iPhone 4S VS Canon 5d MKII Video Camera Side by Side Comparison

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by marvguitar, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. marvguitar, Oct 15, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

    macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    Check out the video here:


    ** You can download the full 1080p video if you register to Vimeo(free). It's a good encode, compressed but very good.

    Here's a "fair" test between the iPhone 4S and the Canon 5D MK II. I made a little rig that allowed me to shoot both cameras at the same time side by side. All scenes are perfectly synced together so you can pause and scrutinize the frames! See photo of the makeshift rig in the photo area.

    Video is encoded at 1080p.

    Exposure, shutter speed, frame rate and picture style were matched as close as possible between the two cameras.

    This test shows that the tiny F2.4 lens and sensor on the iPhone are pretty nice. It even got a little depth of field!

    I did not note accurate 5D settings per shot because it's pretty useless in the end for an iPhone comparison... I tried to matched the iPhone so no "Cinestyle" / 24p here.

    Here are the settings:

    iPhone 4S

    - AE.AF locked. That's all you have!

    Canon 5D MKII

    - Canon 50mm 1.4
    - ISO 160 ~ 640 (varied to match the iPhone)
    - F 7~22 (varied to match the iPhone)
    - Shutter 1/60th
    - Auto WB
    - Standard Picture Style
    - 1080p 30
  2. macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Not a camera expert but I think it shows how good the iPhone camera is relative to a DSLR.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    Thanks for that, it's good to know how good the 4S's camera is in comparison. It really takes great photos and video (I've been playing with one myself.)
  4. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    It looks like the difference becomes clear once things start moving - very little motion blur with the iPhone footage.

    Excellent cam on the 4S.
  5. macrumors 68030


    Jun 18, 2010
    There was a comparison with the GSII that didn't put the 4S in a flattering light. DSLR cameras are not known to have the best video recording capability. I believe since Sony manufactures the sensor, it uses a slightly modded one found in the SE Xperia Arc. So thank Samsung, LG, and Sony for some of iPhone 4S' internal hardware capability since they make those things.
  6. macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
  7. macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    Do you have a link to the GSII comparison?
  8. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011
    My test shows that the iPhone is noisy (even in daylight) but it does not bother me. The resolution is sharper than the 5D and it resolves better - almost no aliasing and moire. The dynamic range is not bad at all. Not 5D worthy but hey it's a cell phone!

    The shutter in video mode is out of control... that's were it fell short.

    I tell you if they would allow the camera to do 24p and having control of the shutter it would be a pretty dangerous little beast.

    It's great to be able to carry this tiny 1080p imager in your pocket. I can't fit my 5D in there.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    Thanks for doing that test! You did make a proper effort to reduce the variables, so thank you. However, you should have put a 28/35mm on the Canon if you had one, to match the iPhone's FOV. Just IMHO.

    And yes, I could see the LCD billboard flickering in the iPhone footage. I wonder if you could change shutter speed and frame rate with software? If so, it should be easy to write an app for that.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2010
    Yeah, that's what I find truly amazing, I knew there was no way the 5D would lose to an iPhone, but the fact that there is even a comparison to make is amazing considering what phone cameras were like just 2 years ago.
  11. macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2010
    Thanks for the comparison.

    I've got a 5D Mark II, and sold my compact S90 with the intention of getting the new S100 (mainly for it's 1080p recording which I wanted with a compact), but then the 4S came on the scene and with me wanting to upgrade the 3GS it was a no-brainer to choose the 4S.

    I'm veryhappy at it's video recording quality.
  12. thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2011

    I started with a Canon 16-35mm and it was way to wide even at 35mm. Switched to an 85 but that was too close. The 50mm was the closest. The 5D is full frame so it's completely different than micro 4third and 35mm sizes.

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