One of the iPhone 13 models is better not to buy

With the iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max, Apple is banking on a number of new features that should make filming even better. As it turns out, one of the features on the entry-level model has limited use.

The iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max both come with a new 1-terabyte storage variant. The smallest of the four storage variants comes with 128GB. However, this one has a limitation, related to the new video features – and could scare off potential buyers.

iPhone 13 Pro with 128 GB has limited video function

The Pro models of the iPhone 13 come with advanced video features like Cinematic Mode with depth of field and Apple’s ProRes codec. ProRes now allows iPhone video to be processed directly in Final Cut Pro without conversion. This makes it faster and less resource-intensive to work with.

As it has now turned out, the iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max with 128 GB of storage can only record videos in ProRes format in 1080p resolution with 30 frames per second (FPS). The variants of the Pro models with 256 GB or more storage, on the other hand, support the much higher 4K resolution with 30 FPS.

Hint can be found in the fine print

At the iPhone launch, Apple didn’t say a word about the fact that there is a difference in ProRes video quality between the 128 GB and the other storage versions. This information can only be found in the fine print of the press release on Apple’s site. It says: “iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max support ProRes video capture in the Camera app at 1080p 30 fps on the 128GB storage option and up to 4K 30 fps on the 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage options.”

This means that buyers who want to buy an iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max specifically because of the video quality should better keep their hands off the 128 GB option. For the iPhone 13 Pro, that means an extra 120 Euros for the 256 GB option (1369 Euros). The 13 Pro Max with 256 GB also costs 120 euros more (1469 euros).

Why does Apple limit the video quality?

Apple does not give an explanation for the limitation. The fact that only the 128 GB option is affected in both iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max gives us a hint at the possible reason. It is conceivable that the available storage in this option is simply not enough for recording in 4K in ProRes format. Videos in ProRes format are many times larger than videos in the highly efficient H.265 format (HEVC), which is also supported by the iPhone.