Is the new iPhone 11 camera TRULY “Pro Level” as Apple says? Let’s see…

Earlier this week I sent an email to all the major smartphone manufacturers.

In it I mentioned that as vendors these days flog their phones based on the video / photographic credentials as much as anything else, then it made sense that the only dedicated video / film creation and hardware oriented magazine in Australia should be of interest to them in terms of review and critique.

Depending on the content of the post, we can reach up to 160,000 people via our network of Facebook Groups dedicated to video and all its disciplines, not to mention Twitter, Instagram etc as well as our own, not insignificant number of web / mag subscribers.

And of course, it is a safe bet that every single one of those people have a smartphone.

To date, not one reply.

The iPhone 11

Today – well overnight – Apple announced its latest in iPhone whizzbangery and as usual, it is full of made up technology names with Capital Letters such as Stage Mono, True Tone Flash, Slow Sync, Live Photos, Smart HDR and Deep Fusion.

There is also a claim that it has the “fastest CPU in a smartphone”, like ever, a statement that I and others have reported has nothing to verify its accuracy whatsoever.

I’ll leave it to others to speculate on just how good the iPhone 11 is in the camera / camcorder department on its own merits.  I’ll wait (with bated breath) until I have before I comment.

But I was curious. Apple has released a sort of a specification list of the iPhone 11’s camera, so I thought it might be interesting to compare those side by side with a camcorder. For the full list of these Apple specs, see https://www.apple.com/au/iphone-11/specs/

In the press release, Apple has stated that the camera in the iPhone is “A Pro Camera System for Everyone”, so we’ll put it up against a proper pro camera shall we and see… and the one I chose to reflect portability and connectivity is the Sony RX0 Mk II.  For the Sony full specs see https://www.sony.com.au/electronics/cyber-shot-compact-cameras/dsc-rx0m2/specifications

The Sony RX0 MK II

The Sony RX0 MK II is priced at $949; the iPhone 11 starts at $1249 and climbs to an eye watering $1849. I am mainly comparing video capabilities by the way.

Comparison

Specification

Sony RX0 Mk II

Apple iPhone 11

Sensor Size

13.2mm x 8.8mm

Not Stated

Recording

NTSC/PAL Selector: [PAL] mode AVCHD: 24M FX(1,920×1,080/50i) / 17M FH(1,920×1,080/50i), XAVC S 4K10: 25p 100M(3,840×2,160/25p) / 25p 60M(3,840×2,160/25p), XAVC S HD: 50p 50M(1,920×1,080/50p) / 50p 25M(1,920×1,080/50p) /25p 50M(1,920×1,080/25p) /25p 25M(1,920×1,080/25p)/ 100p 60M(1,920×1,080/100p)10 / 100p 100M(1,920×1,080/100p)10

4K at 24fps, 30fps, 60 fps

1080p HD at 30fps or 60fps

Max Frame Rate

1000fps (HD only)

120 fps (HD only)

Image Stabilisation

Electronic

Optical for 4K, 1080p and 720p

Optical Zoom

No

2x

ISO

125-12800

Not Stated

Slo Mo Support

Up to 1000 fps

240fps and 120fps at 1080p

Autofocus

Continuous AF

Continuous

Aperture

f/4

f/1.8

Shutter Speed

1/3 sec to 1/32000 sec

Not Stated

Focal Length

f-7.9mm

Not Stated

Angle of View

84 degree

120 degree

Megapixel`

15.3Mp

12Mp

HDR Support

Yes

Photos only

Video formats

RAW, XAVC, AVCHD, H.264, HEVC

HEVC and H.264

Transfer Rate

100Mbps

No Stated

Photo while videoing?

Yes (HD only)

8Mp while 4K recording

Waterproof

Yes

Splash only

Tiltable LCD

Yes

No

Conclusion

Hardly “pro level” you’d have to say. Effectively it shoots 4K video, just as say the brilliant little Panasonic VX1 does (at a retail price of $899) or even a DJI Action Camera at $499 (and the DJI has far more versatility).

But “pro level”? Err No.

If you want to have a decent, flexible 4K camera, there are two options there alone that are far cheaper than an iPhone. If you want pro level specs, the Sony RX0 MKII is STILL far cheaper than an iPhone.

So, get a Samsung A20 or similar and a proper camera and you’re miles ahead. Or stick with the iPhone you have already and get a decent camera.

You’ll still be able to waste that 4K video on Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook …

 

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