The Barriers to Content Creation Continue to Crash Down: The Nokia N8, iPhone 4S, and HDSLRs

This was shot on a Nokia N8 cameraphone (albeit with a solid crew and equipment):

 

This was shot on an iPhone 4S. They're both great films, but what impresses me most about the second was that it a) seems to be largely handheld, and gets great results out of the iPhone's automatic video stabilization, b) cranks some crazy depth of field out of a small sensor, and b) came out just a few days after the phone's release.

 

For more craziness, compare the iPhone 4S to a Canon 5D Mark II, a top-of-the-line full-frame professional DSLR:

 

Is the output the same? No, of course not. The Canon takes in a lot more light, moves more data through its processor, and allows all sorts of manual adjustments the iPhone doesn't. But that's not the point- this is a $200 phone going up against a professional camera that costs ten times as much.

When the 5D Mark II first came out in 2008, it disrupted the digital filmmaking world by replacing $20,000+ cameras with a $2300 one.

In 2010, they packed its guts into the entry-level T3i, letting aspiring videographers get into the game for $900.

In 2011, all you need is your cell phone.

The iPhone 4S and similarly disruptive products are not special because they let kids with phones make Hollywood-quality movies. They're disruptive because a kid can buy a camera, hone his craft, produce something nifty, and get noticed without studio financing, film school, or a giant bag of cameras and lenses to lug around. It doesn't matter how many millions of people upload crap movies from their iPhones- the good ones will float to the top on a wave of upvotes, and we'll meet the next generation of filmmakers.