The New iPhone 15 Pro Max: Best In-House Video Camera?

Why we think the new iPhone 15 Pro Max is earning its name in 2023.

September 29, 2023

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Austin Canary


You may have heard that Apple just released its latest and greatest phone: the iPhone 15 Pro Max. It’s a huge step forward for video producers who use iPhones to create high-quality videos (yup, it’s totally possible).

In this article, we’ll zoom in on how this new iPhone Pro model brings you industry-standard features and workflows that have only been accessible to professionals using expensive cinematic cameras. We’ll also explain why this is a big deal for folks making quality videos in-house for their business.

Let’s dig in!

iPhone 15 Pro Max camera specs

First, take a look at the new iPhone camera specs:

  • 48MP main camera
  • 7 pro lenses (focal lengths)
  • 5x optical zoom

With the A17 Pro chip, 6-core GPU, and these updated camera specs, the iPhone 15 Pro Max not only captures high-quality images but also processes it efficiently and gives video pros what they need to legitimize the iPhone as their go-to camera.

Shooting video with the iPhone 15 Pro Max

The video team here at Wistia is super passionate about shooting videos with an iPhone. We’re excited about how the newest Pro lineup can boost the production value of our customers’ videos and livestreams.

Let’s talk about some of the camera features that caught our eye:

Focal lengths

If you want a video camera that can handle a wide range of shots, from capturing expansive landscapes to zooming into the minutiae, this iPhone has you covered. It comes with seven different focal lengths:

  • Ultra-wide macro
  • Ultra-wide 13mm
  • Main 24mm
  • Main 28mm
  • Main 35mm
  • Telephoto 48mm
  • Telephoto 120mm

It’s like having seven professional lenses all in one!

Recording quality

4K recording has become the industry standard. Whether you’re aiming for top-notch quality or need the flexibility to zoom in on an interview shot, it’s what most creators require for their production needs. The new iPhone provides various options:

  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 25 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps

Recording modes

Cinematic mode delivers the dramatic depth-of-field you’d expect from a cinematic camera, while action mode helps you capture smooth hand-held video even when you’re moving around a lot. And you can get both modes — and some more — with this handy shooting tool in your pocket.

Take a look at all the recording modes, resolutions, and frame rates on the new iPhone:

  • Cinematic mode up to 4K HDR at 30 fps
  • Action mode up to 2.8K at 60 fps
  • HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60 fps
  • ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 fps with external recording
  • Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
Want to dial in the best iPhone camera settings for your videos? Don’t just stick with the default settings — check out this guide!

LOG profile format

In-house video producer, Stephen Petto, is especially stoked about the introduction of LOG video recording on iPhone Pro models. It means that you can now record video in a flat color profile, allowing you to capture a ton more color information than you would in the standard iPhone recording mode.

“Shooting in LOG gives you control over color grading in post-production, making it easier to align iPhone footage with shots from professional cameras. This is particularly important for in-house teams aiming for consistent visual output, especially from multiple camera sources.”
Stephen Petto
Senior Video Producer, Wistia
Want to learn more about color grading in post-production? Check out our guide on how to use LUTs to speed up the process.

New industry-standard workflows with the iPhone 15 Pro

Thanks to the new iPhone’s universal connectivity and super fast data transfer speeds, you can start using your iPhone in common video production workflows.

Universal USB-C connection

Apple finally ditched the long-standing lightning cable and gave every iPhone 15 model a USB-C port. This new cable standard (that has been the case for iPads and Macs for a while now) will help you minimize the cable clutter and make your charging and data transfer smoother and simpler.

Using your iPhone as a webcam with Continuity Camera? Now you can keep your phone charged with a USB-C to USB-C cable!

Direct-to-drive recording

The new iPhone brought us a total game-changer: the ability to shoot Apple ProRes directly to an external drive. You’re no longer limited by your iPhone’s storage — say goodbye to the days of constantly juggling space!

And with the new USB-C connector and the enhanced transfer speeds, you don’t have to worry about running out of storage during a shoot.

Fast data transfer speeds

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has super fast transfer speeds that touch an unprecedented 20z, thanks to the phone’s USB 3 support.

For in-house teams, this translates to speedy transitions from shooting to editing. Gone are the days of time-consuming data transfers.

Speaking of transferring footage between devices, Frank pointed out another way you can streamline your workflow with an iPhone and an iPad:

“Apple recently released Final Cut for iPads. So it’s actually possible to shoot on your phone and edit on your iPad without having to use a computer at all. Will pros do this? Not likely, but it’s a viable workflow for in-house video producers and marketers.”
Frank Emanuele
Social Media Manager, Wistia

The best new camera for in-house video production

For too long, people thought that making high-quality videos was only possible for big companies with lots of money, large video production teams, and expensive equipment. But the iPhone 15 Pro Max is changing all that for everyday video marketers.

Apple appears to recognize the evolving needs of today’s videographers. It’s not just about shooting video; it’s also about making sure that the entire process, from shooting to post-production, is as seamless as possible. For in-house video creators, this can mean more time to ideate, create, and share their vision.

September 29, 2023

Topic tags

Austin Canary


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