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Android 4.0 Adds New Video Features, and Part of 'The Avengers' Was [Update: NOT] Shot on an iPhone

10.24.11 @ 11:21AM Tags : , , , , ,

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]


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Description image 13 COMMENTS

  • Lliam Worthington on 10.24.11 @ 1:02PM

    Yep. Wasn’t true I’m afraid. Read about that last night somewhere.

    You poor bugger Koo, made me chuckle imagining you trying to discern which shots were the iphone in the trailer, lol :))

    MAN, glad your an honest unpretentious kind of guy and didn’t say
    “well clearly the third shot where blah blah blah… is the iphone”

  • Actually the DOP said 5D2 was used to shoot a few shots, not iPhone.

  • points for the lewis ck video though

  • The Samsung Galaxy SII already does 1080P video, and I’m pretty happy with the quality. By far the biggest problem with using it (as with any tiny camera) is keeping it nice and stable.

    The Galaxy Nexus looks awesome. These new large screen, 720P displays should be fantastic for using with DSLR Controller for doing remote shooting. If only I wasn’t just 4 months into a 2 year contract, I would definitely get this phone.

    • By far the biggest problem with using it (as with any tiny camera) is keeping it nice and stable.

      Whoa, brother…speak for yourself, my iPhone 4s has video stabilization. And thats not a problem. :)

  • Somthing I don’t understand: what exactly is the advantage of an iphone over an ipod touch? I’m slow but if you have internet access with an ipod why can’t you make internet video calls with your ipod? Plus, the ipod’s camera is just as good and supports indevice editing.

    • Does the iPod touch have the new 1080p sensor? And the iPhone supports mobile iMovie, same as the iPod touch.

      • Ah, ok, I see the camera on the ipod is 720p. My mistake. I wonder if they will put the better camera on at any time. It seems like Apple is kind of trying to knock off the phone providers because if you have broadband you can call or text anyone else with an iOS for free it looks like.

    • The main difference is that the IPod Touch only has WiFi support, which means that you need to be within range of a WiFi access point to use any of its connectivity features. The iPhone (and other smartphones) has 3G support, which means you can make calls and use the internet whenever you are within range of a mobile phone tower.

  • Jacques E. Bouchard on 10.27.11 @ 3:14PM

    I think it`s funny the way people keep trying to compare professional cameras (video or DSLR) with a phone with a tiny plastic lens.

    But seriously.

  • The Louis CK clip is great. You are spot on here. We have been spoiled – It’s a great time to be a filmmaker.