iPhone XS vs Canon C200: Can you see the difference?

The majority that use the iPhone XS agree that its camera is impressive, but how would it stack up against a cinema camera? We’re about to find out.

Ed Gregory just posted a video onto YouTube that pitted the IPhone XS against a cinema camera: the Canon C200. A few weeks back, Gregory picked up the new IPhone XS and was shocked. “It looked awesome,” Gregory says, referring to the camera’s photo and video shooting.

Gregory uses a Canon C200 cinema camera for his commercial shoots — where he utilizes the camera’s RAE lite codec. He’s very happy with his C200, but after using the iPhone XS, he’s questioning how it would stack up against his C200.

“… I took a few videos and found myself actually watching them back on the phone and being pretty impressed. I would then watch a video I shot on the C200 and to be honest I would question which one I liked more. So that was it, I just had to test them out,” says Gregory.

How Gregory tested the two cameras

To keep things similar, Gregory uses a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art lens with his C200 so its focal length will be close to the wide lens on the iPhone. The iPhone is attached to the top of the C200 — while both of them are attached on the DJI Ronin-S.

After finishing the shooting, Gregory put the footage together and puts on a color grade. “The iPhone footage took almost no work to color grade whereas the C200 to a lot of heavy lifting which is one of the joys of shooting in RAW,” says Gregory.

When it comes down to it, Gregory says he is impressed with the iPhone’s footage, but it fell apart when he viewed it on a large screen.

“When viewed the footage on a small iPhone scene they both looked fantastic. I was impressed to say the least but it all fell apart when viewing in full screen on my 27-inch iMac. Too much sharpening meant the details just got lost and all the leaves with details just got smushed together. The C200 still looked great. You can see the results for yourself in the video.”

How did the iPhone XS fair?

Gregory feels the dynamic range on the iPhone is “super impressive.”It’s able to keep the highlights on the bright sun while keeping details in the shadows. This is some crazy multiple exposure processing that’s been done.“

iPhone XS and Canon C200 shot comparison
The iPhone XS’s footage is really sharp — which you may like. The C200 however retains more detail.

In his conclusion, Gregory says the iPhone camera is a smartphone camera and it always will be. That doesn’t mean its abilities aren’t impressive. As Gregory puts it: “Does it come close to a cinema camera? Not at all. Is it as good as a cinema camera, not at all. Is it the best camera I have ever seen on a smartphone? 100%.”