We're doing a series of videos comparing our favorite video camera app FiLMiC Pro to the native iPhone 11 Pro's native camera app. And if you follow our YouTube channel you know that we don't think there's much to compare here, however, lots of people are asking and so we're happy to oblige. :)
The first comparison we did was dynamic range. In this test we shot both apps in AUTO to get them as close as possible, and truth be told, they normally do a pretty good job with auto exposure (although they do seem to slightly overexpose a tad). We show all the color profiles in FiLMiC Pro using the Cinematographer Kit (Natural, Flat and LogV2) and compare them to the native iPhone video files before & after color correction.
So what do you think? Any surprises?
The main point for us whether you want to shoot with Log or not is that third-party apps such as FiLMiC Pro give you full manual control over the image and not to mention much higher bit rates - so for us those two things alone make it worth it. But then add in the ability to shoot Flat or Log and it's really a no-brainer.
However, we do think the image quality using the native app has gotten really good with the iPhone 11 - especially in bright light. And so for some things like social media or maybe your kid playing soccer or the occasional quick b-roll shot it can be fine. But for anything else where you're wanting finer control, higher quality video and where you plan on color grading and/or adding effects in post-production, then definitely stick to third-party apps like FiLMiC Pro (iOS or Android). Other options to consider would be MAVIS (iOS only) or the Moment Pro Camera (iOS or Android).
Up next we'll compare electronic image stabilization between the two apps (Update: watch it here), and specifically when using the Ultra Wide lens. As you may know, in the iPhone 11 the Ultra Wide does NOT have OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) which is great for video work. Look for that video coming soon.
P.S. To learn more about smartphone video and mobile filmmaking consider enrolling in one of our online courses. Here we do deep dives into not only apps like FiLMiC Pro, but also the craft & techniques of cinematography that can apply to not only smartphones, but any kind of camera you might shoot with now or in the future. Thanks!