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Apple finds a brilliant way to make the iPhone 13 Pro exciting

Cupertino does go on and on about how wonderfully Hollywood its phone cameras are. At last it's presenting them in an involving way.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer on

Actually funny.

Screenshot by ZDNet

Does it all tend to wash over you?

Every year a new iPhone comes out. And every year Apple waxes endlessly about how much better its camera is than the camera it peddled the previous year.

How much better do you really need it to be?

I have an iPhone 12 and the camera does wondrous things on my behalf. It makes difficult pictures look delightful.

So when Apple pushes out ad after meaningless ad claiming its camera is now Hollywood standard, I tend to stare blankly and hope the NBA game starts soon.

Also: These phones have the best cameras

Suddenly, though, the Spaceship Brigade has emitted not one, but three ads that makes the iPhone 13 Pro camera seem like something you might truly appreciate.

Each ad uses a Hollywood trope. Each ad is blissfully funny. Which you can't say about every Apple ad you've ever seen.

The first offers two cops sitting in a car and a depiction of Cinematic Mode.

The dialogue is marvelous.

"Look at me, I'm all blurry," says the sidekick, realizing he's not in focus.

"Well, you're supporting cast," explains the hero cop.

The sidekick thinks there's only one way to get the camera to absorb him lovingly: pretend that he's the killer.

It's a touching way to show the feature, while being perfectly executed in every way.

Let's shift focus to the second ad. This time it's a classic horror movie.

We're in a dark house. A voice whispers -- very loudly: "Help me."

Our hero, in her nightgown, explores the house in search of the spectral source of the words.

They're coming from the basement. Don't go down to the basement. But the words are coming from the basement. Don't go down to the basement.

She doesn't want to go down to the basement and has a fine reason.

"The picture quality will suffer in such low light," she explains.

The whispered voice responds: "What? It'll be fine. Go downstairs."

"What about the close-up on my petrified face?" worries our hero.

Yes, this is Apple selling its very fine low light capabilities and I find myself emitting more than a low, light laugh at this one.

But let's now highlight the optical zoom, desperately needed if you're making an art house movie.

Pavel is seated, looking both dapper and miserable.

"Are you OK?" asks his girlfriend/wife/psychologist.

"Yes. Why?" he replies.

"This slow unnerving zoom suggests you are descending into madness," she says.

I confess I found myself descending into giggles.

As I did with all of these ads.

Perhaps I'm succumbing to the excessive generosity of the season, but this could be the first time I've seen camera features presented in an easily digestible and involving way.

Now if only Apple -- and the whole of the tech industry -- could make everything it does easily digestible and involving.

How's that for a New Year's resolution?

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