Tue. Oct 19th, 2021
Apple adds Cinematic Mode and ProRes support to iMovie and Clips


The new hardware and software on the iPhone 13 generation enabled some interesting camera features. For example, Cinematic Mode tries to do automatic rack focus, but the phone records a depth map alongside the video, so you can change the focus point manually after the fact.

How? You can use the newly updated iMovie and Clips apps. Note that while only the new iPhone 13 series can record Cinematic Mode videos, you can edit them on older devices too – iPhone XS or later and iPad mini (5th gen or later), iPad Air (3rd gen or later) and iPad Pro 11 and 12.9” (3rd gen or later). Using an iPhone XS to edit videos shot on an iPhone 13 probably doesn’t make too much sense, but using the larger screen on an older iPad will be beneficial.

Adding rack focus to a Cinematic Mode video in iMovie in iMovieAdding rack focus to a Cinematic Mode video in iMovie in iMovie

The update also enables iMovie and Clips to handle importing and editing ProRes video. The iPhone 13 series supports ProRes recording at up to 4K resolution and 30 fps. The Apple ProRes codec is supported by professional cameras from Arri, Blackmagic and others.

However, only the new Apple A15 and M1 chipsets have hardware acceleration for ProRes, so editing such video requires an iPhone 13, iPad mini (2021) or iPad Pro 11” or 12.9” (2021). Well, it works on Macs too, but those are the only phones and tablets to support it for now.

Clips update: adding memoji
Clips update: adding scenes
Clips update: adding stickers

Clips update: adding memoji, scenes and stickers

Anyway, while iMovie is intended for longer projects, Clips is meant for making short, fun videos. To that end the new update simplifies things like adding photos and videos from your library, allows you to add ProRAW images and features filters, stickers and emoji you can add to videos captured in Cinematic Mode.

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