iPhone 14 Action Mode vs Actual Gimbal – Which One Performs Better?

Apple always makes a lot of big claims when they release new products. That could be studio-quality microphones in their MacBooks or desktop power in the iPads.

This year one of the more intriguing suggestions was that an advanced image stabilization system called Action Mode which combines optical and digital tech could create an image just as smooth as one captured on a gimbal. We definitely want to see if that claim holds up.

Filmmaker ZY Cheng is one of the first to do a real experiment with both a gimbal and the new iPhone 14 running in Action Mode. Let’s check it out.

This is a lightning-fast comparison so you will want to pay attention.

To shoot the test he took a gimbal and mounted a mirrorless camera to it and then attached an arm to the unstabilized part of the gimbal where he mounted the iPhone. This means both shots will have the same exact motion applied to them.

Almost immediately you can see that the Action Mode is no joke. With a simple tracking walking shot the footage is similar.

However, moving up to a run reveals the issues with both.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Camera System

Image Credit: Apple

On the gimbal, you are getting some fuzzy vibrations whenever the shooter’s foot hits the ground. The iPhone manages to handle this incredibly well. However, the iPhone isn’t as good with keeping the horizon level.

Doing a circle around the subject you will see some operational differences.

The camera on the gimbal might take a second to begin tracking since they have some leeway in how quickly they apply the movement. The iPhone, on the other hand, instantly does the trick since it works with whatever you point out.

With a full-on sprint, the Action Mode seemed to do a better job overall creating a smooth image. Now, it still won’t replace a true camera, but the iPhone 14 is getting more and more impressive with every feature they add to the video function.

Are you impressed by Action Mode on the iPhone 14?

[source: ZY Cheng]

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