With the recent introduction of the iPhone 8, Apple promises better camera quality in a small but stylish form factor. In fact, due to the latest sensor improvements and newly added features, the iPhone 8 has recently received the highest DxOMark camera ranking for a smartphone to date. But how about the ability to shoot in super slow motion at a whopping 240 frames per second at full 1080p HD resolution?
Apparently, this new feature could not only be great fun to play with but also gives filmmakers the ability to capture some stunning slow-motion videos on certain occasions. The functionality has also caught the attention of YouTube tech-guru Jonathan Morrison who decided to take an unconventional approach while reviewing the feature. Rather than just talking about image quality and performance, Jonathan puts the iPhone’s new super slow motion capabilities to the test by comparing it directly with the mighty RED Epic-W.
During the tests, something interesting came up when comparing both cameras. Unsurprisingly, shooting with the iPhone 8 proved to be incredibly simple and straightforward. By using Apple’s included Camera app, all you have to do is switch to the slow-motion shooting feature and point the camera at your subject.
Capturing super slow-motion videos with the RED Epic, though, seems to be a whole different story. While the $30,000 monster of a camera has an 8K sensor, it turns out that if you want to shoot at 240 frames per second, you have to deal with a significant crop factor that scales the image down to 2K. This degrades the image quality, and even though it still looks stunning, it’s not significantly superior when compared to the slow-motion shots captured on the iPhone 8 IMHO.
Another drawback with the sensor cropping on the RED Epic-W that should be considered is the reduced amount of light that hits the sensor, resulting in unwanted noise and grain. In conjunction with the rule that your shutter speed has to be double that of the frame rate you opt for, the task might become even more challenging and overwhelming as you simply will have to use much more powerful light sources for your scene.
Don’t get me wrong, though. The RED Epic-W is a full-fledged cinema camera used on numerous multimillion Holywood productions, and you can’t just replace with a smartphone regardless how exceptional its camera performance might be.
Nevertheless, it’s remarkable how far the smartphone technology has gone thus far, and with a device like the Hydrogen One being just around the corner, it seems that we are heading towards even more exciting times. In the end, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t matter what camera you use, but it’s more of how you utilize the tools that are currently available at your disposal.