Ok let’s get the bad news out of the way which is that the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro all have essentially the same 120fps and 240fps of the previous iPhones on their main cameras which depending on the phone is two or three. All at 12MP and all capable of 4k UHD at 60fps and all slow motion capable at 120p and 240p at 1080p. So no new frame rates but a consistent capture across all cameras which seems unique compared to the competition.
The real new thing is the availability of 120fps at 1080p in the TrueDepth or Selfie front camera which allows for “Slofies” as Apple calls them. It would have been more impressive to have the full 240fps on the selfie camera too but they will save it for a future model. 120p is good and lets you shoot funny and compelling content. It is probably the best looking selfie camera image we have seen yet so Apple has an easy head start there.
After several camera announcements where slow motion was a main feature instead of an afterthought, things have been calming down until the next wave which will break closer to NAB 2018 from April 7th to 12th in Las Vegas. There will probably be quite a few announcements in the professional space which is mainly where things heat up when it comes to higher quality resolution at higher frame rates.
We expect Sony to steal the show with probably the a7s Mark III which by any measure will probably retain the low light king title for the foreseeable future. If the a7 III released recently is any indication then a lower megapixel sensor anywhere between 12-16MP Full Frame with the same technology in a stacked sensor will give us a camera so capable that room for improvement will be mainly on the ergonomics, interface and higher frame rates going forward.
Apple has really improved the slow-motion quality of the iPhone with the release of the 8, 8 plus and X phones. The 1080p 240fps mode is not only detailed but has very few aliasing artifacts that were the most prominent flaw of the 7 and 6 variants of the handset when shooting at high frame rates.
While the samples are few and far between, the increase in quality is very noticeable with the added benefit of better dynamic range across the board in highlights and shadows. While more tests are needed it is safe to say that at first glance the iPhone 8 and for that matter the iPhone X cameras are probably the best video smartphones released to date when it comes to slow motion video quality. Well done Apple!
As expected the Galaxy Note 7 was announced this week and has the same camera specs as the most popular flagship phone from Samsung the Galaxy S7. It does have some new tricks up it’s sleeve aside from the customary S Pen. It has for the first time in a Samsung phone an Iris scanner for security unlocking and now USB Type C which many phones already sport.
It is basically a Galaxy S7 Edge with a larger screen, a pen and an Iris Scanner with IP68 Water resistance. We would not take it in the ocean but should withstand moderate immersion and or splashes. This may be the best Note phone yet but it is also the most uneventful in the line since most if it’s specs are already present in the S7 line. The Note phones used to be about the most forward looking specs, this time around Samsung stuck with the proven formula of the S7 which is the #1 Selling Android phone for 2016.
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