iPhone 5C? Yawn. iPhone 5S with 120fps? AWESOME!

 In Gear

Apple made a few major announcements today. They reminded us that iOS 7 (with iRadio) is just around the corner, and touted their iWork and iLife apps which are now FREE on all new iOS devices. More on that in a moment.

Apple’s BIG news came in the form of two new iPhone models: the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C — neither of which should be surprising to anyone who’s read the news lately.

The iPhone 5C is a colorful, plastic revision that contains much of the same technology that powered the iPhone 5. The 16GB model runs $99, while the 32GB model runs $199. The iPhone 5C isn’t so much an upgrade as it is an iPhone 5 replacement.

The iPhone 5S, on the other hand, is a true upgrade. Powered by a new 64bit A7 chip, the CPU is now twice as fast. It runs OpenGL ES 3 so the graphic performance will also see a huge jump. The new iPhone will shoot 720p video at 120fps (we were only expecting 60fps). This means you can now capture very fluid slow motion shots. Awesome!

A 15% larger camera sensor is likely to slightly improve photo and video quality, and the new “True Tone” flash will reduce the usual corpse-like flesh tones associated with the previous flash. There’s also a new fingerprint sensor for added security and privacy. 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299, and 64GB for $399. The iPhone 5S (and 5C) will be available on September 20th.

While the iPhone hardware improvements are nifty (I’ll be upgrading for the slow motion shots alone), I found one of Apple’s first announcements to be equally exciting — [highlight]iMovie is becoming a FREE app![/highlight] Sure, it was only $5 before this morning’s announcement, but with a $0 price tag, more filmmakers are likely to put aside their preconceived “it’s not a pro tool” notions and give the app a try. That means more filmmakers are bound to discover the app’s potential, which is surprisingly vast, and generate more content! Nice!

So, what’s the upshot?

Apple will no doubt sell tens of millions of the new iPhones in very short order. As they do, they will continue to demolish the boundaries to low-cost high-quality filmmaking. Slow Motion shooting and a free iMovie editor are terrific improvements, but this innovation comes with a dangerous side-effect. In about 2 months, YouTube will be overrun with well edited slow-mo videos of people being hit in the crotch with water balloons. You’ve been warned.

What do you think of today’s announcements?  Let me know in the comments!

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  • Anonymous

    When does iMovie become free?

    • According to today’s announcement, users will be prompted to download the free apps on all new iOS devices (starting Sept 20th). No idea if the free apps will be available to existing customers. Probably not, but not sure yet.

  • Trav

    the phone is such a complete YAWN.. if you want 120FPS, go buy a gopro hero and get better for much cheaper. Apple lost a huge amount of customers with this latest announcement.. Overpriced small plastic phones..and more of the same in new colors.

    • Trav, I totally agree with you about the 120fps… but not totally. I’m all for shooting on the best, most appropriate camera available, but sometimes you’ve only got your iPhone with you. With the 5S, you’ve got a device with you that can shoot 120fps. It’s certainly not a revolutionary update, but I will say this…the iPhone 5 wasn’t compelling enough for me to ugrade from my trusty 4S. The iPhone 5S, however, is. Meanwhile, the 5C continues to put me to sleep. Zzzzzzz.

      • Well said Taz. I am upgrading to iphone 5S from 4S also. Cant wait to start making videos in the new iphone. I am still reading your “handheld hollywood filammaking” book 🙂

  • Filmduck

    Hello, is the footage true 120fps or is there repeating of frames to obtain a slow motion effect?
    Also does the latest iPod touch offer the same comparative quality in video?

    • Hi Filmduck, Yup! It’s true 120fps. I’ve been playing with the phone for a couple days, and it seems that as long as you have good light, the slow-mo looks great. I don’t believe Apple announced any new iPod Touches, so I doubt it will shoot 120fps. Perhaps, under iOS 7, it will shoot 60fps (like the iPhone 5)? I don’t have confirmation on that yet.

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