allows Apple to take advantage of the sensor included on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max to capture macros with close subjects up to 2 centimeters: in fact the “Pro” is as if they had a fourth camera .

On iPhones 13 Apple Pro makes one this year “pure” 3x optical zoom instead of hybrid as was the case in the past generation due to an equivalent focal length of 2.5 times longer than the sensor main wide angle. The iPhone telephoto lens 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max gains an even more closed opening: this type sensor debuted in 2019 on iPhones 11 Pro with f / 2.0 (and a 2x optical zoom), aperture which then switched to 2020 on iPhones 12 at f / 2.2 to then reach f / 2.8 on new iPhones .

The reduction of the aperture intuitively determines a decrease in the light that can reach the sensor, therefore a greater effort of the telephoto in the realization of photos and video lights in dark environments, but Apple is convinced to recover by extending night mode to all cameras (of the Pros). On the other hand, the reduced aperture increases the sharpness of landscapes and favors the natural blur effect in portraits, which despite Apple’s software “magic” remains better than a simulated bokeh.

Apple introduced the Photographic Styles , basically presets that act on hue and temperature color to give more character to the shots without altering aspects such as the color of the sky or the skin tone, unlike what happens with photo filters.

You can use Apple’s default Styles – Bright, High Contrast, Warm and Cool – or change them as you like. It is interesting to be able to see in real time how the photo will look due to the style chosen, i.e. while choosing the best shot.

Debut on the whole range also of the fourth generation Smart HDR: promises to improve exposure correction of more complex scenarios without altering faces.

One “Pro” mode also for videos after the debut of ProRAW on iPhones a year ago 12. ProRes Video is the name of the professional format that Apple will distribute in the coming weeks to enrich the iPhone exclusives 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. And it is on the ProRes Video that there is the differentiation between the different memory cuts : iPhones 13 Pro in basic configuration from 128 GB will be able to record in ProRes at most in Full HD at 30 frames per second, while the rest of the range can go up to 4K at 30 fps.

Apple’s decision protecting the basic memory cut, skimpy in relation to the specific size of a video in ProRes, could been a bit muted, and it’s worth specifying.

Debuts on all iPhones 11 the Cinema mode , which essentially should guarantee an almost instantaneous transition between different planes of focus during shooting ( occurring in Dolby Vision HDR), with a final result similar to that of a professional, cinematic product. Here is the explanation provided by Apple:

It is the result of an in-depth study on photography in films and on the effective use of techniques co me the rack focus; this mode records videos of people, animals and objects with a beautiful depth effect and automatic changes in focus, so any user will be able to replay cinematic moments even if they are not a professional director. For greater creative control, the focus can be varied during and after shooting.


All very nice, some might think. But the features to the advantage of the iPhone 13 Pros are really able to determine in practice a real advantage over 13 “standard”?

The answer to this, legitimate, question we can give it when we have the new iPhones in our hands to put them under pressure: now we are therefore forced to spread our arms, but will happen soon , have faith.

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