The iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max are capable of shooting 4K video using HDR with Dolby Vision, producing content unthinkable in an Apple smartphone just years ago. That said, it's quite easy to miss the full potential of your iPhone's camera, iPhone 12 or not. If you want the best quality video possible on the iPhone XS and newer models, make sure you don't make this one mistake.
If you're someone who opens the Camera app, switches over to video mode, then taps the record button, this issue isn't likely to affect you. Instead, you should be more focused on making sure that your iPhone is actually set to record 4K video, rather than the 1080p default. This particular issue affects one particular iOS feature that you're bound to use at one time or another, even if on accident — QuickTake.
QuickTake is certainly a convenient feature. Initially launched with iOS 13 on A13-powered iPhones, then expanded to A12-powered iPhones in iOS 14, QuickTake allows you to start shooting video from Photo mode, so you don't have to waste any time changing shooting modes. It's available on all of these models:
- iPhone 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max (iOS 14 and later)
- iPhone 12, 12 mini (iOS 14 and later)
- iPhone SE (2nd generation) (iOS 13 and later)
- iPhone 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max (iOS 13 and later)
- iPhone 11 (iOS 13 and later)
- iPhone XR (iOS 14 and later)
- iPhone XS, XS Max (iOS 14 and later)
To use QuickTake, all you need to do is hold down the shutter button, and your iPhone will begin recording video. You can even slide the shutter button to the right to lock QuickTake in place for hands-free recording. You can even long-press one of the Volume buttons to record using QuickTake, or just the Volume Down button if you set Volume Up to shoot bursts.
QuickTake is a great option if you don't care about the resolution of your video. If you're reading this, however, it's likely that 4K video recording matters to you.
With the default 4:3 photo aspect ratio, QuickTake records at 1440 x 1920 pixels at 30 frames per second (fps). If your aspect ratio is set to 1:1, that changes to 1440 x 1440 at 30 fps. If you set it to 16:9, that falls to 1920 x 1080p at 30 fps.
The problem with QuickTake is that it will never shoot in 4K resolution. Not only that, but all of the aspect ratios used with QuickTake do not support the newest Dolby Vision HDR format. We're not sure why Apple forces QuickTake to shoot in a lower resolution than the iPhone is capable of, but those are the facts.
If you want to shoot with QuickTake, go for it! Just know that you'll see higher resolution video shooting in Video mode with 4K set.
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