This story was a bit of education for me.  Of course, we all know that there is no way that a Galaxy note 3 cell phone is even in the same league as the industrial video workhorse, the Canon 5D Mark III, right?  Well, right and wrong, depending upon what your needs are.  If all you are looking for is the occasional video clips to use in hybrid storytelling, and you already own a great still camera, well you just may be in luck with the Galaxy note 3.

In this quick camera test Alec Weinstein pits the venerable 5D mark III against the latest blockbuster cell phone to hit the market- the Galaxy NOTE 3. In this test, you the viewer are encouraged to see for yourself which image you like better- that of the venerable $3,500 Canon workhorse or that of a $700 cell phone camera.  Ah, but a cell phone camera that shoots 4K video. This is not a comprehensive test. This is meant to showcase the strength of the Galaxy camera against what should also be a strength of the 5D3.   It is also a test of a Canon that is a bit like an old dog, getting a bit long in the tooth against the latest born new puppy, the Galaxy NOTE 3.  It just goes to further reinforce my observation that we no longer have bad digital cameras, just digital cameras intended for different specific purposes.  In this case, a Galaxy NOTE 3 is a far smaller and much lighter carry than my 5D Mark III.

Test breakdown- this was a basic daylight test comparing the image quality of the two video cameras. The Note 3 was shot in auto mode with the default camera application. The 5D3 was shot in neutral/flat style and treated in post to come as close as possible to the look of the Note footage. The treatment included contrast, saturation, sharpening, some color temp tweaks, and minor exposure tweaks.. The goal of this test is to let the audience decide for themselves the performance of the Note 3 when compared to the 5D3.  I think you would all have to agree, the two come much closer than anyone would have thought possible, given the two cameras in question.  Once again, a testament to the speed and strength of technological innovation in the world of consumer electronics.

Mind you, everything is certainly not heaven in the Galaxy NOTE 3 camp when it comes to color grading.  It is no accident that Alec Weinstein grades the 5D Mark III footage to match that generated from the cell phone.  Still, I would imagine using this camera phone for the capture of a few seconds of short clips so how much color grading would you really need?  Certainly something to consider.

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