Among the enticing new features of the Apple’s latest flagship iPhone X, the constantly improving video functionality seems to be a key aspect of the device that continues to attract the attention of more and more content creators who want to dip their toes into smartphone filmmaking. With its dual 12-megapixel camera setup, built-in image stabilization, and ability to shoot in 4K at 60fps, it’s now easier than ever to produce professionally looking footage from a device that literally fits in the palm of your hand.
That being said, have you ever wondered how does the video quality of the iPhone X stack up against a proper cinema camera that ranges in the tens of thousands of dollars? Well, the next video produced by the YouTube channel Potato Jet sought to answer this question by comparing footage shot on the iPhone X and the mighty RED Dragon.
Before diving into the comparison, it’s worth getting one thing out of the way. It is clear that the iPhone X is inferior to the RED Dragon since the primary function of an iPhone is not for capturing 4K videos professionally.
The RED Dragon, on the other hand, is a fully-fledged cinema camera used in multimillion productions all over the world and can outdo the iPhone X in virtually any filmmaking scenario one could imagine. Apparently, this comparison is not meant to determine which camera is better, but rather compare how close the iPhone X can match the quality of the RED Dragon under certain circumstances.
To compare the two cameras, both rivals were set up side-by-side to record the same subjects and edited in the exact same fashion. Other than the cuts, there was no post-processing done to any of the footage (no color correction/grading, extra sharpening, etc).
Even though the differences between the two devices are quite obvious, it’s amazing to see how much quality you could get out of a camera that fits in your pocket. The iPhone X’s ability to shoot with such a high dynamic range coupled with well-made optics provide sharp images that are exposed well enough to hold up against the footage from the RED Dragon.
One challenging shot in the comparison includes filming a sunset while keeping the subject exposed. It’s no surprise that the RED Dragon excelled in this scenario, although looking at the iPhone X, the results are not bad at all. The fact that the colors of the sunset pop while the subject is still properly exposed is a testament to the new camera technologies developed by Apple.
Of course, there are a few flaws in the iPhone X’s camera that can’t be overlooked or misinterpreted. For instance, you’ll notice that on the edges in some clips there are clear signs of moiré artifacts while in others the highlights are completely blown out. Plus, there are no RAW recording options on the iPhone X which drastically limits the creative control over the captured image. In addition, the camera suffers heavily in low-light conditions producing color noise and grain, which in most cases makes the footage unsuitable for professional use.
Despite these flaws, the iPhone X has a lot to offer for its small form factor and amazing capabilities. While it’s not a RED or ARRI camera by any means, and given the right shooting situation and lighting conditions, filmmakers should delight in the fact that it has become even easier to take great shots without having to break the bank for an expensive professional camera.