September 9, 2014

Apple's iPhone 6 Adds Super Slow Motion Video, Optical Image Stabilization

Apple iPhone 6
Today was the day Apple finally revealed the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. What new features apply to filmmaking?

The iPhone is the most popular camera in the world, so even though it's not a dedicated professional video device, the sheer amount of images we see from it affects the overall video landscape. And while the new iPhone doesn't do 4K video as some Android devices do already, it does 240fps slow motion video, and that means one thing:

Additionally, the camera on the larger version, iPhone 6 Plus, a.k.a. the iPhone Sized Like Android Phones Have Been For Quite Some Time, is faster and has optical image stabilization. Android phones tend to win the megapixel spec wars but iPhones tend to produce better images overall, which is why we've covered them here in the past (also, don't sleep on the Nokia Lumia devices, though Apple hired their camera engineer). The phones add "cinematic" stabilization mode for video and native timelapse capabilities (though Hyperlapse is pretty amazing already).

Also, the fact that Apple can't get their video stream right just goes to show how much of a challenge live streaming can be.

TechCrunch was there in Cupertino this morning covering Apple's live event, and here are the new specs and features they reported. Given the fact that these were pulled real time, we'll probably have a lot more information, as well as images and video, in the coming hours and days.

Technical Specifications

  • 8MP iSight camera
  • True Tone flash
  • 1.5u pixels
  • f/2.2 aperture
  • All new sensor

New Features

  • Same pixel count, but increased image quality, pixel micron size, etc.
  • Apple-designed image signal processor
  • New phase detection autofocus makes autofocus 2x quicker (FocusPixels)
  • Continuous autofocus while shooting video
  • Optical image stabilization
  • New "cinematic" stabilization mode for video
  • Record 1080p at 30fps and 60fps
  • Record slow mo video at both 120fps and 240fps
  • New native time-lapse capabilities
Credit: TechCrunch
Credit: TechCrunch

The release date for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is September 19th, but Apple will be taking pre-orders on the 12th. Both come with either 16GB, 64GB, or 128GB of storage, and prices range from $199 to $499. What do you think — is video from cell phones getting to be of such high quality that you would use them for filmmaking? Maybe not features, but shorts and web content? And if not today, do you see that happening one day?     

Your Comment

54 Comments

So, will the stills from the iPhone always going to have a man with a blue shirt as watermark?

Just kidding.

September 9, 2014 at 2:33PM

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Thanks sir, you made me laugh! Hahahaha

September 9, 2014 at 2:44PM

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Gustavo Fonseca
Video Editor
83

You are amazing

September 9, 2014 at 5:01PM

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Dominik Belancic
Cinematographer/Director
256

But he comes in different poses....

September 13, 2014 at 12:54AM, Edited September 13, 12:54AM

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Ryan Gudmunson
Recreational Filmmaker
626

The camera must be defective! Look at that huge dust speck on the sensor at the bottom that looks like a guy. Oh wait, that is a guy. ;-)

Seriously though, those prices look pretty decent.

September 9, 2014 at 2:34PM, Edited September 9, 2:33PM

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Moore's Law. I think We're on the cusp of a revolution not unlike what we saw with the 5DMkII and how it disrupted the traditional camera market. This disruption has been less abrupt and jarring, but the tools of making quality video is getting less and less specialized and more and more compact. Sure, you can't get Cooke quality glass to the masses yet, but a lot of projects we pay the bills with don't require that high of a level of image fidelity.

September 9, 2014 at 2:37PM, Edited September 9, 2:37PM

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Actually, there are ways of using full size pro lenses with the iPhone, See this article and video clip about a filmmaker who used an iPhone to make a full length feature film: "Uneasy Lies the Mind". He used an iPhone adapter that enables the use of professional full size lenses. The video shows him demonstrating it:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2572764/Uneasy-Lies-The-Mind-fea...

Only problem might that each iPhone version is a different size and shape and adapters for one might not fit the later versions.

September 12, 2014 at 5:33AM

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Christopher Erswell
Video activist
81

Are those pricings based on 2 year contracts?

September 9, 2014 at 2:41PM

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Kyle Popovich
Editor, Writer, Director and DP
83

Sadly, yes.

September 9, 2014 at 3:21PM

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Daniil Deych
Director, Director of Photography, Editor
93

Ouch, now those prices don't look quite so good...

September 9, 2014 at 11:16PM

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No signs on waterproof right? and whats the resolution recorded in 240fps? is that 720p, 640x480 or 320x240?

September 9, 2014 at 2:49PM, Edited September 9, 2:49PM

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Amila C
VFX Compositor / Filmmaker
161

720p/240fps 1080p/60fps... And yeah I was really hoping for waterproof...

September 9, 2014 at 3:22PM

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Angus Lyne
Filmmaker and VFX generalist
322

Yes and thanx for the info Angus. Me too. And there is great if there was an stylus with the 6Plus. there are so many missing parts for apple when multitasking also. Apple pay and few more features are not most worth for 70% of countries. and they need to target the Entertainment and Day today users. I'm personally buying this because of the larger display and the slow motion feaures.

September 10, 2014 at 3:07AM

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Amila C
VFX Compositor / Filmmaker
161

Not bad on the pricing front. Great that video will be available in 1080p @ 60fps. And to think Canon, a camera manufacturer are still pumping out cameras that don't have this as standard.

September 9, 2014 at 2:57PM, Edited September 9, 2:57PM

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Neil Every
Writer/Director/Story Consultant
203

Took the words right out of my mouth.

September 9, 2014 at 3:24PM

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Will Watkins
Cinematographer // Editor
272

It's reached the point of absolutely ridiculous that Canon/Nikon cant even accomplish giving us the specs of a $300 device that is tiny in comparison and does everything else. I'm really hoping Apple or GoPro can make a full sized camera that can take Canon/Nikon lenses and just blow these moron camera companies out of the water.

September 9, 2014 at 9:10PM

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Ryan Farner
Film Fan
81

I can't decide if the abrupt end to this article is a clever joke about the live streaming problems, or just an amazing coincid

September 9, 2014 at 3:08PM, Edited September 9, 3:08PM

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Alex J. Withers
Writer / Director
142

Doing a timelapse with a camera requires actual work, or using a program to turn a shot to slow-mo requires actual work, and then they do this phones, who do all the work from you, stealing all the credit... It makes me a little bit sad.

September 9, 2014 at 4:33PM, Edited September 9, 4:33PM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1927

No Waterproof.. aahhh but really and truly its really the Nexus four so aahhmm welcome to 2012 Apple!

September 9, 2014 at 4:42PM, Edited September 9, 4:42PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2363

Steve Jobs is probably rolling in his grave right now there's no 4k

September 9, 2014 at 4:44PM, Edited September 9, 4:44PM

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Anthony F. Marino III
produce shoot edit
307

The reviews on 4k for the Note 3, especially editing and storage constrains have not been flattering. It has to come, but I don't think we're there, yet. Intro of 240 fps was the trade off.

September 10, 2014 at 6:44AM

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if its not 4k video, i'm not buying the iphone 6. i'll wait for 4k on the 7. Just kidding. Pretty amazing that our cell phones probably will soon be just as good as any other camera.

September 9, 2014 at 5:12PM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1669

When I started reading it I was like: "Really?"
But than it all made sense and it truly is amazing how rapidly phones are advancing. :)

September 9, 2014 at 5:32PM

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Dominik Belancic
Cinematographer/Director
256

When I started reading it I was like: "Really?"
But than it all made sense and it truly is amazing how rapidly phones are advancing. :)

September 9, 2014 at 5:32PM

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Dominik Belancic
Cinematographer/Director
256

The 60 fps 1080 and 240 fps 720 make this a really good companion cam to the blackmagic, C100, 5d, other cameras that don't shoot frame rates like that. Quite honestly for the cam quality is up to a point that I doubt many people would notice a big difference if you've got a couple slow mo shots spliced in of a music video or action sequence.

September 9, 2014 at 5:13PM

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Still 8MP and 1080 max? No 4K? Are we in 2012 still? 240fps is limited to 720 - sure it will come in handy, but 4K would have made more sense and upping the res to 12MP

September 9, 2014 at 5:25PM

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Ogy Stoilov
Director
232

...but this is a cell phone. Is anyone really hoping to get poster prints made of their cell phone photos? I’d much rather have a better low-light performing 8MP camera on my cell phone than a slightly poorer 12MP camera. Plus, I appreciate that the photos take up less disk space on my phone.

September 10, 2014 at 7:08AM

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Ryan Toyota
Graphic Designer / Typographer / Video Editor
1254

I think the lack of 4K is probably a smart choice-- think about it, on a phone with a limited bandwidth connection, where would you be uploading 4k in the first place - YouTube is your only option.. no need for 4k for Facebook or posting to Twitter or Instagram. AND lets think about storage here - you have a fixed drive device and if you've ever shot actual work on 4k then you know that its great quality comes at a high storage price. I thinking a lot of users would suddenly run out of space by filming themselves jumping into pools at 240fps and wonder why the phone sucks... just my .02

September 9, 2014 at 5:48PM

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Scott Selman
Content Creator | Filmmaker | Producer
955

Totally agree.

September 10, 2014 at 7:09AM

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Ryan Toyota
Graphic Designer / Typographer / Video Editor
1254

What amazed me was the unmitigated disaster the live stream was... permission errors, Chinese translation and total chaos...

September 9, 2014 at 7:07PM

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Ken Dobo
Independent Producer
74

The FS700 used to be the go to camera as the "low budget Phantom" for slow motion, will the iPhone6 now replace it? As they've got the same max FPS of 240fps! If so, I'm looking forward to picking up a FS700 on the cheap as their prices tank after the iPhone6 comes out.... ;-)

(I kid, I kid! Of course)

September 9, 2014 at 10:15PM

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David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2307

I can see this easily replacing sport cams like go pros, the high frame rates are a welcome plus for sure.

September 9, 2014 at 10:22PM, Edited September 9, 10:21PM

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Stephen Herron
Writer/Director
1502

With these increased frame rates, it is certainly a good thing they also doubled the storage capacity (though sadly not on the cheaper model). I think NFS readers planning on using this for high frame rate shots should spring for the the 64 GB models at least. (And while they're at it remember to bring lights or limit your shooting to the magic hour). I'm bummed that only the Phablet size gets the optical stabilization. I'm an Apple customer who would LOVE this feature but would never buy one of those giant "phones".

This makes me wonder what will GoPro announce next month. At the moment, the iPhone has beat them in SlowMo, which is kind of embarrassing, GoPro being a dedicated device and all. If Apple had the equivalent of Protune, then my GoPro would be relegated mostly to waterproof shots only. In any case this has to make a dent in GoPro's revenues since probably 98% of GoPro users don't use Protune or care for it. How the general public can stand that excessively artificial sharpness on the GoPro's standard mode is one of life's greatest mysteries. It reminds me of the first digital cameras from the 90's.

September 9, 2014 at 10:43PM

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Jorge L. Molinari
Mechanical Engineer / Family Man / Video Producer
80

100% agree. Now Go Pro have to move on and add some features. I think it's possible see 240 fps at 720p, 23,97,24,25 and 30 in 4k and 60 fps at FULLHD and 2K.

The future it's out ;D

September 10, 2014 at 6:58AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7638

They already have. Look up the Hero 4.

September 11, 2014 at 8:51AM

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Will Watkins
Cinematographer // Editor
272

I know... But we don't know for sure (we don't have a officially communication about this, that I know) Only possible specs...

September 12, 2014 at 4:49AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7638

You forgot to mention they said after talking the front cámera that you will be able to do hdr in video. This could be huge improvement in latitude nobody is talking about

September 10, 2014 at 10:19AM

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A Flat profile or heaven forbid, a 10-bit signal would be nice too.

Still an incredible achievement regardless.

September 10, 2014 at 10:35AM, Edited September 10, 10:35AM

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Jay Mead
Colorist/Paintball Filmmaker/Colorado
147

I think i am going to buy the 5.5 version and then use it in my Cardboard Rig (i made it from the instructions in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjDlfQ-ITz4 )
hope it helps for ultra smooth SloMo. Does anyone kow about the bitrate?

September 10, 2014 at 10:51AM, Edited September 10, 10:51AM

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maerz.maria
SFX
234

I think i am going to buy the 5.5 version and then use it in my Cardboard Rig (i made it from the instructions in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjDlfQ-ITz4 )
hope it helps for ultra smooth SloMo. Does anyone kow about the bitrate?

September 10, 2014 at 10:57AM, Edited September 10, 10:57AM

6
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maerz.maria
SFX
234

I think i am going to buy the 5.5 version and then use it in my Cardboard Rig (i made it from the instructions in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjDlfQ-ITz4 )
hope it helps for ultra smooth SloMo. Does anyone kow about the bitrate?

September 10, 2014 at 10:57AM, Edited September 10, 10:57AM

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maerz.maria
SFX
234

tripple post by me :( damnnn

September 10, 2014 at 11:01AM

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maerz.maria
SFX
234

Get ready for slo-mo in every amateur video for the forseeable future. Slo-mo is the new bokah.

September 10, 2014 at 11:06AM

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Brian Galyean
Producer, Director
154

I think that Bently car ad shot on the iPhone was pretty amazing. I think there are definitely applications where shooting on a phone or something would work and be a powerful tool. Like if you compiled concert footage from different people throughout the audience. The tools with which you tell a story are far less significant than the story itself, and the execution.

September 10, 2014 at 11:32AM, Edited September 10, 11:32AM

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Mike Holt
VTR / DIT/ Media Management
208

That Bently commercial was cool! I think these camera's are getting pretty incredible!

September 10, 2014 at 11:46AM, Edited September 10, 11:46AM

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Mike Holt
VTR / DIT/ Media Management
208

wow 240 fps! crazy!

September 10, 2014 at 11:58AM, Edited September 10, 11:58AM

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Joe Gonzalez
Filmmaker/Editor/Sound Designer
128

240 FPS? I can see people getting an iPhone and just use it as a slow motion camera. Even if you bought it out of contract it would still be cheaper than any other camera that can shoot 240 fps at 720 (besides the GoPro).

September 10, 2014 at 6:15PM, Edited September 10, 6:15PM

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Aaron Allsop
Producer
260

The slow mo features will definitely be useful for shorts and web content!

September 11, 2014 at 5:22PM, Edited September 11, 5:22PM

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They never mentioned at what resolution you can record 240fps officially so wait before actually promoting this feature.

September 11, 2014 at 10:21PM, Edited September 11, 10:21PM

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Yes you can shoot 4k Even with the 5s with the help of apps ! Just look it up in the store and make sure you have enough space on your phone ! Grtz from the Netherlands !!!!

September 15, 2014 at 10:39PM

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I saw a 240fps video posted on a site from an iPhone 6 Plus and it looked like it is 480p only. Very disappointing, was really hopping for 4k capture on the new iphone so I could finally stop carting around both my iphone 5s and galaxy s5 (my current 4k video camera). And all those delusional people thinking it's going to be 240fps 720p stop dreaming.

September 17, 2014 at 9:17AM

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Anthony C
IT Consultant
74

I hope this iphone 6's video are still compatible with my Video slow down software, Video Surgeon, on which I got from their website, videosurgeon.net

September 22, 2014 at 1:24AM, Edited September 22, 1:24AM

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Hey fellas,
Check out the test shoot with the new iPhone 6 at 240fps. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V09shXd22Kk&feature=youtu.be

Even though the results achieved with the phone are impressive, there is some jitter every now and then. Specially when panning / tilting while shooting at 240fps. The experience in post was definitively different since I had to work around compressor, cinema tools (wouldn't conform the native h.264's from the phone, ProRes'ing was crucial) for FCP 7.

September 22, 2014 at 1:57PM, Edited September 22, 1:57PM

0
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Carlos Vargas
Producer / Director / Cinematographer
90

November 12, 2014 at 11:19AM, Edited November 12, 11:19AM

0
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Amila C
VFX Compositor / Filmmaker
161