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Checking in on the iPhone 4's video quality


When the camera in the iPhone 4 was first announced, I thought sadly of my Flip MinoHD, and how I might never need it again. If my phone can do solid HD video recording, why should I carry another camera around, small as it may be? But can Apple's phone really deliver solid HD quality in video recording?

Now that a few handsets are sneaking out to early reviewers and early preorders, we can find out. Engadget posted a video with their review, and you can see how it looks over there. Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin has been recording some video, and has shared it in full size over on that blog. And a few videos are starting to appear on YouTube as well, showing off just what the world looks like through the iPhone's video camera. You can see a bunch of iPhone 4 videos in the second half of this post.

So how did it turn out? Here's an old test of my Flip MinoHD (along with some sound issues -- ignore those) to compare. They look pretty close, to my eyes -- both cameras have that weird shuttering issue when showing quick motion, but both deliver solid color and quality HD video.

The iPhone, however, completely wins at macro shooting -- the Flip doesn't have any kind of adjustable focus, so closeup footage works much better on the iPhone. Combine that with the fact that the iPhone allows editing (with the iMovie app) and uploading directly from the phone, and it's bye-bye to the Flip. Unless I need the extra capacity to shoot a lot of HD video at one time, there's really no reason for me to carry both.

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