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iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max 128GB models lack this major camera upgrade

apple 13 pro max camera
(Image credit: Apple)

When you’re picking up a new phone, you might have thought that opting for a smaller storage option would only affect your storage, right? That's not true where the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max are concerned.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max come with the ProRes video feature, but the 128GB model is limited to recording those videos in 1080p at 30fps. Higher storage models instead offer 4K at 30fps.

ProRes is, as Apple describes it, “an advanced video codec used widely as the final delivery format for commercials, feature films, and broadcasts, to offer higher color fidelity and less compression”. It’s favored by the movie industry, and is likely to be a huge benefit to film makers and other creative professionals.

However, the cheapest iPhone 13 Pro models have a resolution cap, which was buried in the small print of Apple’s press release for the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. The “iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max support ProRes video recording in the Camera app at 1080p 30 fps with the 128GB storage option and up to 4K 30 fps with 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage options.”

In other words, if you want to get the highest possible resolution out of ProRes mode, you’re going to have to pay up for at least 256GB of storage. Why? Presumably it has something to do with file sizes, and the fact 4K ProRes files might be a bit of a storage hog.

That would also explain why this limitation affects the larger, and more expensive, iPhone 13 Pro Max. If Apple doesn’t think 128GB of storage is enough to handle ProRes at 4K, then it makes sense that both phones’ 128GB variants have the same limitation.

The iPhone 13 Pro starts at $999 for 128GB, so you would need to spend $1,099 for 256GB, $1,299 for 512GB or $1,499 for 1TB for the highest ProRes resolution. The iPhone 13 Pro Max jumps from $1,099 for 128GB to $1,199 for 256GB, $1,399 for 512GB and $1,599 for 1TB. 

So if you were planning on buying either phone, and taking advantage of ProRes, you should definitely bear this in mind. 1080p video isn’t particularly bad, especially if it has all the benefits Apple claims ProRes has to offer. But you need to decide whether that level of resolution is ok, or if you’d prefer the option of having 4K. 

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max are both available to pre-order from Friday September 17, and will be released on Friday September 24. You can check out our list of the best iPhone 13 pre-order deals right here.

Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.