ARRI ALEXA Mini vs iPhone 7 Side-By-Side Comparison

Have you ever asked yourself why people are so interested in putting different cameras in such side-by-side comparisons and why do these tests typically spur such vigorous debates and discussions afterward? Probably it’s because some people with deep pockets want to justify the insanely expensive purchase that they have just recently made, or maybe because others want to fool themselves that a camera costing $1,000 can perform equally well as a camera costing $100,000 or more. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure – this won’t be the last ridiculous camera comparison video we see online and probably there’s a good reason for that.

That being said, I really don’t get the point of this video. If it was meant to show the flaws of the iPhone 7 camera, I believe it would be much easier to save the hassle of carrying around an $80,000 ARRI ALEXA Mini around just to show how awesome it’s to film yourself with a fully-rigged professional digital cinema camera while sitting on the floor of your living room.  Meanwhile, what we can clearly see is that the iPhone 7 camera certainly has its shortcomings and limitations, especially when put in challenging conditions.

It’s not that the iPhone 7 has a bad camera that can’t deliver professional looking images. I guess the final result would be a bit different if the test was made in a controlled light environment and performed by a professional crew. We’ve already had the chance to see the results coming from the iPhone 7 Plus in the hands of an experienced DP even when compared with the mighty RED Weapon, so there shouldn’t be any doubts that the iPhone 7 Plus is capable of producing some lovely images.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that this is a built-in smartphone camera with a tiny sensor predominantly meant for shooting home videos, selfies, and whatnot so we shouldn’t even try to match it with the color science, dynamic range, low-light performance and overall aesthetics produced by a full-fledged cinema camera boasting all the bells and whistles on board. This makes me think about the good old days when the Internet was flooded with similar comparisons between the Canon 5D Mark II and other digital cinema cameras or even 35mm film. So ridiculous, but just look where we are now.

What’s most impressive, though, is how fast the technology is progressing these days. I had a friend who was joking on set a few years back that the 10th iteration of iPhone probably would be capable of shooting 8K video at 120fps. As of the time being, it might turn out that he wasn’t too far from the truth. Considering the evolution of digital camera image sensor technology in the past few years, we could only guess where we are headed and what’s waiting for us down the road.

What do you guys think? Drop a few lines on the topic in the comments below.

[Potato Jet]

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  • Pat

    Please, stop. Thanks.