We know that the camera in the Google Pixel and Pixel XL is rated as one of the best in a smartphone. We’ve seen examples of great still images from it and now we’re starting to see some great videography too, including this example from filmmaker Matteo Bertoli. Published yesterday on his YouTube channel, Bertoli explains that he didn’t use any additional lenses to alter the field of view, or a gimbal to stabilize the footage. He did however use a tripod and a Rhino slider to help keep the phone still, and a Shoulderpod S1 hand strap for the handheld footage.
So in terms of the additional equipment he was using a mixture of relatively affordable kit in the case of the Shoulderpod, to more pro-level equipment with the slider. The footage was captured using a combination of the native camera app in the Pixel, and the FiLMiC Pro app which is available for $9.99 currently in the Google Play Store. He edited the footage in Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve to produce the final film. The film is all recorded in 4K on the Pixel, although YouTube compression algorithms may have caused some reduction in the quality of the finest details.
Bertoli doesn’t provide much information about his views on the Pixel’s video capabilities other than to say that he was impressed overall and especially with the dynamic range and level of detail in the footage. He also mentions the effectiveness of the stabilization, despite the Pixel using software rather than hardware stabilization. He does not mention whether he added any stabilization techniques whilst editing the footage, but does add that 95% of the footage was taken using either the tripod or slider. As with the best smartphone photography, Matteo Bertoli is showing what is possible with the Pixel but not what is easily achievable. The Pixel again proves to a be a very good and capable camera when used skillfully and, in this case, along with some additional equipment. It’s great to see a showcase of the quality that can be reached though, and hopefully there will be many more examples to come as other filmmakers try out the new Google phones and explore their capabilities.