iPhone 12 Pro Video Tested Against a Pro Camera

We all hate to admit it, but the most popular photo and video camera in the world is the iPhone. The iPhone 12 Pro was just released, and I decided to put its video cameras to the test by comparing them to the Sony a7S III. The phone did surprisingly well. 

To take a deeper look into both of these cameras, check out the video above. Obviously, the a7S III is a better video camera in almost every way, but the 4K footage out of this phone is absolutely incredible. Surprisingly, the stabilization on the iPhone 12 Pro's standard "wide" lens is so good, you may not need a gimbal anymore. 

For the average person, the cameras built into the iPhone 12 Pro will probably produce the best photos and videos they've ever taken. For professionals, the iPhone will be a valuable tool for specific situations with adequate lighting. Of course, the Sony a7S III is "better," but I'm not going to choose between them; I'm going to keep and use them both. 

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24 Comments

Tom Mills's picture

Very informative, thank you Lee

Jerome Brill's picture

Transferring files from anything Apple has been a pain for years. This is the one areas they would rather have you stay in their ecosystem then to make it easy. Windows started pulling up import windows with some devices also but you can still skip it and just open it up as a drive. Much easier for creatives to pick and choose where their files go.

Momchil Yordanov's picture

The only iPhone I had was iPhone 4. That was years back. I took like 100 pictures with it on a trip in the mountain. When I decided to download them, you know, like people do, with a cable to a computer, the adventure started. I cannot remember if it demanded me to download iTunes or the computer was not recognizing the phone, or both. About 1 hour later, pictures were NOT downloaded and I was "consulting" people on the phone how to make the most simple operation ever, that was never a problem with any other phone I used... I see they are at iPhone 12 now. God bless them. That's probably MONTHS of frustration I saved on this alone...

michael andrew's picture

I ran into the same problem, I needed to use my iPhone 11 for some video angles/B roll, and the footage was great, however I could not get the footage onto my computer. I finally was able to upload the files onto my Dropbox account and that took forever because the phone times out so I had to keep my finger on the phone for an hour. Never again wtf

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

"but the most popular photo and video camera in the world is the iPhone"
Proof?

Tammie Lam's picture

Since it's just flickr - take it with a grain of salt: https://www.flickr.com/cameras

Patrick Rosenbalm's picture

Yeah, really and I been on Flickr since 2012. They been saying that since 2010. Seriously the top seller on the planet is Samsung from what I can find out and has been for a long time. Biased Apple user? Looks that way.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_mobile_phones#2019

Lee Morris's picture

I believe Samsung sells many different phones under different names but apple only sells "the iPhone"

Anthony Cayetano's picture

Apple should do a direct-to-storage with an external device via lightning with their Pro line. That alone would make a world of difference.

Tammie Lam's picture

Not bad at all. The Pro Max model should come with a slightly better sensor as far as I remember.

Can U's picture

His mac friend doesn't know about the Image Capture app on any mac? You don't need to import into the photos app. It's fast and easy to use and has been around forever.

Wouter du Toit's picture

Airdropping or sharing on iCloud are also two options, and you don't even need to import anything, it's on your mac already.

Joel Hazel's picture

If only Airdrop worked on Windows and .. syncing to the cloud so you can re-download to your computer? That’s not a realistic workflow for most people.

I love Apple, already ordered the iPhone 12 Pro ... but their current solution is terrible on every level. Especially considering they market themselves to creators.

Steven de Vet's picture

I do understand the difficulty with apple and windows together, getting images or files from the iPhone to a windows computer is just a nightmare, no arguments here.

But, it would have been interesting to also see how much time it would take to send the same file using airdrop to a Mac.

the strength of apple doesn't lie in having 1 iPhone. it lies in having multiple apple devices, they work well together, it's what it is designed for. I can throw loads images and massive video files between my iMac, Macbook, iPad, iPhone within seconds using airdrop, far quicker than plugging in with usb's, SD, etc. if you are within their ecosystem. it works incredibly well.

Again, I understand it's a nightmare for many who want to use apple and windows together. But it's not where the focus of apple is... should it be better? yea, it probably should be..

Florin C's picture

To lessen the transfer headache, I upload to OneDrive using the app on the iPhone. I then grab it from my OneDrive folder on my PC. Still takes a while, though, but it works 99% of the time. The 1% is due to files freezing when uploading and you have to Pause, then Resume at it starts again.

barry cash's picture

I missed it where is the pro camera? Let alone the gimbal, lighting and script but who read the article anyway?

g coll's picture

Hey Lee, wondering what you did with your old phone?

Lee Morris's picture

putting it on ebay. you want it?

g coll's picture

How much bro?

Lee Morris's picture

256gb. It's got a small crack on the upper right and a large crack on the back. Iphones in this condition seem to be selling for around $250-$300. I also have a battery case for it. Asking $300

Neu Porabno's picture

Lee Morris Next time.. just launch Image Capture! MAC OX X standard app which is designed to transfer images and videos between the iPhone (or other cameras) and the hard drive!

David Vivian's picture

As we're all warming up to the technological glory that is iPhone 12, I'd like to remind that even a 50% larger cell phone sensor is still 6 times smaller than the diminutive (and much maligned) micro 4/3rds sensor format.

Marc Perino's picture

You have to use the "Image capture" app. It is built in. And is pretty simple. Drag&Drop.
Although I cannot comment on the speed.

Doug Stoveken's picture

I'm so glad I stayed until the end... The part about file transfer from the iphone to a computer is one of the biggest reasons I'm hesitant to buy another iphone. It's so, so bad at file management.