The iPhone 13 Mini vs. 35mm Film | Camera Shootout
Comparing the likes of a modern technological wonderpiece to that of an older 35mm camera. Why not?
Camera shootouts are perhaps our favorite type of videos to create. It puts technology to the test, begs the question of whether an upgrade is truly necessary, and slams any dreaded overhype. It’s true — a creative never truly knows the product outcome without a hand-ons approach. Which explains why we were up at 5am the morning when the latest iPhone 13 series went on sale, just to test the latest flagship as soon as we could. We call it hunger, others call it insanity.
A few months after the iPhone 13 series came to be, we recently launched a beloved nostalgic-driven, yet timeless collection of carry products with none other than the legends themselves — Willem Verbeeck (@willemverb) and his girlfriend, Allison Sionn (@allsnsmn). Long Weekend is a line of soft goods that exists between the worlds of streetwear and outdoor adventures. Products that are versatile and comfortable, while elevating your outfit because we believe that you should never have to choose between style, function and durability
If you’re unfamiliar with Willem’s film photography, you should be. He captures modern day portraits of people and lifescapes in their truest form; boasting unbelievable tones and a range of good light. He sells an online course with us, showcasing the basics of film photography and how to start your journey. His approach is soft spoken — humbled, yet informative. It’s one of our most popular courses that people rave about (including our team). Check it out below.
After we launched this beloved line (that sold FAST by the way, props to our gear team and to Allison and Willem for the killer first few days!), we wanted to meet with the couple for a super rad video to collaborate on YouTube. Ideas came and went — then something stuck the landing. Why not compare the latest iPhone 13 Mini to the likes of an old 35mm camera? Two creative tools that share relatively nothing in common? Duh!
So — lo and behold — here’s what we found amongst our frantic shootout. Be sure to check out our video, as well, for a better visual understanding.
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What We’re Working With
The iPhone 13 camera we're using for this purpose is the “Mini”. How well does that hold up against Willem’s Bessa rangefinder, and vice versa? That answer is entirely preferential and dependent on which film stock or settings are implemented from either. For the sake of color consistency between the rangefinder and the 13 mini sensor, we’re using the Kodak Color Plus 200 film stock. Color Plus is similar to the iPhone’s vibrant color profile, emulating that clean clinical sharpness Apple is widely known for. We’ll also be editing the iPhone images ever-so-slightly to match the 35mm scans to really hone in the comparable details in each. Note: look for the edited iPhone shots in the video, below they are NOT edited.
The iPhone is able to produce more data information and digital range, but there is soul in film that boasts an indescribable value often difficult to replicate. Digital and film are relatively easy to tell apart because of this, marking the distinction between what’s preferred and what’s needed. It’s a lot easier to shoot with a phone than with a 35mm camera — the number of frames within film are severely limited compared to an iPhone with up to 256GB storage. However, if you’re in need of a more intimate (and dare we say “vibey) feel to your image, consider film as an option.
I mena, there’s quite a number of variations but not by an exponential amount. The Color Plus 200 is much more saturated than the iPhone 13 Mini, marking color a distinctive difference. Light and shadows are seemingly dynamic on both examples, with the iPhone being more detailed upon first glance.
Backlight is always a struggle with cameras, no matter the experience of the photographer. You have to stand in a precise spot to retain detail and raise shadows in tandem with the sun. Film often struggles with backlit subjects, but produces a better overall color profile than the muddiness of an iPhone.
Here are some more comparisons. Which do you prefer?
The cool thing about film — if it sucks, there’s only disappointment after the shoot, not during. - Willem Verbeeck.
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Colorplus 200 Color Negative 35mm Film
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