Apple hypes that the iPhone 15 Pro Max as being a pure cinematic tool, sure, but are they willing to put their money where their mouth is?
Well, it turns out they did, by filming yesterday’s “Scary Fast” Mac Event exclusively with their flagship mobile device. And post-production workers are positively giddy about it.
“We were able to get the same complex shots with iPhone 15 Pro Max,” says Scary Fast Director Brian Oakes. “It’s amazing to see that the quality of a device that is so small and so portable can rival a large $20,000 camera.”
Though the Mac event seemed to be sudden to the rest of us, it’s clear that Apple had to plan ahead since the slick production presentation that Cupertino now uses to showcase their new products is complicated and challenging, even for a professional cinema camera.
So when Apple decided to film the Fall event using an iPhone 15 Pro Max, it not only proved how much confidence Apple has in its flagship mobile device, but just how well the device can perform in a professional, cinematic workflow.
“We tested this phone through its lensing, light levels, and dynamic range, figuring out how far we could push this phone,” said Company C CEO Stefan Sonnenfeld, the production company for the event.
“This new format has way more dynamic range, way more information that gives you more options and more creative flexibility. And that’s what we want.”
The camera was used as part of some high-end camera gear, too, which included cranes, dollies, motion control, and even drone shots. In addition, the iPhone video stream was routed to more than 50 different monitors on set, without skipping a beat.
Moreover, Apple chose to shoot the presentation at Apple Park during the evening hours, which would push the mobile device to its limits in terms of wide dynamic range.
Many post-production artists in the workflow compared the iPhone 15 Pro Max to the Sony VENICE or ARRI Alexa, as far as dynamic range and color gamut.
Such a comparison is high praise, but it also means that the iPhone 15 Pro Max delivers the goods. “There have been times when we’ve all forgotten it’s actually shot on iPhone.” concluded visual effects artist Adam Watson.
The production also used the new Blackmagic Camera cinema app, which supported the use of Apple Log for impressive dynamic range and excellent low-light performance.
That’s quite the coup for Blackmagic’s freshman camera app, which has only been available for a few months.
Added to that, the iPhone 15 Pro Max uses USB-C now, which gives shooters the option of recording Apple Log to an external hard drive.
“This basically gives you carte blanche to define your own look in post-production,” said colorist and VFX specialist Jeff Woz. “One of the most exciting and interesting things to see is how not different it has been on set.”
Now, of course, Apple was sure to spare no expense in producing the event, with plenty of professional lighting and gear for the iPhone 15 Pro Max to be all it could be.
But there’s no denying that the top-end mobile device was able to keep pace and deliver the goods.
If a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the Apple Scary Fast event proves that link isn’t the iPhone 15 Pro Max.
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