The new iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have already impressed us with their new titanium designs and powerful performance, but the cameras have received a major upgrade, especially for video producers. Pro models can now record high-quality 4K Apple ProRes video in the Log color profile, ensuring amazing-looking footage.
But what do Log and ProRes refer to, how is it better and, most importantly, is it worth using? Here’s what you need to know.
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What is ProRes?
ProRes is a video codec created by Apple in 2007 that has been widely adopted by video and cinema professionals. ProRes files, typically found in high-end video cameras, capture more data during recording, resulting in better quality footage than you’d typically get from a phone or even some dedicated cameras.
What is a video diary?
Log (short for “logarithmic”) is a color profile found in some professional video cameras and now available on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Log material preserves image information in highlights and shadows, allowing for greater flexibility in color and contrast editing in post-production.
Why is the diary video gray and faded?
Log files straight from the camera look flat, have low contrast and low saturation. The files are designed to be edited in programs such as Adobe Premiere or DaVinci Resolve, where colorists restore contrast and color tone according to the effect they want to achieve, a process called color grading.
The low-contrast look of ungraded footage gives colorists the best starting point to modify the video image in any way they want. Journal material should always be edited and evaluated before use.
How to edit video diary?
While Apple hasn’t yet implemented specific color editing tools for journal recordings on iPhone, you can achieve this by using some of the exposure tools in the “Edit” options in the Photos app. However, for best results, transfer files to an iPad, Mac or Windows PC and edit in dedicated video production apps.
My favorite is BlackMagic’s DaVinci Resolve, which is the industry standard software used in professional Hollywood productions and movies. It’s known for its flexibility in color editing, and I loved using it to see what effect I could get from video footage from both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and BlackMagic’s own Pocket Cinema Camera.
Resolve is available on Mac and PC, but there is also an excellent iPad version of the app. Best of all, the software is free and can be used on all platforms, with only some advanced features requiring the paid Studio version. But anyone looking to spice up their recordings will find the free version more than capable.
Can my phone record ProRes Log videos?
Apple introduced the ability to record using the ProRes codec on the iPhone 12 Pro, but currently only the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max can also record to Log.
How do I enable ProRes and video recording?
On your iPhone 15 Pro or 15 Pro Max, go to Settings, scroll down and tap Camera. Then tap Formatsand in this submenu you will see the section about Video capture. Switch Apple ProRes to on and below will be available options ProRes encoding. Clicking on it will allow you to switch between HDR, SDR Or Journal.
Note that while you can turn ProRes on and off directly in the Camera app, you’ll need to go back to the Settings app if you want to switch from Journal to HDR and vice versa. You can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second on your phone, but if you want to record at 60 frames per second, you’ll need to connect an external SSD via USB-C and record directly to it.
Do you have to use the camera app on your iPhone to record ProRes Log video?
No, Apple has made this feature available to third-party apps. I recommend the BlackMagic Camera app, which provides the same level of control over settings as in the company’s professional cameras. It’s a great tool for getting the best-looking video from your phone and, like DaVinci Resolve, it’s free.
Should I record video in ProRes Log?
The ProRes material in the Log profile is very specialized. This requires additional time for post-production, and the file sizes are many times larger than regular video files. If you just want to record footage of a family or friends gathering at the beach and upload it to Instagram or YouTube, you don’t have to worry about ProRes or Log.
However, if you want to use the iPhone 15 Pro as a professional video production tool and have the time and resources to color grade and edit your footage, you should definitely give it a try. The recording flexibility allows you to get iPhone video that would make dedicated cinema cameras unrivaled. This makes iPhone 15 Pro an exceptionally capable camera for content creators who want to add a professional touch to their videos.