iPhone 13 (Pro) wrap-up

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Apples Autumn event last night introduced the iPhone 13 range, very definitely an iterative upgrade, with slight tweaks across the board, see below for the bullet point changes. If you do watch the live stream on catch-up, note that when Apple executives get all excited and talk about 'the biggest upgrade ever' it is, at the end of the day, just hype. In my opinion. Anyone with an 11 series iPhone might well want to investigate upgrade options, but there's precisely zero need for a 12 series owner to stop and think.

The familiar design flat-edged aluminium and steel designs did get a redesigned, smaller notch for the Face ID system, front camera, and earpiece speaker, plus the base iPhone 13 models now also get the sensor-shift stabilisation from last year's 12 Pro Max, the larger module requiring a small change in the camera island configuration.

All 13 series models get the latest A15 Bionic chipset, plus the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max get 120Hz (variable refresh rate, this is the maximum) screens. Throw in some extra colour options and that's it, though to be fair the 12 series were already pretty darn excellent and well reviewed. I'm still very happy with my 12 Pro Max a year later and its camera system still blows away most of the competition.

The quickest way to get a handle on the latest Pro iPhones is with the sizzle reel from Apple:

The new 'software depth of field' in 'cinematic mode' will take some getting used to - in normal footage, dramatic changes in focus within the frame aren't that common and it's an effect that could get very cliched very quickly. But we'll have to see when the phone and software appear in a week or so's time. Word on the street is that these video software effects aren't coming to the 12 series, possibly because of chip limitations, but again this may change.

On the still imaging front, the increase in apertures across the board is welcomed, but will only have a marginal effect on low light performance, given the massively effective existing auto-night modes. The increase in telephoto power to 3x (from 2x/2.5x in the 12 Pro series) is also welcomed, but it does mean that the main sensor has to bear a lot of software interpolation from 2x to 2.9x zoom, which is something that needs testing in depth.

The full virtual event is online, if you have an hour or so to spare. They also announced new iPads and iPad minis, plus the Apple Watch 7...

More at yout local Apple online (and physical) stores...