Eyes & Minds.

Posted July 19th, 2011 by Ben

So a few days ago I mentioned in passing the new iPhone SLR Mount as a way into discussing how a new wave of iPhone apps might impact on the digital filmmaking process.

Buy the The iPhone 4 SLR Mount at the Photojojo Store!

Whilst some of you may coo with lust at this, I imagine most people share my initial response of utter derision. Ungainly, unbalanced and cumbersome are just three words that instantly spring to mind. However Ashley, the smartest Blaine in the box, was quicker to see the potential.

“A DSLR is a mobile computer. iOS devices are amazing mobile computers. Many other devices have “converged” into the iPhone (MP3 player, cheapo stills & video cameras, slide viewer, DVD player, phone etc)…

…Upload to Internet, tether to laptop via WiFi, apply filter processing whilst shooting, geocode shots, record accelerometer motion & compass direction whilst shooting video, monitor feeds from other cameras whilst shooting video etc etc etc… (most of this just quick ideas off the top of my head).

And certainly an iPhone based DSLR doesn’t have to be horribly unbalanced as this alternative prototype suggests…

However, besides the lens, there are two other vital things that a DSLR camera has that an iPhone doesn’t. The camera in the iPhone has a sensor that’s 4.54mm x 3.39mm. The sensor in the Canon 5D is 36mm x 24mm. Almost more importantly a DSLR shoots onto SD memory cards which are easy to swap over. Once one card is full you replace it and continue shooting, with a full-up iPhone you’d need to either stop shooting and wait for the footage to download or have two iPhones…

Though none of this is to argue with Ashley’s basic point, plugging an even better handheld computer into the back of a DSLR is nothing but a bonus. Rather than attaching lenses to my phone, what I’d really love to have is a dock for an iPhone to connect direct to the DSLR.

That way you’d lose none of the image quality or comfort of shooting whilst gaining all the many benefits Ashley imagines. With a powerful wireless device connected directly to the DSLR it should be possible to stream the image live to other iPhones. So everyone with an iPhone would have their own monitor in the palm of their hand. Similarly all the meta data created by the camera could automatically populate out into the script supervisors continuity notes. The DP would be able to call up storyboard images and compare them frame for frame with the real thing.

Can I have that for Christmas please?

  1. Jon Brady

    What a joke.

  2. Ben Blaine

    Thanks for sharing that Jon.

  3. Tom Sykes

    I can see why people would want to do this, but I believe that the cons totally outweigh the pros on this one, ionow in an ergonomic sense with relation to size the iPhone would be a great idea, but I believe that’s the extent of it. Why not just buy a t2i if you have the money for an iPhone.

    I think Park Chan Wook can be commended for his short, but I think all the Rodriguez wannabes need to see some sense in this area as much as I enjoy guerilla filmmaking, not for me I’m afraid.

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