Blind Battle #3 – Lumia 920 and iPhone 5 Filming Outdoors while Panning

This is the final battle in this series of comparisons between the Lumia 920 and the iPhone 5’s video recording capabilities. Click on the links to watch Battle #1 and Battle #2.

In this video, we won’t compare stability since both phones are impressively identical. We will take a focus on overall video quality. Since neither phone is digitally zoomed in, comparing sharpness is now valid. However, if you want to look at stability, you can check out the zoomed in version. Read the end of the article to see why it is necessary to zoom in on the 920 in order to have a fair comparison of stability.

Fill out the survey after the break! Answer questions like “Which phone’s color balance looked best to you?” Also, download the full quality video from SkyDrive.


 

Why it is necessary to zoom in on the Lumia 920 to compare video stability

In the last two comparisons, we wanted to see how the iPhone’s digital stabilization compared to the Lumia’s optical stabilization. To directly compare the two stabilization techniques, we needed to make all other factors constant. Some of these factors include the scene being filmed (they were filmed at the exact same time), how they were held (both held together, with the iPhone on top of the Lumia since its lens was furthest to the edge of the phone), etc. One remaining factor however, is the amount of zoom. In order to have a valid comparison of optical vs digital stabilization, the zoom levels must be equal on both phones, as I will prove below. This is the only way to have a perfectly valid comparison, because the only variable left in the equation is simply optical vs digital.

Conjecture: “For both phones to have an equal playing ground in terms of stability, the Lumia 920’s video must be digitally zoomed in during editing to match the iPhone 5’s zoom level.”

Proof (Contrapositive):

As a contrapositive proof, we will try to prove that “If the Lumia 920’s video is NOT digitally zoomed in during editing to match the iPhone 5’s zoom level, then both phones do NOT have an equal playing ground in terms of stability.”

  1. Assume that the Lumia 920’s video is not digitally zoomed in during editing to match the iPhone 5’s zoom level.
  2. Assume that the Lumia 920 has a focal length of 26 mm (source)
  3. Assume that the iPhone 5 has a focal length of around 33 mm (source)
  4. Assume that if you have a higher focal length, your picture/video will be more zoomed in than that of a lower focal length (source)
  5. From 2, 3, and 4 we know that the iPhone 5’s video is more zoomed in than the Lumia 920’s video by default, due to the focal lengths.
  6. Assume that when a video is more zoomed in, it appears to be more sensitve to motion and less stable (source)
  7. From 5 and 6, we know that the iPhone 5’s video appears to be less stable than the Lumia 920’s, since the iPhone is more zoomed in than the Lumia.
  8. Therefore, the iPhone 5 and the Lumia 920’s videos are not on an equal playing ground, since the difference in zoom level makes the iPhone appear to be less stable as stated from 7.

Therefore, for both phones to have an equal playing ground in terms of stability, the Lumia 920’s video must be digitally zoomed in during editing to match the iPhone 5’s zoom level.

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