My iPhone4 Experiment

I was at the Apple store recently. A shiny new object caught my attention. It was a handheld device that looked like no other. No, it wasn’t an iPad. No, it wasn’t a new iMac. Instead, it was the new iPhone4. I went to the Apple store to get my son’s Macbook pro fixed and after that was taken care of, I began to explore. This new communication device looked interesting.

I freely admit I use a Blackberry with Verizon. I started playing. I was most interested in the video capabilities of the new phone. The screen resolution was outstanding. It played YouTube videos flawlessly and crisply. Even in a crowded store, I was able to listen to myself talk in one of my videos (my wife says I do that all too often!).

My daughter then showed me how to use it as a video camera. “Dad, push the touch-screen button that has a video camera on it,” she said. And I’m the video expert. “Thanks sweetie,” I replied. The camera has two lenses; one on the side you dial numbers, and the other on the opposite side. If you want to take video of yourself talking, just push the button to record. Really simple. Easy to switch sides too. Then I learned that if you are talking to another iPhone4 user, you can see each other and video chat.

I decided to put the video capability to the test. I wanted to see how this portable device took video. I shot a quick video in a crowded and noisy store. Watch the video below to see the results.

When holding the camera close, the lens gives you a slight fish-eye, distorted view. When holding the camera at arms-length, you get a nice frame from your head to your waist. The problem is that when you’re that far away, the built-in microphone picks up all the ambient sound. Not ideal for quality audio in an attorney video.

Lastly, you’ll notice that the frame is very narrow and does not take advantage of the full 16×9 hi-definition aspect ratio. I do not know if this is because I was shooting video holding the phone vertically, or whether it changes if I hold it horizontally.

Is it convenient? Yes. Does it have good quality video? Yes. Audio? Only if you’re holding it as if you’re talking on the phone.

One other cool feature that I always advocate not using: the ability to directly upload your newly made video to YouTube. So why did I upload this video experiment to my Lawyers Video Studio YouTube channel? Precisely because I wanted to see the quality of the new iPhone4.

Let me know your experience with your new iPhone4 and what you think of the video qualities.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog!

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3 Responses to My iPhone4 Experiment

  • Jim Reed says:


    Great post. I LOVE my iPhone 4. I haven’t tried it yet but I think you could easily plug an external microphone in to the iPhone 4 to get better audio for your videos. I will check on this and let you know but I think it should be easy…..

    James B. Reed
    NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
    Ziff Law Firm, LLP
    Office: (607)733-8866
    Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
    Blogs: and

  • Gerry,

    Do you think the audio would be _much_ better if the recording situations were different (i.e. not the noisy Apple store) and more staged lighting?

    Obviously, Apple would like you to buy the phone to test it, but I’d like to give it a run here as well.


  • I think the audio is good if the phone is held close to your mouth. As with any mic designed for close range, the further you need to hold it away from you in order to get good video means that you’ll have poorer quality audio. There’s no way I saw to put your iphone4 on a tripod mount; at least not yet. Also, the phone doesn’t take advantage of the full range of HD bandwith which is both good/bad. Good, because it needs less time to process and upload. Bad, because it’s in a 4×3 aspect (almost square) and doesn’t take advantage of all HD video that all video sharing sites now allow.

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I think that video is the future and you’re looking 5 years down the road, I think that the importance of television and radio are going to diminish and the importance of internet is going to rise. I think that anybody seeking to get a competitive advantage in their market needs to take the initiative and work on that now. And this is an opportunity to get in ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage.

Steve Kramer
Kramer Law Firm