After deciding to move forward with a G12 a short time ago (since Canon hasn’t announced their mirrorless edition yet), I started running some video comparisons between that on the G12 and that on my iPhone.  Video is the one portion that I hadn’t really looked at when it comes to a small portable camera, and my own experiments to see what would make the best fit would also serve as good content worth sharing on the blog as well.

So, today, I am sharing the second in a series of video comparison tests both to share my own thoughts on the video quality, and to enlist the thoughts of others on video quality comparisons as well.  The purpose here is to see if there is much difference in quality when I make a manual change to white balance.  We can make comparisons in studio lighting conditions all we want, but the truth is, in the real world there are cloudy days, sunny days, conditions with tungsten versus flourescent lighting,and I know what happens in photographs.  Does the same happen in videos when you can versus when you can’t control these options?  Let’s find out:


Results:  So, the video from the iPhone had some nice cloud definition, but otherwise looked rather flat.  I had the bonus of getting a car to drive through the wet street near dusk, so some nice reflections from the lights bounced off the street.  It gave a good idea of what will happen when two different sets of lighting conditions are in the same space (tungsten from the headlights, and cloudy conditions overhead).  It’s a boring video and will surely not make it to Cannes, but does reveal more of the limitations on the iPhone.

One minor flaw in my capture efforts should be noted though – I recorded the video in portrait mode instead of landscape mode – if you look at the first post from the “Video Wars” series – I did record in landscape mode and it showed as auto-rotating, so put aside the wonkiness in the aspect ratio for now – that was operator error! 🙂


Result:  I noticed immediately when switching to the G12 that the foreground area got a lot more visible.  This, of course, is due to the fact that I was able to set the the white balance to cloudy.  This way, the foreground is more color accurate.  The trade-off is that the clouds in the background lose their definition.  When I first started looking at the YouTube video for comparison, it looked flatter than I remembered it on the LCD, but even then, it’s still got more detail than the iPhone equivalent.

Verdict:  Here, I think the nod has to go to Canon.  For a highly portable device, it still allows me to get high quality video and more control over exposure, to include ISO and white balance.  We’ll see how the rest of the testing goes, but right now it’s a dead heat – Round 1 went to the iPhone and Round 2 goes to the Canon G12.  Who will be the winner in Rounds 3 and 4?  We shall see? Does the iPhone still have the lead, or has Canon leveled the field?  Would love to hear the thoughts of everyone reading, so feel free to chime in either in the poll, or via the comments:

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