Trash talking the iPhone 15 Pro camera/video features

I always enjoy this guy as he likes to be contrarian and not just toe the corporate line on product reviews (not just Apple, other stuff too).

Needs to be taken with many grains of salt and understand he is only speaking from a professional filmmaker use, in all other ways he loves the new iPhones.

But you won’t hear this from the “usual photographers” that are Apple fans and don’t really have the technical chops, nor interest, in laying bare some of the real world details.


I’m one of those people that while I appreciate what Apple have achieved, and believe the iPhone camera system is amazing… there has to be a qualifier. It’s amazing for a phone. Or even for a small, pocketable camera. It is not an amazing camera with no qualifiers.

I see a lot of claims that “it’s the only camera most people need” and I can get on board with that, too. But also consider that prior to smartphones with decent cameras, most people didn’t own a camera.

So yes, it is an amazing accomplishment; yes it is all the camera most people need or will use; but as “a camera” it is still very constrained due to the necessities of fitting inside a tiny enclosure alongside a lot of other stuff.

You don’t have to be a professional to see the limitations.


Hmm … A guy that hasn’t actually used the device he is pontificating about.

TL;DR - he sets up and knocks down straw men.

So I’ll pass on his channel.

And I’ll wait for folks like Austin Mann and Sebastiann de With, who both use the actual camera before pontificating and clearly know what they are talking about.

And anyone who cares about video and photography would get a dedicated app (with the manual controls he laments the lack of). The fact that this guy doesn’t mention that makes me wonder about his actual qualifications as a “pro”.

Another straw man example where he clearly shows he isn’t serious about film making is his rant about overheating. He notes that you can record to an external drive to mitigate the issue, and then says that you won’t always have an external drive. Dude, if you are planning a film shoot then if you are a pro you’ll have an external drive, and likely more than one.

As I mentioned in the overview, not everything he says is germaine.

I won’t defend him carte blanche, but let me point out a few things:

His comments are for video, as I recall, Austin Mann and others focus on still photography mainly.

He has an opus of work that includes commercials and short films. That makes he much more a “working pro” than 99% of the people on Youtube that have never done any professional work but love to pontificate on everything.

Having tried to use iPhone for real video work myself, (not family and friends fun stuff or social media crap), I have run into many of the obstacles he mentioned.

Every serious videographer knows about FilmicPro and a handful of other 3rd party apps for video, just like stills shooters know Halide and other 3rd party photo apps.

But the issue is that some hardware and algorithmic/computational videography features are not available to third party apps. You have to use the native iPhone video app and the lack of basic white balance lock and other controls is a huge obstacle.

Apple toutes these products as “Pro”, but won’t give us pro features. It wouldn’t be hard to hide them behind a second level menu so they don’t clutter up the UI for consumers, but at least we could have access.

Much of this reminds me of the die-hard iPad Pro fans that for years have sworn they can use it for anything a laptop can do. Yet, the touch interface that simply doesn’t work for pro level workflows has to be augmented with plugin trackpad, mouse, and keyboard to even come close to be as usable as a laptop and then they still whine about the useless multi-tasking and window management limitations.

I think here he fairly pointing out that contorting iPhones into truly pro level video cameras is an uphill battle. When you are focused on the results, not the tools, the iPhone is not the most cost effective or even viable tool for truly pro level videography.

I agree with that.

Fair point, but he doesn’t get PR or review units like some of the fans. He buys everything out of his own pocket, and I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t buy the iPhone 15 and then does a follow-up with details based on field trials and use.

Quick story: Several years ago I bought a DJI OM gimbal for iPhone because I knew nothing about gimbals other than wanting one. I saw glowing reviews everywhere and Apple was selling them in the Apple Store.

I got one, but didn’t use it much. Couldn’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t right.

I came across this guy’s review of gimbals and found out exactly the limitations of the DJI model and why they didn’t work for me. Everyone continues to sing their praise.

I sold off my DJI and bought one of the other models he reviewed and recommended. All have tradeoffs and he didn’t fully endorse any product, but listed the pros and cons of each manufacturer.

I have been extremely happy I made the change and now use the gimbal as a tool I can rely on when needed instead of gathering dust in the drawer.


I’m glad you find value in his work. For me there are too many red flags to consider him a credible source of information.

It matters not to me if he gets a review unit or buys it himself. But posting this without having actually used the device reeks of click bait. It appears he simply wanted to take advantage of the hype around Apple’s event to drive traffic to his channel. I noted Austin Mann and Sebastian de With as examples of creditable reviewers who take the time to use the product before giving their opinions. (And note that I have little interest in video, but am a hobbiest still photographer. Thus I do not know of a similar reviewer with a focus on video.)

I also found the bit where he goes on about how the EU forced Apple to adopt USB totally irrelevant to a camera review. What videographer is going to care why Apple added USB? It would have been ok to mention it, and then note why USB is of benefit to anyone transferring large files off the iPhone. But this seemed more to promote himself as a contrarian not swayed by the Apple Reality Distortion Field ™ then to provide any value to the viewer with respect to the camera system.

And his going on about how the stock camera app doesn’t cut it is akin to complaining that Reminders isn’t Omnifocus or the Photos isn’t Lightroom. And made me question his credibility as a “pro”, as any pro is going to use a third party video app. He could have said something along the lines, “as usual, the stock Camera app may suffice for casual use, but even with third party apps one does have enough control …”, then discussing what was lacking. Instead, he actually does his viewers a double disservice here.

First, he could have discussed which manual controls are and are not available in third party apps, helping the viewer to understand if this was a good fit for them. Second, he gives the impression that no manual control is possible at all and thus folks who might have found the iPhone a good fit won’t even know to look for third party apps.

I’ve already mentioned how he dismisses the ability to record to an external drive, with the silly assertion that one won’t always have an external drive. While this is a trivially true statement, anyone going out for a planned video shoot will have an external drive.

I got the overall impression that he was trying very hard to show he wasn’t an Apple Fanboy, to prove his bonafides as an independent reviewer. But at the cost of actually providing useful information, and instead batting down straw men.

I do not disagree that the iPhone can’t replace a dedicated video camera, just as I wouldn’t sell my DSLR equipment to use only the iPhone. But a good review would have discussed what the camera both can and can do. This didn’t.

Finally, just as I don’t go to the National Enquirer for news I don’t go to some random YouTube site for technology reviews. Thus claiming that this is somehow an antidote to that is again irrelevant to me. Any credible review (or preview) will stand on its own. I care not and avoid what fanboys (and anti-fanboys) say. But I am interested in reading and watching about what a device can do. That is of value to me. Alas, this video was not of value.

I will just close with one interesting comment - Negative reviews, especially on anything Apple, tend to bring out the defenders of multi-bilion dollar corporations in droves. Yet the real click-bait, and the people that get the huge audience, are the lap-dogs that regurgitate Apple press talking points without questioning anything.

Perhaps an example more to your liking, Quinn at Snazzy labs has been very critical of some of Apple’s features and engineering choices, especially the lack of any realistic right to repair.

His channel is a lot smaller (but still quite large) and he never gets invited to any Apple events in persons.

Someone else, whose name rhymes with “Justine” is a huge tech blogger that i can’t stomach. Pretty much extremely shallow coverage, but a “pretty face” on the screen. Her audience and following is huge and she gets brief mention, by name, by Apple.

So what? I ignore them. You should too. I have no problem with valid criticism of Apple or anyone else.

I long ago stopped paying attention to iJustine and her ilk. I advise everyone else to do the same.

I used to frequent 9 to 5 Mac. But the repeated “What we know about Product X” stories, where what was actually “known” was nothing, put an end to that. So much so I had to do a search for “Mac news sites” because I couldn’t remember the site name.

And I’ll close with one interesting comment. it seems that my negative review of a certain video linked above seems to have brought out at least one defender.

I provided valid criticisms and was met with irrelevant comparisons to iPad apologists.


I haven’t watched the video as I’ve no plans to get an iPhone 15. But it is possible to review a product based on the specification alone.

If I’m reviewing a car and I read in the specification that it has a wheel missing out of the box, and no way to add the missing wheel because of limitations imposted by the manufacturer, then I could make legitimate comment.

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I don’t understand what’s to fight over. I appreciated the main point in the video about the focal tradeoff and that @SpivR introduced me to a name I hadn’t heard of. It wasn’t intended to be the final word on whether the phones are worth buying, for either fun or work.

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No doubt this is true. And if you hunt around on Sebastian de With’s blog you’ll see he does a good job at that as well.

This is not what the gentlemen in the video did. To use your wheel analogy, he basically said there were several missing wheels, and no way add any of them, when in fact you can add some, but not all, of them, albeit via third party products. It would have been useful for his viewers to know this, so they could decide for themselves which wheels were important to them.

Look, I do not think the iPhone would make a good video rig for a professional. Just I don’t think I could replace my Canon R6 with an iPhone. And Apple should be taken to task for not providing a way to access ‘pro’ controls in the native apps.

But, this was a poorly done video from guy who could use the services of a good editor.

I do not recommend you watch the video.

Maybe, but the entire genre of Youtube (and Tiktok, and Reels, and Shorts, and …) is about “quick takes”, “reaction videos”, “hot takes” and other, for better or worse, content designed for the mass market with no patience or desire for thought piece, analytical articles. (What we used to call ‘blogs’ in the post paper age).

No maybes. Are you now defending people like iJustine? If not, then what is your point?

There still exists reasoned well thought out content on the web. Some is free, some not.

I prefer to seek out quality and ignore, as Sturgeon’s Law puts it, the 90% that is crap. (A ‘law’ Sturgeon introduced in 1951! well prior to the ‘post paper age.’ This is not a new issue.)

And to me, this video is well within the 90%.

Others may disagree. And that’s ok. I’ve pointed out what I found problematic about the video. And the best response is that it is part of the online ecosystem of crap for the masses?

Have a good weekend. This horse has been beaten enough.

And that is the way you really need to look at the iPhone. From my perspective anyone that I connect with that sees my phone photos marvels at them. So, for the average user, what more could you ask? If I want to do serious photography I will pull out my expensive DSLR. But to be honest, most of the time I keep a larger lens on my DSLR because the iPhone takes really good photos of the every day stuff.

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Admittedly I am hanging onto my 11 Pro, but I am routinely disappointed by photos of “everyday stuff” that I use it for. As a record of something, it is more than OK. As a taker of “nice photos” is where it commonly lets me down and most of it, I believe, is down to the “clever” processing. Because it has to make decisions and they are not the same decisions I would make.

There are good points in this thread regarding reviews or comments not based on actual experience. Below is a link to Tony Northrup’s video discussing the iPhone 15 Pro cameras. Like Tony, I am a big Apple fan but am a bit disappointed with the iPhone’s photo quality compared to other high-end smartphone cameras.

Link: Tony Northrup’s video - iPhone 15 Pro cameras

Edit: here is the correct link:

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I liked some of the critiques in this video, in particular calling out various claims from the keynote that did not actually show what they claimed to show.

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Wow! Very interesting analysis (and all done without having an actual iPhone 15).

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I was having trouble with Arthur’s link. I think it’s this.


I for one will wait until units appear in the hands of enthusiasts and we can see real pictures taken with the phone cameras. While I agree that spec reviews can be helpful, they are not the end and be all.