iPhone 15 Pro has a big video drawback unless you buy extra storage

iPhone 15 Pro cameras close up
(Image credit: Future)

Anyone looking at ordering the iPhone 15 Pro in its standard 128GB may be disappointed that they won't get to use its full video capabilities without external storage.

For the standard 128GB iPhone 15 Pro, the maximum ProRes 4K at 60fps video format is not available, with the highest recording quality being 1080p at 30fps. This is not an issue for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which starts at 256GB storage, but certainly something to consider for the smaller iPhone 15 Pro. 

You'll be hard-pressed to find this information confirmed on Apple's store pages. But MacRumors was able to find these details within the iOS App Store app's iPhone comparison tool, which we were able to verify ourselves.

A screenshot of the iOS Apple Store app, showing a comparison between the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max's video recording specs. The iPhone 15 Pro section reads: "ProRes video recording up to 4K at 60 fps (1080p at 30fps for 128GB capacity)"

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

To solve the issue and unlock the full power of ProRes video on the iPhone 15 Pro, you'll either need to pay another $100/£100/AU$200 to upgrade the phone from 128GB to 256GB of storage, or use a cable and external storage when recording.

The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro suffer from the same problem, needing at least 256GB storage to use ProRes in 4K. However, these can't connect to external drives, meaning paying for extra storage is the only option.

A Pro Problem

ProRes video is intended to be a genuine pro-grade format, and accordingly its file sizes are huge. So Apple is arguably limiting this feature out of concern for users who would fill up their whole iPhone storage with just a few minutes of footage. But the fact that this information is oddly well hidden seems unfair to iPhone buyers trying to pick the best model and storage capacity for their needs.

The silver lining with this is that thanks to the iPhone 15's USB-C port, connecting a separate SSD or hard drive is fairly simple. It's hardly convenient to add a drive and USB-C cable to your daily loadout though, unless you're already a well-kitted-out smartphone videographer. But then at that point, you're likely to just pay for the enhanced storage anyway.

Whatever you make of Apple's choice to limit ProRes recording on the iPhone 15 Pro, iPhone 15 preorders are up and running until Friday September 22, the day the new iPhones go on open sale. So if you still fancy buying one, make sure to check out our iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max hands-on reviews first to make sure you make the right choice for you.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.