The Halloween Apple event was impressive for a few reasons. Firstly, it unveiled not one but three new silicone chips, in the form of the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max. Secondly that the new MacBook Pro models to feature said chips is now available in a matte black finish.
The final treat of the night however came in the final seconds of the show, in the form of a notice that read, 'this event was shot on iPhone and edited on Mac'. More specifically followed up with, 'all presenters, locations, and drone footage shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max'.
While we were well aware of how good the quality of the video from the iPhone 15 Pro Max is, it wasn't expected and so caused a few jaws to drop. So how do you get such professional footage from an iPhone? Luckily, Apple has now shared behind the scenes footage, so we can see exactly how it did it.
As with any professional production, the camera is only a small part of the process. Lighting is key for any photo or video, and the lighting used for the Apple event was a full production set up, with huge soft boxes lighting the presenters. Being a Halloween-themed event, the shots were all low light, but the production team worked to provide the light in the right places.
The iPhone 15 Pro Max models were placed in a range of rigs, including cranes, dollies, and even on drones to get the shots. Thanks to the ability to record straight to external drives, the iPhones didn't need to be swapped over or downloaded – the footage was just taken straight from the hard drives to the Macs for editing.
Of course, the advantage of the 15 Pro Max is that it can shoot in ProRes up to 4K at 60fps and can record in the Log colour profile, which is ideal for video colour grading. It gives the maximum dynamic range and makes it easy to match footage from different sources – or even from multiple iPhones.
For shooting, the production team used the new Blackmagic Camera app for the iPhone. This extensive video app from the makes of the Blackmagic professional cameras, provides all the manual control you would get on a pro camera. The display shows lens, frames per second, shutter speedISO, white balance and time code. It also shows a live RGB histogram for exposure, audio meters and storage indicator, so you can see how much space you have left on your phone (or external drive).
The app also works with external focus controls, like the Nucleus wireless lens control kits. It also offers touch focus on screen and zoom control for smaller jobs. you can even upload straight to the Blackmagic Cloud to access the clips in DaVinci Resolve or any other video editor.
Blackmagic Camera is an extremely impressive app, and more surprisingly it is available as a free download on the Apple App store right now.
In hindsight, it's no surprise that Apple shot the event on the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Its 'shot on the iPhone' billboard campaign showed just how good the photography from these phones is, and this event has done the same for its video.
While I don't think the iPhone is about to replace the professional video camera (yet), it just proved that it can certainly do the job.