Apple's new iPhone 15 series includes several new camera features, but not all of them will be visible to casual photographers, and Apple says it is relying on third-party developers to make these additional controls available to enthusiasts and filmmakers . .
In an interview with PetaPixel, John McCormack, Apple's VP of Camera Software Engineering , explained the reason for this compromise approach, and also shed light on some of the decisions she made in finalizing the iPhone 15 feature set.
“In my opinion, it's all about allowing people to follow their vision, and that's coming from a frazzled parent of a toddler, where their vision is, “Can I I put my child in the frame as he takes his first step,' all the way up to the professional or creative who has a very specific artistic vision and wants to achieve it as quickly as possible,” McCormack said.
“Behind the big red button… you care about the frame and the moment because, frankly, that's the most inspiring part of any photo or any video.”
iPhone 15 Pro: Focal Lengths
iPhone 15 Pro users can choose between 24mm, 28mm and 35mm focal lengths when taking photos by simply pressing the 1x button in the Camera app. However, for technical reasons, these focal length options are not available when shooting video, and the camera instead offers a zoom ring.
“When you shoot [photos], we collect a bunch of data so you can keep shooting and then continue processing in the background so we have more time, which is something we can't do with video,” McCormack told PetaPixel.
iPhone 15 Pro: Log Video Encoding
When video is encoded in log mode, the camera uses a log curve to more effectively compress colors so that it provides a wider dynamic range. This allows filmmakers to maximize dynamic range without overexposing, or to maximize shadows to minimize noise.
“We go for a mid-range exposure,” McCormack said. “When you go into magazine, there's no tone mapping, so you can control your exposure much more precisely.”
However, while the iPhone can now shoot in ProRes magazine, there are no on-screen controls or cues for controlling exposure in the native Camera app. Instead, Apple relies on third-party app developers to provide these controls to power users, keeping the standard camera interface uncluttered. Apple said it will also make LUT profiles available to editors on September 22.
iPhone 15 Pro: External video streaming via USB-C
iPhone 15 Pro&zwnj ; and Pro Max support USB3 data rates via the new USB-C port, but only ProRes files recorded in 4K at 60p can be written to the external SSD drive. All other video and photo modes must be saved in the iPhone folder. first and rescheduled later. Apple told PetaPixel that this is a proprietary design decision aimed at supporting ProRes workflows.
iPhone 15: 24 vs 48 megapixels
Last year, Apple limited camera settings by by default up to 12 MP, but this year they are limited to 24 MP, despite the capabilities of the 48 MP main camera sensor. The reason for this, McCormack explained, is that there is slightly more dynamic range when shooting at 24MP.
“When we shoot at 24 MP, we shoot the top 12 and the bottom 12. – we actually shoot several of them – and select them and then combine them. Essentially between the high value of 12 and the low value of 12. Then 48 is “high dynamic range” versus “high dynamic range,” which essentially just limits the amount of processing. Because in that small amount of processing time , which is available [in the 24MP camera], we can get a little more dynamic range for Deep Fusion. So what you end up getting in the 24MP camera is a bit of a “Goldilocks moment” because you get all the extra dynamic range, which gives 12, and the detail rendering that 48 gives.”
McCormack also said there is zero shutter lag when shooting at 24 megapixels, whereas shooting at full 48 megapixels does not provide instant shutter.
Keeping photography accessible
Ultimately, Apple's goal is to ensure that iPhone photography remains accessible, according to Maxime Veron , Senior Director iPhone product marketing. “For the vast majority of our clients, we simply aim to process everything in the background so that the process is invisible and out of the way so people can take great photos and videos and capture beautiful, lifelike moments in one go. click,” she told PetaPixel.
Veron added that at the same time, Apple wants to meet the ever-increasing demands of its enthusiast customers by allowing them to use the same hardware to capture images that can grace the cover magazine.
The full interview can be found on PetaPixel. All new iPhone 15 models are already available to order and launch this Friday.
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