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iPhone 15 Pro gets direct record to external storage, but iPhone 15 has Lightning speeds

Filmmakers can record to external storage, but only from the iPhone 15 Pro models

The iPhone 15 Pro got the unexpected bonus of allowing direct recording to an external drive — but at the same time, the regular iPhone 15 isn't getting any speed benefit from the switch to USB-C.

Apple made it sound as if moving from its Lightning charging port to a USB-C one was a great benefit, and it is, but only to buyers of the iPhone 15 Pro. For the regular iPhone 15, there's no speed benefit to the change.

There is convenience, though, as now it means the iPhone joins Apple's existing USB-C devices, such as the iPad Pro. Depending on what devices a user already has, it can mean fewer cables to carry around.

However, the real benefit to the move to USB-C comes with the iPhone 15 Pro, and it comes in one way that was expected — and one that was not.

The expected difference is that the iPhone 15 Pro has USB 3.1 speed, which means it can transfer data at up to 10 gigabits per second — about 20 times faster than the iPhone 15 or Lightning speed.

What was unexpected, and will be embraced by the iPhone filmmaking community, is that the new USB-C connector allows for direct recording of video to an external drive.

That definitely means that an iPhone 15 Pro, or iPhone 15 Pro Max user who is shooting video, can do so without worrying about running out of space during a shot. The iPhone can remain set up, ready to shoot, while a second or subsequent drive is attached.

"iPhone 15 Pro will enable great workflows for photographers and filmmakers that previously weren't possible," said Greg Joswiak, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. "iPhone 15 Pro also supports recording Pro Res video directly to an external storage drive. video productions can quickly swap drives and keep iPhone as the main camera on set."

"It's recording to an external drive enables even higher quality recording options," he continued, "pushing Pro Res 4k up to 60 frames per second for the first time."

Apple suggests that the speed of this recording will be no different to that of using the iPhone's built-in storage. If that proves to be true, it could in theory mean that filmmakers have less need of the larger-capacity versions of the iPhone 15 Pro.