iPhone 13 Pro models will let you record in ProRes – but should you?
Wondering what iPhone 13 ProRes is? Read on…
Apple has finally introduced the iPhone 13. This year’s iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 13, the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max. All iPhones come in a host of new colors and all feature the new A15 processor (and all are a little heavier this year).
ProRes…what’s that? Good question! Here’s what you need to know…
What Is ProRes?
ProRes is a collection of video codecs developed by Apple. This family of codes allows videos to be shot at very high image quality and edited in real-time. ProRes isn’t a RAW file format – there is some compression, but the quality is stunning considering ProRes has a (relatively) small file size – at least when compared to RAW video.
ProRes is the codec of choice used by most video editors who work in Apple’s Final Cut Pro due to the above advantages of the codec. But before the iPhone 13 series, the iPhone itself was not capable of recording video in ProRes.
Now, it can – at least, if you have the right iPhone.
Do All iPhone 13’s Support ProRes Recording?
It’s important to understand that all iPhone 13 models do NOT support ProRes video. The iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 mini do not support ProRes. However, the iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 13 Pro Max do support ProRes.
Yet things get a little more confusing, too. That’s not all iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models support ALL versions of ProRes. All iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max models DO support ProRes, all right, just not at the same resolution.
Specifically, if you want to record in 4K 30fps ProRes, you’ll need an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max with 256GB of storage or higher. The 128GB version of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are not capable of recording ProRes in 4K. However, those models will support ProRes 1080p 30fps recording.
I know…why is Apple limiting 4K ProRes recording to iPhone 13 Pro models with higher storage amounts? It has to do with the amount of storage a minute of ProRes video takes up.
How Much Space Does ProRes Video Take Up?
Remember when we said that ProRes offers terrific image quality despite being compressed and it also has a relatively small file size when compared to RAW video? Well, that “relatively” is key. That’s because ProRes still takes up a TON of space compared to other codecs, like H.264.
Just how much space? A lot:
- 1 minute of 1080p ProRes video at 30fps requires about 1GB of storage space.
- And 1 minute of 4K ProRes video at 30fps requires between 6-8GB of storage space.
Yep, you read that right: even if you are shooting 1080p ProRes, you still lose 1GB of storage for every minute of video you take. And if you are shooting 4K ProRes, you lose 6-8GBs of video for every minute of ProRes you shoot.
It’s not that the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro series isn’t technically possible of recording 4K ProRes, it’s that if Apple allowed it on that device less than 15 minutes of 4K ProRes recording would take up ALL the storage your iPhone 13 Pro has.
If you aren’t a professional videographer, ProRes will probably be overkill for you (you don’t need to record in ProRes on the iPhone 13 Pro – you can select other codecs). But if you do want to shoot in ProRes, it’s best to get the iPhone 13 Pro with the most storage possible.
Also, note that ProRes support will note ship with the iPhone 13 Pro. Apple will add the capability in a software update later this year.
Also, be sure to check out all the missing iPhone 13 features here!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does iPhone 13 support ProRes?
No, the iPhone 13 does not support ProRes. If you want to shoot ProRes video you’ll need an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Q: Does iPhone 13 mini support ProRes?
No, the iPhone 13 mini does not support ProRes. ProRes video requires an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Q: How much iPhone 13 Pro storage do I need for ProRes?
If you want to record video in 4K ProRes, you need an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max with 256GB of storage or higher. the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro series can only record ProRes at a max resolution of 1080p.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.