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The Most Unfair Camera Comparison Ever: iPhone vs $250K TV Camera

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You’d have to look long and hard to find a more absurd camera comparison than this. After putting together a very useful video that explains why broadcast TV cameras are so huge and expensive, YouTuber Zebra Zone pit this $250,000 setup against its most obvious rival… the iPhone 11 Pro.

As a quick refresher, the broadcast “camera” that is being used is a combination of several very expensive elements:

  • BlackMagic Ursa Broadcast Camera – $3,000
  • Fujinon UA107 Box Lens – $212,000
  • Tripod and Fluid Head – $20,000
  • Remote Control Handles – $9,000
  • Camera-to-Lens Adapter – $7,000
  • Monitor – $1,800
  • Fiber Optic Transmission Module – $3,000

And in the other corner:

  • The iPhone 11 Pro – $1,000 – $1,350

To be completely clear, this is meant to be a total massacre. It’s not a serious comparison, and Zebra Zone made it as a response to some of the comments he’s heard about smartphones replacing professional gear, as well as some of the other “iPhone vs…” videos he’s seen.

His argument is that an iPhone might be okay 80% of the time—which may be an overstatement—but that what a client is paying for when they hire a videographer is 100% reliability, consistency, and quality. Even in low or mixed lighting. Even if you’re forced to shoot from further away than you thought. Even in all of the situations where a smartphone still falls extremely short.

What starts out as a silly comparison ends as an informative and well thought-out monologue about why good gear is expensive, the real value of properly-used high-end equipment, and how you should approach purchasing more and more expensive gear as your business evolves.

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