Upgrades for hard and software, though groundbreaking and exciting, do have limitations and problems
The new upgrades for iOS 15, iPad OS 15, mac OS 12 Monterey and the rest are in many ways amazing, feature filled wonders, as we’ve discussed at every opportunity. The multi-year transition to a more unified system across all apple devices is underway and we are big supporters of the benefits.
However, nothing is perfect, and particularly in the early days it is to be expected that glitches and strange twists and turns in the journey can disappoint and confuse along the way.
Below we’ve outlined a few.
Various less than perfect ideas and execution in the OS software
Some issues are not really issues at all but things that people just don’t like. One example is the move of the address bar on safari in iOS 15 to the bottom. Many people had trouble getting used to this so a button was added to move it back to the top.
Other glitches include a false warning that you are out of storage space. Others have reported a reduction in perceived (if not real) battery life. Although these are minor annoyances and will be fixed with future updates, such as iOS 15.1 due any minute now, they show that this bug hunting is, unfortunately part of the process of any upgrade, much less a huge and important one like iOS 15.
There are also specific limitations though that should be mentioned about the iPhone 13 Pro camera system.
This issues are less bugs or errors and just limitations that may, or may not, be improved at a later date.
The new high end Pro camera system for the iPhone 13 Pro series is a major upgrade that has so many features and new capabilities that it is hard to even list them all, let alone illuminate the multitude of options and enhancements that they create.
On the obvious down side, however, a few things have jumped out at users now that these phones are in the wild.
Cinematic mode only works (currently) in 1080p. This is a serious limitation, since the whole idea of “Pro” is 4k and above. Many even go so far as to say that 1080p aka HD is no longer the standard for video and even obsolete. While there are rumors that this could get a software upgrade, perhaps even before the next iPhone model next fall, but it is not at all clear if, or when, that might happen.
This limitation is a fairly serious one, since an entire project would have to be shot at 1080p HD rather than 4k to make any use at all of the beautiful and fascinating rack-focus effects available in cinematic mode.
Less and issue but often mentioned is the inability to shoot 4k slow motion footage.
The lack of slo-mo at any resolution above 1080p is also something that has surprised aficionados. There is an option for 1080p at 240 fps, but unless you are shooting ultra high speed action that is not a hugely useful setting.
It seems odd, since a large part of the limitation is likely the large amount of data required to make this happen at 4k but there is a silver-lining here that few have mentioned in recent articles decrying the lack of 4k slow-mo options.
Since the system is already capable of shooting 4k at 60fps, and a final project setting for editing could be 4k at 30 or even 24fps, the 4k 60fps could be seen as a double speed slo-mo setting for a 4k video projects shot at 30fps for standard and 60fps for footage to be slowed to 30fps for the 1/2 speed slo-mo effect.
In the feature film 35mm celluloid days this was a very common and useful way to get slow-mo without eating up tons of expensive film stock.
Also, shooting at 4k 60fps for a 4k 24fps project would yield a 1.5 ratio of frame rate, giving an even more extreme slow-mo effect. For most slow motion effects 1 to 1.5x speed in-camera for later playback at the project rate is more than adequate.
The 120fps rate, since the top frame rate at 4k is 60fps, is, indeed, double which, as stated above, standard.
Therefore, for all practical purposes, there is already a way to produce beautiful 4k slow motion effects in a 30fps or 24fps project and have those be in camera pristine slo-mo and not the less desirable edit-only EFX.
Summing up, even with glitches and minor disappointments, it’s a beautiful world and now we just have to shoot it
If no more serious glitches or known issues pop up during the transition from iOS 14 to iOS 15, and iPhone 12 Pro to iPhone 13 Pro, we can be satisfied that this is a monumental job well done by the gang at Apple.
Though there are a lot of shortcomings that we may perceive in the new world topping combo-pack; iPhone 13 Pro Max running iOS 15.1, these are when compared to far more costly and cumbersome alternatives, or simply, when compared to our wildest dreams. Those will have to wait a few years, in all likelihood.
Human greed is a powerful thing. When given a photographic system that even attempts to approximate a profession system based on prime and zoom lenses and accessories, there’s a tendency to want it all, right now!
Of course, instead, what we get is an amazing extension of the iPhone photo tradition – taken up a bunch of notches at once. The computational enhancements are incredible and will only get better – in many cases without a new phone as they are based on AI and machine learning, which as the name implies, are continually improving while you sleep.
It is also the reason why real lenses and traditional DLSR cameras still have an important use and value.
The new system unveiled with the iPhone 13 pro is revolutionary precisely because of the potential for people to create new visual expressions and ways of communicating.
These photographic traditions and the efforts that were made in the design to emulate them are important and valuable. However, the future will benefit from the spontaneous and new ways that people will decide to use this evolving system and the current extensions of our eyes, ears and minds….
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