Above are some of the stock video clips I've been shooting on various cameras edited together.
- Top - Olympus OM-D E-M5 + m.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 zoom. OK - decent footage. Better than previous Olympus cameras I've used with more options. Not particularly sharp though.
- Second - Sony A7 II + Voigtlnder 20mm and Nikon Series E 100mm lenses. Again OK, but somewhat hampered by the AA filter on the sensor. Certainly no better and indeed slightly worse than the Olympus footage for sharpness.
- Third - Nokia Lumia 1020. I have to say when I saw these clips I was mightily impressed. Heavily processed sure, but the kind of uses I'm shooting these for i.e websites etc. they will look great. Now it's no real surprise that a small sensor can produce great footage, professional video cameras have been doing it for years. However, I've only shot video with the Nokia very rarely and usually indoors, so this outdoor stuff in good light was a revelation.
- Bottom - Two clips shot with my Panasonic CM1 Smart Phone in 4K. I have no idea what Panasonic are doing to these files (I've put the exif data between the clips) but I can actually play them (with a bit of a stutter) and edit them in iMovie, though the final output goes down to 1080 HD. The two YouTube clips however are 4K straight off the camera with no editing. Again this is very impressive. 15fps is a bit strange, but if you play them in the full 4K, you will see how good they look.
Now I'm sure video buffs will tell me why the Olympus and Sony footage might be 'better' but it's obvious looking at these clips that the Smartphones produce more attractive looking and sharper footage. Now I'm sure that there is a lot of processing going on, because both the Nokia and Panasonic files are actually smaller than I would have thought. The CM1's clips being way smaller than I would have expected. So presumably a lot of compression going on. But the library I'm uploading these too loves them and takes everything. Click this link - https://en.fotolia.com/search?p=148423&k=&filters[content_type%3Avideo]=1&submit_x=10&submit_y=12&order=creation to see what I've been shooting for sale on the Fotolia site.
Now I've always suspected that a lot of what is written about video on the photographic internet has to to be taken with a pinch of salt. At least in terms of image quality. I'm have pretty simple requirements for video. It should be sharp, have a visual impact and be simple to produce. After all, it's just me and a tripod creating this stuff. I'm not making movies, just producing landscape / location/ travel clips that show where I've been. I've been doing it for years, the difference is I'm now shooting this stuff to sell.
Obviously, in terms of any serious video production, smartphones aren't an option, but for what I do they may well be almost perfect. The wide-angle, lots of depth-of-field 'restriction' suits what I'm shooting very well. And for me, it's all about how these simple clips look on a website. I'm currently producing 10 second clips with no camera movement and for that the Nokia and the Panasonic work just fine. Today I'm going to see how well the IBIS in both smartphones works for some hand held footage, which if it does will make my life a lot easier (and my back happier!) All of the above has been shot using one of my (pretty weighty but very stable) Manfrotto tripods, but carrying that and the Mirrorless cameras + lenses around is something I'm hoping to avoid.
In fact when I shot the Sony A7 II footage, I was struggling to carry the whole lot after a few miles of walking and I hid the tripod in some bushes near a road, walked back to car without it and went to pick it up later. I did find carrying it all somewhat of a burden, so if the Smartphones work hand held, then I'll be very happy.
So, some interesting results and I'll be going into these results and the implications of all this for me in future posts.