One of the novelties of the iPhone 13 Pro is the possibility of recording video in ProRes format. With this format we have a great freedom of adjustments and retouching in post-production, since the raw information of the sensors is saved in the same video. A mode that has its peculiarities, especially the size it occupies, let’s talk about it.
A format that requires a lot, a lot of storage
Thanks to the fact that the video in ProRes format retains all the information the lenses have captured, the size of this format is considerable. Very considerable indeed. During the presentation Apple mentioned a curious limitation of this ProRes: only the iPhone of 256 GB or more can use it in 4K resolution. Now we know why.
One minute recorded in ProRes format at 1080p and 30 fps takes up nothing more and nothing less than 1.7 GB. Meanwhile, a minute of the same ProRes shot at 4K and 30fps takes up a whopping 6GB. This means that in 4K – taking into account that an iPhone already has part of the space occupied with the operating system, applications, etc. – they would fit up to 15 minutes or so of video on 128GB model.
The decision to reserve 4K resolution for iPhones with more storage makes sense, then. Anyway, it should be said that it is not that the 256 GB model can store a large number of videos in ProRes format. In the end, a simple division tells us that there must be about 35 minutes of video in that format.
If we make numbers with the ProRes format recorded at 1080p the numbers are already quite different. A 128GB iPhone can store a little over an hour in this format while the 128GB model 256 GB reaches two hours of recording.
The Camera app itself indicates, when we activate ProRes mode, the number of minutes of storage remaining. In my case, with an iPhone 13 Pro of 128 GB with 54 GB occupied the count amounts to 33 minutes.
And now how do I transfer my recording?
Considering the size required to store the ProRes format, the management required to export these videos outside the iPhone deserves a mention. Before putting our hands to our heads, it is a good time to remember that this is a very specific format that is designed for professional post-production. A format that is not designed, far from it, for us to capture all our videos.
Transferring the amount of information that recording a video in ProRes format generates is a considerable task. The best way to do this is by using AirDrop. Thanks to this system we can transfer, approximately and under the best circumstances, one gigabit of information per second, which means that exporting a one-hour recording (say about 100 GB at 1080p) requires about 15 minutes of transfer.
Another alternative is to use the syncing using iCloud Photos. Here the speed of the connection that we have comes into play. The comfort, however, is maximum, since we will find the video recorded on our Mac ready for editing on a much larger screen than that of the iPhone.
The last alternative is to use a Lightning connector. This will provide us with a speed of USB 2.0, that is to say of about 480 Mbps, which turns the export of the video hour that we mentioned above into a process that would take a little over half an hour.
It is clear that the ProRes format is designed for very specific use cases. Some uses in which the size of the video goes to the background and its quality is prioritized and how we can adjust almost any variable in the video just as we need.