iPhone 8 Vs. $30,000 RED Camera: Slo-Mo Showdown

The iPhone 8 now shoots 1080p up to 240 fps which is genuinely an impressive feature. This is especially true when you consider the fact that currently there isn't a single DSLR on the market from Canon or Nikon that can shoot at those frame rates. The current highest is from the Canon 1DX II which can only shoot up to half the frame rate of the iPhone and at a cost of $5,999. In most cases, if you are planning on filming at 240 fps then you may need to look at some very high-end cameras with very high-end price tags. This is where the RED Epic W comes into play and Jonathan Morrison, a prominent YouTuber, decided to compare it to the new iPhone 8.

The first thing you may notice is that although the footage from the iPhone is incredibly smooth, it's not as detailed as the RED. The colors are also a little less pleasing to look at in comparison to the RED and less accurate. Having said that the iPhone may be more practical when it comes to its slow motion features because the RED camera severely crops the sensor. Even with a wide-angle zoom like the Sigma 18-35mm, Morrison was forced to stand much farther away relative to the iPhone to get the same framing. Also, in low light, the RED camera does start to show a lot of noise in the footage. Morrison does, however, admit that this was not an entirely scientific test.

Check out the video above for the full comparison.

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13 Comments

Since Lee Morris's comparison of the Iphone 6s and Nikon D810, it's apparent that phones have come a long way and will only get better. I use them more and more to film so many things and in most cases the footage is detailed enough for my social media usage. The small footprint and convenience makes me choose it 8/10 times over a DSLR.

Usman Dawood's picture

I agree, I’ve started to use my iPhone much more for filming and photography. The convenience factor is huge and makes all the difference in so many circumstances.

Thanks for the comment.

Glen Grant's picture

No doubt depending on individual needs a smartphone is a capable video tool.
My gear bag has 4 Nikon Pro DSLR's in it but my Samsung S7 from my pocket is my go to for most all my limited video needs. It is compact and capable enough.
The tides are changing rapidly.

David Bengtsson's picture

The Sony A6500 and Panasonic GH5 packs quite a bit of good video features though for under $2000. Think its a bit unfair to not mention those. They both do at least 120fps at 1080p, the same as the 1dx and they also have log profiles.

So if you "compare" the 1dx and RED to the iPhone you should at least mention the mirrorless ones imo.

Usman Dawood's picture

Both the GH5 and the A6500 are fantastic cameras my article wasn’t aiming to diminish mirrorless. Panasonic and Sony have been doing great in regards to adding features that’s pretty easy to see. I was simply highlighting the fact that cameras from Canon and Nikon aren’t there yet in many areas.

I don't want to be rude but Canon is way behind every other manufacturer on video subjects. Most of their cameras don't even have really usable 4k. Nikon is doing a much better job than Nikon with their newest offering. If video is important, you have to switch to a mirrorless anyway or of course to a real video camera (but much more expensive).

Their are some cameras that offer really nice slo-mo like the Sony RX100V.
Sony RX100 V

Video Recording
3840 x 2160p: 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
1920 x 1080p: 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, 24 fps
1920 x 1080p: 960 fps, 480 fps, 240 fps

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 4K offers High Speed Video 1080: 120 fps.

The new Sony RX10 One of the most interesting features of the RX10/RX100 series is the super slow motion capabilities with speeds as fast as 1000fps (40x slower) when selecting the dedicated HFR mode. With normal 1080p recording, the camera can manage a more than decent 120fps. With HFR the quality decreases in comparison to the normal Full HD mode but still remains good considering the high frame rate.

Usman Dawood's picture

You're not being rude at all you're presenting an opinion backed up with information, I welcome it, thank you.

Mirrorless is currently offering more effective options for many users and I agree with you. When it comes to Nikon vs Canon, I think it's debatable. Reason being that Canon is the only company in the world that offers 4k 60p in a DSLR with the widest sensor coverage on the market under $10k. Not to mention dual pixel focus in that camera. The codec is a bit of an issue but the offering is still very good. Nikon, however, offers one of the best all-round cameras ever made with the D850. Canon v Nikon is still debatable.

I was simply attempting to highlight the point about how iPhones have incredible features but high-end DSLRs are still yet to receive many of those features. The point wasn't to try and diminish mirrorless in any way but to just give some context relative to DSLRs because that's what most people currently use.

Nikon has very bad video af but excellent 4k footage. The Canon 5dmk4 has excellent video af but a 1,74 crop and the 4k quality is rather bad. You have already mentioned the old codec. Even my Sony a6300 (awful ergonomy but great sensor) and many other cheap mirrorless options beat the crap out of the Canon videowise.

Usman Dawood's picture

I had the A6500 but I had to get rid of it I just found it unusable because of the rolling shutter. What do you think has it bothered you at all?

I think it just depends what you shoot.

The biggest gripes I have with the a6300/a6500 are the fiddly body and the useless screen when recording 4k. In bright light, you can literally see nothing on the screen because those fools at Sony dimm it down. I don't care about rolling shutter because I always pan slowly and not very often. Panning shots (on every camera) make me nauseous.

Great comparison. It would have been nice to shoot both simultaneously for a more even comparison. And of course the real test would be to watch it on the right gear vs. my laptop :)

Chris Kennedy's picture

Yeah since I got the Helium sensor the crop factor is even crazier then it was with the Dragon. For 2k it's a 8.45mm image circle (3.33x s35 crop or a 4.81x full frame). Which is why I have a few wide angle s16mm lenses to help with that crop factor.

Also outdoors and the footage that noisy? Helium outperforms Dragon's signal to noise ratio by a least a stop to my eye. I'm sure they didn't do a black shade calibration on the RED for that exposure and/or sensor temperature.