Android 4.0 Adds New Video Features, and Part of 'The Avengers' Was [Update: NOT] Shot on an iPhone
If Google and Apple were politicians -- and if this blog were actually a legitimate news site -- I'd have to give each of them equal time. So, since I mentioned the improved video and photo capabilities of the iPhone 4S, I would be remiss if I did not also mention Google's demonstration of Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" last week, which, to contextualize things, will make most mobile phones higher resolution and more feature-laden for shooting video video than the first digital video camera I used a dozen years ago (which retailed for $3,500 at the time). And if you think this doesn't relate to filmmaking at all,
it turns out DP Seamus McGarvey used an iPhone to shoot parts of The Avengers -- actually this has since been debunked, but the Android headline still stands:
Google introduced in Android 4 (and its launch device, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus) the same 1080/30p video as the iPhone 4S, but also added native timelapse photography, zooming while recording, touch-to-focus, zero shutter lag, and panoramic photo capabilities. Are you going to shoot a feature film on any of these phones? Of course not, unless you're going specifically for the "first feature film shot on an Android phone!" headline. But as with HDSLRs, all of these smaller/cheaper cameras have a place in the video-shooting world, so here's the photo/video segment from the Android 4.0 demo:
I love that he called Android's retro photo filters "hipster filters." You'll also notice that the video doubles as an example of horrible moiré (not from the Android camera, but of what happens when you stand immediately in front of a huge video screen whose pixels cause crazy aliasing). Still, if it's anything like the iPhone 4S's video capabilities, the new Android phones might stack up surprisingly well to DSLR video. Android 4.0 also brings Google's video editing program Movie Studio to phones (it was previously available on Android 3.0, which was a tablet-only variant of the OS).
Ultimately, I'm amazed at the quality of video coming from either system. The things you can do with either OS (not to mention Windows Phones, Blackberrys, etc.) would've seemed like science fiction five years ago. Yet someone will inevitably complain about me posting this on a filmmaking site, because despite the fact that I wrote this on a laptop, shared videos from the cloud, and you were able to access this instantaneously and freely, everything is amazing and nobody's happy:
[photo via This is my next]