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How Does the iPhone 4S Video Quality Compare to the Canon 5D Mark II?

10.17.11 @ 1:20PM Tags : , , , ,

The new iPhone 4S shoots 1080/30p video. No, I’m not saying you should use it to shoot a narrative film, but in terms of ubiquity we’re going to see a lot of footage from the 4S going forward — as an indicator of this ubiquity, the iPhone 4 is the single most popular camera on flickr. Those blurry cameraphone videos used on the news for eyewitness reports are certainly going to be a lot sharper, but how does the much-hyped new lens fare against the video quality of a Canon 5D Mark II? Here’s a shootout video from Robino Films, who set both cameras up on the same tripod and rolled simultaneous video:

No, you’re not going to use the iPhone instead of a dedicated video camera, but along with the glut of new Android phones, cameraphone video is leaps and bounds better than it was just a year ago. You can also download the 1080p source file on Vimeo (right-hand side).

UPDATE: Check out this short film shot on the iPhone 4S. Yes, if you get really close to objects, you can get a shallow depth-of-field look even with a sensor size this small.


As a sidenote, a recent commenter accused me of covering Apple products too much on this site, but my Google Analytics data shows that a whopping 63% of visitors here are on a Mac or iOS device (54% of which is a Mac proper, compared to 13% Mac marketshare in the U.S.). Given NoFilmSchool readers are four times more likely to use a Mac than the national average, I think it’s safe to say I’m not pushing a personal agenda but rather trying to serve my audience. So, Apple users, here is another video comparing the iPhone 4S’s video quality to that of the iPhone 4:

I’ll also be curious to see how far third party apps are able to push the sensor, hopefully brining more manual controls to the table. And not to make this post too Apple-specific, here’s a shootout video from Engadget comparing the iPhone 4S’s video to several other current cameraphones:

[via @setla, Mashable, and Macrumors]

Related Posts

  1. Apple's iPhone 4S Adds 1080p Video Recording, Fast Lens, and Gyro Stabilization
  2. How Does the RED EPIC Compare to the 5D Mark II -- After Being Compressed for the Web?
  3. Darren Aronofsky's 'Black Swan' Shot on ARRI Super 16mm, Canon 7D, Canon 1D Mark IV, and Canon 5D Mark II

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We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • SterlingRex on 03.24.12 @ 5:21PM

    Piers Gibbons, this sounds fantastic!
    And the author is correct; such advance in technology will make it increasingly difficult for bad guys to get away with crime or government oppression.

  • One thing i did notice was the obvious strobing of the iPhone 4s on the large outdoor screens and even the florescent lighting when there is none in the iPhone 4 :-)

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