Apparently, the progression of camera technology in smart devices would never cease to amaze us. With the recent introduction of LG’s V30 flagship smartphone, the South Korean electronics giant set out to raise the standards for smartphone cameras by adding features normally seen in more professional cameras. The appealing options of the device from filmmakers perspective includes 10-bit HDR Image Sensor (now we’re talking), 4K recording, log color profile, 11 stops of dynamic range, focus peaking, two lenses (30mm and 14mm) and complete manual control over the image. Considering that even some mirrorless cameras and DSLRs don’t even have the ability to shoot in Log or with a 10-bit color depth, this is a noteworthy set of features indeed.
But, what would happen if we were to take the LG V30 and compare it next to a formidable filmmaking beast like the RED Weapon? YouTube channel Fulltime Filmmaker decided to answer that very question with their video, showing off how an advanced smartphone camera stacks up against a $50,000 professional cinema camera.
Before continuing the twaddle, it’s important to note that this is not a competition between which camera is better. This title obviously goes to the RED Weapon for a multitude of reasons. Instead, the purpose for Fulltime Filmmaker’s video is to show how far camera technology has come in smartphones and proving how it is possible to get close to cinema-grade footage with the tools you have available to you.
Based on the video, it is safe to say that LG has really made strides with their smartphone’s camera. It’s also clear that the image produced by the V30 surpasses that of industry front-runners such as the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the iPhone 8. What’s more, the dynamic range on the V30 allows the image to have balanced highlights and shadows whereas the log profile with the camera’s 10-bit sensor enabled the color grading with the V30 to match the RED Weapon footage very closely.
While the image produced by the V30 is rather impressive, there are still signs from the footage that remind us of the V30’s place in the camera hierarchy. The V30’s sharpness did not match the more expensive RED Weapon camera (as expected). Also, you can notice an issue with moiré on the heavily detailed road and noise in the shadows.
Despite these issues, though, there is no doubt that the LG V30 is an excellent example of the evolution of technology. The fact that this device that can match the capabilities of mid-tier DSLRs and even some cinema cameras is truly a sight to behold. This goes to show that even if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a camera, you can still produce striking cinematic images. It’s not always about the tools, but how you use what’s available to you.