Galaxy S21 Ultra boasts two zooms, slo-mo and up to 8K video recording, while iPhone 12 Pro Max has Dolby Vision and great low-light quality.
Samsung‘s Galaxy S21 Ultra is packed with four rear cameras each with a different focal length, offering new creative possibilities for videographers, while Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro Max boasts a larger aperture and bigger sensor pixels for increased low light performance. These are the most popular manufacturers putting forth their very best smartphone cameras so it will clearly be a close race between these two devices.
The iPhone 12 Pro Max has great photo quality, but Apple paid equal attention to video quality. The ability to record up to 4K resolution video at 60, 30, 25 or 24 frames-per-second (FPS), with very low noise levels, while encoding in Dolby Vision high dynamic range color is very impressive. The iPhone 12 Pro Max offers an ultra-wide-angle, wide and 2.5 times telephoto camera on the rear, allowing use in a variety of situations and hybrid zoom allows seamless transitions between different focal length cameras while recording. The unique LiDAR scanner is used to enable super-fast auto-focus, even in low-lighting. Apple’s top smartphone also has sensor-shift optical image stabilization technology for ultra-smooth movement even when subjected to extreme vibrations. Slow-motion capability can record 1080p resolution at 120 FPS or 240 FPS. A night mode time-lapse video option provides Hollywood-style drama to any city scene. Overall, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a great smartphone for recording high-quality video in almost any situation.
Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra has four rear cameras, an ultra-wide, wide, three times telephoto and ten times telephoto focal lengths. This means in one device, the videographer can capture action close and far quickly and easily and choose between the various cameras for creative possibilities, such as shortening perspective with the ten times zoom. Samsung matches the iPhone’s 4K resolution at 60 FPS, but goes beyond to even allow 8K recording at 24 FPS. The slower frame rate allows more light in, which is important with the smaller image pixel size of Samsung’s massive 108-megapixel resolution. Slow-motion video can be recorded in up to 1080p at 240 FPS or in 720p resolution at 960 FPS, four times slower than the iPhone, though at a reduced resolution.
Samsung also includes special software features, but they may be better suited to prosumers than professionals. Director’s View simultaneously shows the view from all the cameras and allows switching which is recorded with a tap of the preferred stream. It’s similar to the effect of a video director choosing from various cameras, but since all of the cameras are located on the same device, the value is limited. However, it is nice to have the option and Samsung devices are always loaded with plenty of choices. Apple tends to simplify the interface, so they are very different approaches.
Samsung Or Apple For Pro Video?
Of course, professional-quality video is a difficult area for a smartphone, because it places these pocketable devices in competition with much larger video cameras with a variety of lenses and sturdy tripods or specialized gear that allows moving shots that remain super-steady. Showing up at a video shoot with a slim cellphone as the only equipment may alarm a paying customer. That is why many will choose to bring the type of traditional video camera expected and reserve the iPhone 12 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra as backup devices for emergency use or to use for special circumstances. There are professional video cameras and gear for any situation, but a specialty item may be rarely used and come at a high price. This is where using a smartphone makes complete sense.
A brief underwater scene may not justify the high cost of a waterproof housing for a video camera, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max is rated at IP68 at a depth of six meters up to thirty minutes and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra has the same rating at up to 1.5 meters. A night-mode time-lapse would mean leaving thousands of dollars worth of equipment out for an hour or more and may require editing afterward, but Samsung’s and Apple’s smartphones can handle this very well and the output is ready for use immediately. Using a smartphone in close quarters and hand-held is significantly easier than bulky traditional equipment and each device features very good video stabilization and wide-angle cameras.
A case can be made for using either Samsung’s or Apple’s flagship for professional video use and both have overall fantastic smartphone cameras. The iPhone 12 Pro Max is a great choice for its clean user interface, top-quality Dolby Vision video, underwater use and low-light situations. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra excels at zoom possibilities and slow-motion capabilities and has the rare ability to record 8K resolution video.
Next: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Vs. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
Source: Samsung, Apple
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