We waited long enough and now we have real world samples and comparison tests from the iPhone 7 in regards to higher frame rates. The iPhone 6s was the king of slow motion quality last year and now there were high hopes for the iPhone 7 to continue that reign however what comes down to is a mix of technology stagnation with a measure of slight improvement when it comes to shutter speed control and detail.
The iPhone 7 does 120fps 1080p as well as 720p at 240fps which is the same spec as last year’s iPhone 6s and a continuation of the feature. It has been used in many productions big and small as a crash camera for hard to get shots and some fun slow motion YouTube clips. The iPhone 7 may not be the best slow motion phone out there when it comes to quality but since it is the most ubiquitous; we are sure to see it grace your screen more often than the competition.
In a launch that was mostly subdued, a new camera was launched in August; the Panasonic HC-X1 which is a mid range professional fixed lens ENG or EFP camera with some serious specs to go behind it. For starters there is 4k at up to 60fps a format that we hope to see in upcoming ILCs like the GH4 successor and Sony Cameras. The other is 100fps PAL or 120fps NTSC 1080p which is now a must have slow motion standard for any serious camera.
The qualities of the new Panasonic HC-X1 do not stop at higher frame rates; it features a fantastic 3 independent fly by wire ring system for focus, aperture and the last for zoom which starts at a very wide 24mm to 480mm at the long end or 20x optical. The camera also features a built in ND Filter wheel from 1/4th to 1/64th for effortless 180 degree shooting outdoors.
There was a lot of expectation regarding the slow motion capability of the iPhone 7. Apple has been dominating the spec since the early days on the iPhone 4s. However while the processing and sensor quality have improved; the resolution and frame rates have stayed the same in the iPhone 7. There are huge speed increases and much more memory available to do a lot of things in video but Apple has chosen to stay at the same spec level in it’s latest phone.
The slow motion performance of the phone has improved with every iteration when it comes to quality and it will probably have a better dynamic range rating as well as better overall noise control. The spec remains at the top range in smart phones but it is not pushing the boundaries of what can be done in current hardware. We were expecting 480fps at 720p and 240fps at 1080p as possibly moving forward with the feature.
Panasonic has been quite busy this morning with a plethora of camera announcements. It seems 4k is strongly anchored in the product line matrix by adding the feature on pretty much every product category this year. It seems to throw the message to the rest of the electronics camera industry that 1080p is so last year and that 4k is the make it or break it feature for compact and larger cameras alike.
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