The iPhone X versus a professional video camera

FStoppers ran a long, side-by-side comparison test, shooting various video modes (including 4K/60fps) on both an iPhone X and a professional video camera.

The video is worth watching, all the way through. In a nutshell, for most use cases, the iPhone X looks every bit as good, if not better, than its bigger, bulkier, more expensive counterpart.

  • DanielSw

    Can’t wait to get mine!

    • John Kordyback

      What made you choose the GH5?

      • James Hughes

        I think he means the X.

        • DanielSw


          • James Hughes

            Did you order the silver or space gray? I ordered the space gray but others have and then saw the silver and thought it looked nicer. Juts curious if you’ve seen them at the store or anything?

          • John Kordyback

            The GH5 comes in space gray? Wow!

          • James Hughes

            Alright now, you pipe down over there.

          • Mo

            Sure. Just add duct tape.

  • Heos Phorus

    first: the GH5 is an entry-level mirrorless camera with lots of dedicated video-functionality, but it’s not a “professional” videocamera. that’d be something like the fs7 or c300.

    second: those shots are cherry-picked in favour of the iphone – obviously a big sensor and a fast lens can make a lot of difference in terms of depth-of-field.

    even under ideal conditions, the iphone footage falls apart – just look at the grass behind the chair or how the iphone distorts the color and contrast of that wall. and then there’s the matter of color grading. the gh5 records in 422 10-bit resolution and offers up to 14 stops of dynamic range when using v-log – that’s far less color compression and 1024 steps of luminance information vs. 256 on the iphone’s 420 8-bit.

    sure, the image quality of the iphone is pretty nice, and has always been pretty nice for a smartphone – especially when compared to a prosumer cam in auto-mode, using a similar field of view and stopped down to compare to the tiny iphone sensor – but that’s usually not the way you shoot video with that kind of cameras, it’s kind of a ridiculous comparison, like comparing a ferrari to a prius in a 30 km/h zone. yes, they’ll both do 30km/h about equally well, the prius might even be more comfortable – but that’s probably not the scenario you bought the ferrari for.

    • GlennC777

      That’s a perfect example of the difference between pixel-peeping tech-wank and what actually matters to ordinary people, even ordinary pros.

      Yes of course there are a range of capabilities the “pro” camera has that the X lacks. But most pros use a variety of gear in their work, and turn to the tools they find most efficient to use as well as most capable. The X is obviously not the most capable, but it may often be among the most efficient (quick, simple, physically nimble, requiring less extraneous equipment to use, producing files that are easy to work with); and it’s clear that it’s capable of recording video that absolutely meets professional standards under a variety of conditions.

      • rick gregory

        I dont think their points are techwank – it’s a good criticism of the linked piece. If you’re just shooting your cousin’s wedding or something yay, almost any iPhone since the 6 will be fine. If you’re doing pro work though, that ‘techwank’ matters, at least in some cases.

      • Heos Phorus

        um, no, highly compressed interframe-encoded h.265 files with only 8-bit color are not very easy to work with in a professional workflow.

        it’s a consumer format that will give you a lot of headache in post production. most editing-software can’t yet process that footage (so you have to transcode it beforehand, which takes time) and it’s not very versatile for color grading. also you can’t turn off that darned image-stabilization, there’s no real audio input, no nd-filters, no manual control over white balance, shutter speed, focus, no custom framerates like 25p…

        so, no, it only meets professional standards under very niche conditions (like when you film something where content is most important – e.g. Harvey Weinstein in a shower or when you’re in a situation where anything bigger than a phone would be conspicious.) but apart from that, it doesn’t even meet the technical requirements of tv-stations for acceptable content.

        it’s a fine camera for vlogging, et. al, you might even force it and make a cheap looking iphone film like “tangerine”.

        i wasn’t criticizing the camera per se. in the hands of a professional you could shoot better videos with it than with a sony venice camera in the hands of a noob. usually the camera is the least of your worries as a pro – light, sound, lenses, set design,… are all much more important for your final film.

        i was just pointing out that this was a pretty ridiculous comparison.

        • John Kordyback

          Well, that just harshed my buzz.

    • Emily


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  • LeL

    Can’t wait to get mine!