Lee Hutchinson has a detailed comparison of Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus and a couple of Sony Alpha cameras; the A7S and A99V. Think $900 smartphone camera vs. $3,000 DSLR cameras.
The comparison matched cameras in Very Low Light, Normal Indoor Light, Outdoors, Zoom and Portrait Bokeh. The winner? The Sony DSLR’s, of course, but with a caveat. The average person would be hard pressed to know the difference.
This year’s shootout comes to essentially the same conclusion as the last: a high-end smartphone camera can under many circumstances produce images that are as good as a DSLR’s images.
Not all the time, of course, and not in every scenario, but it’s an improvement on “the art of good enough.”
On the other hand, state-of-the-art smartphone cameras have for years now been good enough to use for basically everything, and the iPhone has the advantage of being on you all the time. The best camera, as they say, is the one you have with you, and an Internet-connected smartphone remains the easiest way for just about anyone to take a picture of a thing and then share that thing with the world.
That ‘good enough‘ point brings me to another point. An iPhone is a remarkable audio and video production device and most iPhone owners don’t know that Apple’s little smartphone that could rivals most production broadcast devices in capability and quality.
Add a decent Lightning-cable microphone, and the iPhone is an audio recording facility in the same device that can shoot HD video that can be indistinguishable from broadcast facilities.
I’ve been using a new Blue Raspberry mic for the past few weeks and it rivals far more expensive dynamic mic’s which live in a studio. It’s USB-C and Lightning and just works with iPhone or iPad to deliver high quality, low noise pickup. The similarly priced Apogee Digital MiC 96k compares favorably to any condenser mic I’ve used in broadcasting. Both are $199. Plug them in. They just work. The vocal quality is remarkable.
Few iPhone users understand that video taken with a new iPhone also rivals that from expensive video cameras used by television stations for news and commercial production. Yes, it’s that good. It’s 4k video in a smartphone. Even better, that video can be edited– provided you have a good touch– right on your iPhone; audio and video. iMovie works, of course, but I like VideoShop, among others, because it also gives animated titles, slow motion, and other filters. For $2.00.
Your iPhone is a crazy powerful device which does more than a few hundred thousand dollars worth of camera, video, and audio production equipment from just a couple of decades ago. I know. I’ve been there. Yes, the iPhone requires some experience and knowledge of the industry, but with a good touch, a good mic, some lighting, and editing skills, this single device can produce news segments, TV commercials, audio recordings (podcasts, of course), and much more– all of which is better than broadcast from barely a decade ago, and ready for the new generation of 4k video now, and it’s good enough for broadcast today.
All in an iPhone.