Ten Ways the iPhone 7 Helps, and Hinders, Mobile Filmmaking

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

With the announcements of Apple’s new iPhone 7, many mobile filmmakers may have noticed that there was no mention of the video capability. While the keynote focused on what the iPhone 7’s new dual camera array can do for still photography, will those features help the mobile art?

  1. The Design. The new, sleeker design offers many asthetic improvements, including embedding the antennas further into the frame. There’s also a cool new Jet Black color, along with standard black, silver, gold, and rose gold. But that design is also water and dust resistant to a rating of IP67. The rating includes IP6x, the highest rating for dust resistance you can give, and IP7x, which means that the iPhone 7 can withstand immersion in water to 3.3 feet (one meter) for up to 30 minutes. But the irony here is that Apple doesn’t include water damage in their standard Apple Care coverage, so that rating may give users a false sense of security.  Apple also warns that attempting to charge a wet iPhone may result in damage to the phone. So, I wouldn’t be doing any underwater filming or action photography while surfing without a protective case.
  2. Upgraded Camera. The iPhone 7’s camera is a single 12MP camera for the same 4K video as before, only with a six element lens and an f1.8 aperture. That makes the iPhone 7 faster and better in low light. Toss in optical image stabilization, and a wider color gamut  and you have the makings of an improved video image. So the resolute remains the same, but there’s improvements in the optical image. And that’s a good thing.
  3. Dual Camera on the iPhone 7 Plus.  The dual camera design offers a wide angle and 56mm telephoto lens, which can work together to provide 2x optical zoom with no loss in quality, and up to 10x digital zoom from there. Apple also gave us a sneak peak of the new bokeh feature in portrait mode. This is strictly a still image feature as presented in the keynote, which they say will be released in a firmware update later in the year.
  4. No Headphone Minijack. While the ability to use lightning connected headphones makes sense, giving users a digital only audio stream, the headphone jack can also be used to plug in an external microphone like the RØDE VideoMic Me. I have one and it works really well for doing grab and go interviews. But removal of the headphone jack, RØDE will have to redesign the mic in order to compensate for it, since the lightning to minijack adapter that Apple will include will make using the VideoMic Me a bit ungainly. That adapter will also likely break under constant use. So in the short run, the change from the minijack to lightning will be a hinderance, but in the long run, it will actually improve the audio recording quality.
  5. Airpods. The cool thing about the Airpods is that the
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