Laying down the gauntlet to gearhead photographers everywhere, Fstoppers has published a post comparing video from the iPhone 6s to the Nikon D750 DSLR, a $2000 camera with a $2000 lens attached. Lee Morris, a professional photographer who uses the Nikon in his daily work, compared video from both cameras and concluded unequivocally that the iPhone 6s wins.
Morris shot video using his Nikon D750 and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. Mounting his iPhone 6s to the top of his DSLR, the photographer was able to conduct his test under the same lighting conditions.
The iPhone footage looked way better than my $3 to $4,000 camera setup… and honestly this footage is kind of depressing to see. It doesn’t just look a little better; it looks way better than the footage out of [the Nikon D750] at ISO 100 at f/8, which should be the highest quality that you can get…
I know what the comments are going to say… you can’t easily put lenses on this camera, or what if it’s low light, the footage is going to look way better on the DSLR. Of course it will… but that’s not the point. The point is that in ideal shooting conditions, a cell phone has much better color, much better contrast, much better detail, a higher bitrate than a professional camera that we actually use day in and day out as professionals.
Morris downscaled the iPhone video from 4K to 1080p in post-production in order to compare the footage with his Nikon, which is not able to shoot at 4K. He appears to attribute the lower video quality in Nikon DSLRs to their decisions not to include high-resolution 4K capture. He challenged Nikon by saying that “4K is the new standard, [so] the next DSLR that you release has to have 4K.”
It’s important to note that Morris isn’t comparing the quality of still images produced by his D750 and iPhone 6s. However, last week the photographer produced a different post and video (It's a bit NSFW), dubbed the “The iPhone 6s Bikini Shoot,” making the point that shooting with a smartphone can provide professional results—as long as you know how to light. It’s a shot across the bow to the many professional and amateur photographers, Morris asserts, who are unaware of how relatively unimportant gear is compared to lighting.