With every new iteration, smartphone cameras continue to evolve by leaps and bounds in terms of image quality. In fact, cameras found on devices like the iPhone have become good enough to be used as a proper b-roll camera, or even a main camera on set. Despite the advancements in smartphone camera technology, however, many seasoned professionals still refuse to take the iPhone’s camera capabilities seriously, especially when it comes to professional video shooting.
Nonetheless, the team of iPhoneographers decided to take an iPhone 8 Plus and stack it up against the brand new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. The goal of this video was not necessarily to point out which camera was superior, but rather show how close you can get a smartphone to look like a proper cinema camera.
To ensure a fair comparison, each cameras’ settings were matched as best as possible. The Pocket 4K was set to shoot at 4K 24 fps with shutter angle of 180 degrees and Film Gamma Profile enabled.
The iPhone 8 Plus, on the other hand, was also recording 4K video at 24 fps, whereas its shutter speed was set between 1/24 to 1/96 depending on the shooting scenario with the FiLMiC Extreme Flat Gamma Profile. All video was captured using the FiLMiC Pro app for maximum image control on the smartphone.
Lastly, ND Filters were utilized on both devices to help maintain proper exposure, enabling each camera to pull as much dynamic range as possible.
That being said, it’s quite amazing to see just how much dynamic range the iPhone 8 Plus was able to pull off, considering it’s just a smartphone. However, as with all phone cameras, the iPhone 8 Plus could only do so much as it still often showed blown-out skies – particularly in high-contrast situations.
On the other hand, it’s easy to tell that the BMPCC 4K is Camera A because of the gentle highlight roll-off and increased level of detail in the highlights and shadows. In addition, the image from the Pocket 4K is slightly sharper and better saturated than the iPhone 8 Plus, which tends to be slightly too punchy with its colors and sharpness.
Again, it’s no contest that the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K outperforms the iPhone 8 Plus. However, it’s impressive to see just how close you can get a $1,000 smartphone to shoot footage that makes it seem like it was taken on a proper cinema camera with all the bells and whistles on board.