5 Tips to Maximize the iPhone 13’s Filmmaking Capabilities

The models in Apple’s latest iPhone release, the iPhone 13 series, offer incredible filmmaking capabilities. The iPhone 13 Pro Max and Pro specifically are amazing pieces of technology when it comes to still photography and videography. 

Today, we’re discussing how to take full advantage of what the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Pro have to offer in terms of videography. While the devices themselves are great without any additional gadgets, there are a few ways that you can up your iPhone videography and filmmaking game. Here are our favorites. 

GVM Studio Lighting For Photography rentalable from eTech Rentals

Focus on Lighting

We’ve written about the importance of lighting in detail before. Good lighting is one of the most important parts (if not the most important part) of a successful iPhone video or film. Without good lighting, you risk shadows, subjects being unclear, a lack of depth between the subject and the background or setting, and other flubs that can work to the detriment of your film. 

Good lighting, on the other hand, benefits your film or video in so many ways. For starters, it simply helps your viewers clearly see the subjects, inherently making the film more engaging and crisp. Secondly, you can use lighting to affect the mood of your entire piece, so creatively-speaking, it’s a valuable tool as well. And, of course, good lighting simply makes the video feel more professional. A lack of professional lighting means that you risk veering into amateur territory when it comes to filming with your iPhone. 

The iPhone 13 Pro Max and Pro cameras have amazing lighting capabilities built in. Their Wide camera has a large sensor that, according to Apple, “captures up to 2.2x more light for better photos and videos.” All three of the phones’ cameras have Night Mode, which is quite helpful when it comes to shooting evening or night scenes. 

But even these advancements when it comes lighting won’t make up for a lack of lighting from an outside source.  

Luckily, good lighting is easy to integrate, even if you’re a beginner. With options that are great for filming subjects straight-on like ring lights and lightboxes that offer an illuminating but not-too-bright effect, your film can shine—literally. 

All of that to say: renting a lighting solution for your next iPhone film can take it to the next level with minimal effort.  

Photo: Signe Brewster

Use a Gimbal

The iPhone 13 Pro Max and Pro offer “sensor-shift optical image stabilization…stabilizing the sensor instead of the lens, so images are smooth and video is steady, even when the user is not.” The first time this has been integrated into an iPhone, this kind of stabilization is quite helpful when filming. 

But, like the lighting advancements, it’s arguably not enough for filmmaking with your iPhone 13. 

Even with this advancement in stabilization, you’re going to need a gimbal or stabilizer. In addition to stabilizing your shots, they offer benefits like help with zooming, focusing, and more. They can take what would be a bumpy, rough shot of you walking and filming yourself and make it into one that feels smooth and polished. 

For content creators or filmmakers, a shaky video is a fast way to make your work feel unpolished. Using a gimbal corrects that—it makes a major difference. We listed our favorite stabilizers (and some other iPhone accessories we swear by) here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJ3Vu8INg8U&ab_channel=Apple

Use Cinematic Mode

If you’re a filmmaker or simply an iPhone enthusiast, you’re going to get a kick out of Cinematic Mode. 

Cinematic Mode allows the user to focus on a subject, and then it focuses itself on another subject when the first turns away or exits the shot. It mimics “rack focus” that professionals have been using for years now, and it does it automatically. You can also manually manage it, if it’s not “guessing” the subjects correctly.

What’s more, Cinematic Mode lets you edit this effect after the fact, which is arguably the coolest part about it. Take advantage of Cinematic Mode—it will take a piece of video content up a notch in terms of professionalism and style.  

Moment iPhone 13 Starter Kit – One Lens

Consider Lenses

The lenses on the iPhone 13 lineup are the best that have ever been offered. Their features include the following: 

  • Telephoto Camera: 77mm camera, 3x optical zoom.
  • Ultra Wide Camera: f/1.8 aperture, 92% improvement in low light, macro photography.
  • Wide Lens: f/1.5 aperture, 1.5x low-light than iPhone 12 Pro Max.

These lenses are unparalleled when it comes to other smart phones. That said, you can’t go wrong by providing yourself even more lens options when filming with an iPhone 13. We like Moment’s options, which include a choice between anamorphic, fisheye, macro 10x, tele 58mm, and wide 18mm lenses. 

You can easily switch these on and off your phone, which is a convenient way to open up your iPhone filming capabilities even more. 

Image: Patrick Holland/CNET

Take Advantage of ProRes

Another “first” for Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup is the addition of ProRes technology. A major boon when it comes to the editing process, reviewer Tim Brooks calls it the “stop-gap between uncompressed video (which is prohibitively large) and modern codecs used by services like YouTube and Netflix which are designed to preserve as much bandwidth (or space) as possible.” 


Basically, it keeps incredible detail and image quality while streamlining the editing process in Final Cut Pro. Apple describes it as “an unparalled combination of multistream, real-time editing performance, impressive image quality, and reduced storage rates.” It’s a sort of “best of both worlds” approach in that it compresses but still maintains important data.

Need assistance determining the best accessories to use with a rental iPhone 13? Our experts can help figure out the best setup for you. 


About eTech Rentals

eTech Rentals is a national technology solutions provider located in Southern California specializing in rental technology integration. eTech is committed to long-standing client relationships and consistent, reliable local service, trusted by expert event planners, film and entertainment production companies, and businesses in California and nationwide.
Learn more about eTech Rentals at: https://www.etechrentals.com/