Thursday, Oct 06, 2022, 10:04 iOS: Hardware

Video: iPhone 14 Pro Vs. GoPro Hero 11 – How Good Is Apple's Action Mode?

Apple has equipped the iPhone 14 (Plus) and iPhone 14 Pro (Max) with expanded camera capabilities. In addition to the smartphones' improved hardware and the photonic engine, there's a new feature: the Action mode. This feature should sort for fluid, continuous, stable camera perspectives during video capture during activities such as running or bike riding – or any other instance (such as on a boat) where extra motion occurs during video capture. According to the first test reports, the feature works quite well in most situations, meaning that Cupertino's newest devices are encroaching upon an indication for usage previously reserved for action cams.

The iPhone 14 Pro In A Practical Test Against The Go Pro Hero 11
But can the iPhone 14 Pro really hold the line against a capable action cam? CNET investigated this question and set Apple's new smartphone against a GoPro Hero 11, currently considered to be one of the best in the action cam device category. The experienced filmer Justin Eastzer attached both test objects to a chest harness and then took both through a challenging parkour course, including a boulder route. Then, the two cameras were taken on a bike ride over a plastered street. Both devices recorded in 60 frames per second, with the iPhone 14 Pro's Action mode active and the "hypersmooth" setting enabled on the Hero 11.

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Image Stabilization – Only Small Differences
The Action cam was slightly superior when it came to image sharpness and saturation. However, this assessment doesn't take into account that the Hero 11 was capturing video in 4K resolution, whereas the iPhone 14 Pro only did so in 2.8K. There were few differences in the quality of both cameras' image stabilization. The GoPro camera only performed significantly better when compensating for shakes in high-impact situations, which it is almost entirely capable of. According to Eastzer, this also makes the camera usable in more diverse situations than the iPhone 14 Pro – thanks to the camera's wide angled lens, which creates a fisheye effect. The tester considered the most significant disadvantage of Cupertino's smartphones to be that Action mode necessitates excellent lighting. Image stabilization only worked to a limited extent in certain situations where the environment was too dark.

Conclusion – Action Mode Suitable For Every Day Use
Justin Eastzer lauded the iPhone 14 Pro's action mode as suitable for daily use. Those needing a camera for video sequencing social media content or other hobbyist purposes should find the Action mode to suffice. However, those involved in extreme athletics or competitive sports may not find themselves entirely convinced by the camera's still quite handsome quality. Especially directly out of the box – for which there are a great deal of accessories, Apple's smartphone is clearly much less robust than the Action cam. The iPhone 14 has countless other merits, though, of course. After all, it's more than just a camera – it's a versatile smartphone. Although comparing the two devices' action cam features is interesting, the comparison does neither product justice.

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