The iPhone 7 Plus has a pretty powerful camera, but how well does it perform next to the industry favorite ARRI Alexa?
Remember back in December when we shared that video by filmmaker Parker Walbeck comparing the images captured by an iPhone 7 Plus and a RED Weapon? Remember how well the iPhone 7, a device that everyone and their grandma has in their pocket, stood up to the $50K cinema camera? Well, there's a new comparison video making its rounds on the interwebs that is similar to Walbecks, only it has two key differences: 1.) it puts the iPhone 7 Plus up against an $80K ARRI Alexa, and 2.) the smartphone clearly gets blown out of the water. Check out the video from Potato Jet below:
I know what you're going to say. You're going to say that comparing an iPhone 7 Plus to an ARRI Alexa is like comparing apples to oranges that have a 35mm CMOS sensor and 14+ stops of dynamic range. It's completely unfair and contrived and stupid, but—just stay with me.
Let's remind ourselves of a couple of things. First of all, what we saw in Walbeck's iPhone 7 Plus vs. RED Weapon video was pretty impressive. Did the iPhone win? Of course it didn't—it's a smartphone from 2016; they have tiny sensors and limited latitude. Second of all, we are at the point in camera tech where people are starting to wonder how well smartphones stack up against cinema cameras.
So no, smartphone cameras are not as good as cinema cameras. We all knew that. However, we're in a time when filmmakers and other image makers are starting to get curious about whether or not they really need super expensive camera gear to shoot films, or if it's possible to shoot films with the same device they use to play Candy Crush.
We're obviously not quite there yet, at least when it comes to the iPhone 7 Plus. Honestly, it'd be really interesting to see comparisons like this with other smartphones like the Google Pixel and HTC U11, which have much better cameras.