Over the past week I’ve been comparing the iPhone 14 Pro to the GoPro Hero 11 Black. At first glance that might sound like a quirky proposition, but in reality, it’s very real world. Even more so with adding a new ‘Action’ mode to the iPhone 14 series. That new mode basically takes the 4K sensor area, and then cropped into it a 2.8K image, and fully stabilizes it.
Of course, stabilization on phones (Apple or otherwise), is nothing new. But there’s a substantial difference between the stabilization of yesteryear that’s designed for casual walking, and that designed to stabilize mountain biking or an all-out running sprint. Both of which I test.
In the test video above I dive into all the below in various modes (action and non-action):
– Walking Test
– Running/Sprinting while tracking a cyclist
– Underwater footage (pool)
– Underwater footage (ocean)
– Slow-motion footage (cannonball, obviously!)
– Night general footage
– Night footage while walking
– Wind audio/mic testing while cycling at speed
– Mountain biking footage
– Drone testing
– Driving testing with different camera options
– Running through the airport to catch my flight because I’m always late
Thanks for this video. It’s very exciting stuff. Cant wait to see the plethora of iphone chest mounts 🙂
Indeed. I’d love to see just a super-low-profile Peak Design case to GoPro mount adapter (for chest mounts), or, a super-low-profile Quad-lock case to GoPro mount adapter.
I primarily use Peak Design cases these days, though, I know Quadlock has redesigned their cases to be thinner I think, in the last few weeks. I haven’t tried those yet.
Thanks, Ray! Knew I could count on you for some legit fast/sprint recording tests compared to some other vids I’ve seen. The iPhone looks really good so far, just 2 questions.
1 – Is there any difference in stabilization when holding the phone directly in your hand vs having it mounted since it takes some of the shake away?
2 – I know it requires significant light, so indoor use is generally out (fine with me), but what about overcast/cloudy days? How’s the quality?
1) It swings both ways. In the case of having something mounted (like to a bike), it generally makes it worse for most stabilization, since your body actually absorbs quite a bit and acts like a mini-gimbal. All my tests were handheld atop the mount (except in the pool of course, but ocean was handheld). Hand-holding the mount is probably a wash compared to just the camera, from my testing. Namely because the mount can add slightly more sway, while concurrently adding a bit of weight (stability).
2) Generally pretty good on both. GoPro has long sorta-jokingly-but-not-jokingly told their sponsored athletes that the best shots to give back to GoPro are the ones on sunny days. That’s true not just from a camera sensor standpoint, but of course also just from a scenic perspective. I find no matter the camera, overcast days will look flatter/etc, but both units perform fine there. For indoor usage, the more recent GoPro’s are pretty good during daylight hours, but not useful at night indoors (for example just a dim light). Whereas the last few iPhone’s are mostly solid there.
Thanks for being a DCR Supporter!
Just wanted to thank you for the (attempted) drone footage. It made my day. Anyone who doesn’t normally watch these videos, you need to take a look at this one 🙂
+1 great video. Love the Good Samaritans “helping” with your footage.
There must also be a number of traumatised cyclists on that road – watch out for dogs, birds and … vloggers. Shane Miller puts up some cracking videos of magpies chasing him – is an angry Ray in pursuit next??
What about battery stamina for the iPhone while shooting videos?
What is that strap on your bicep?
So basically, you’re not going to use an iPhone as action camera because it’s too big and you’re not going to use a gopro as every day camera because you don’t have it with you every day.
Both can technically do both, it’s just not convenient.
But you had a fun day, from the looks of it. So it’s worth it to compare.
As an everyday camera I think the iPhone would win hands down anyhow. It has optical zoom and better dim light performance, not to mention the bigger screen to improve ease of use.
For me, iPhone did shockingly well at this. Audio also seemed better in several situations. Worries me putting iPhone as risk from durability viewpoint, however, i guess cases and mounts can help with that. It astounds me what they can pack into these phones, including the satelite help feature.
Something I noticed about this video was how pixelated it was at certain points, and I think that’s because of YouTube and/or my internet connection. Is there a final cut of the video you uploaded to YouTube that you’d be willing to share as a file?
Hi there – impressive comparison. Any chance you had time to review the DJI cosmo Action 3 as well and cross-compare against the GoPro 11? Asking because I am heading out on a trip including Hawaii in two days and can’t quite make my mind up – seems like GoPro has a better picture and more resolution (clearly visible), but DJI packs better waterproofing + quick chargeing, with a more competitive pricepoint. Would love to hear your take!
“That new mode basically takes the 4K sensor area, and then cropped into it a 2.8K image, and fully stabilizes it.”
This disqualifies the iPhone for me
Great video. Smiled a lot at the drone test. One thing that stuck out on the video, especially during the mountain bike ride was that the iPhone footage seemed noticeably more pixellated away from the centre of the picture when movement got faster? Like it was struggling to resolve the detail and suffering from more compression artefacts? Is that coming through to you too in the original videos or has it come about in the post video production, or even perhaps the video play software at my end?