Gear Spotlight

Apple iPhone 8 – Key Improvements for Capturing Better Sledding Footage

The Apple iPhone 8 was released today, and tech-nerds the world over have rejoiced. Now if it came with some bitchin’ aftermarket performance accessories, Apple might stand a better chance of your average sledder taking notice. However, the iPhone 8 does bring a few new features to the table that will help sledders capture better sledding footage, so it’s worth taking a look at what’s new.


Apple iPhone 8 Improved Camera


Apple iPhone 8


The change that will have the biggest impact for a sledder using their smartphone to capture sledding footage is  the numerous changes to the iPhone 8 camera.

First of all, the 12-megapixel sensor on the camera is larger and faster. That’s great news, because a larger sensor can capture more data, and it can also receive more light which means that photos will turn out less grainy on cloudy days.

The camera also has a bigger aperture (1.8f), which is the opening that allows light onto the sensor. This offers the same benefit in terms of light, which means better pictures and video in low-light conditions which are often present in the backcountry. A larger aperture will also help produce a nice, shallow depth of field, which creates that professional looking soft look in out-of-focus areas.

The iPhone 8 Plus has a second, telephoto lens with aperture 2.8f that allows zoomed-in shots that won’t lose quality, as well as providing benefits to Portrait mode shooting.


Apple iPhone 8


Optical image stabilization is new on the iPhone 8, and that’s huge. It will allow for sharper photos and more stable video capture, without degrading the image like a digital image stabilizer will. This should make quality handheld shots easier.

Apple also claims that the autofocus is faster with the iPhone 8, however, you’ll probably still have to pre-focus for fast action sledding shots.

There are some new portrait settings and studio light effects that should be fun to play with. Not something you’ll use for your action shots, but more likely a way to get creative taking static shots of your sled, truck and other things of that nature.


Video Specific Improvments

Wow! With the iPhone 8 you’ll now be able to shoot 4K at up to 60 frames per second (fps). Those are the kind of frame rates you can expect to find on incredibly expensive professional cameras like RED. Now we’re not saying that the iPhone 8 competes with RED cameras, but still, that’s pretty incredible.

For slow-motion shots, you can capture 1080p Full-HD at up to 240 fps! With these frame rates, iPhone shooters will be able to capture really cool slow-mo action; shots like a track churning up snow or flakes falling slowly from the sky. And you’ll be able to crank down the frame rate in editing to really show off a stylish mid-air tweak.


Other iPhone 8 Improvements


Apple iPhone 8


The iPhone 8 offers a six-core chip, which should be significantly faster. Will that somehow make you faster on your sled? Nope. But if your phone runs faster, presumably it will have to work less hard to run your apps and therefore potentially be less greedy with the battery consumption.

Now we know that iPhone batteries (and all batteries for that matter) don’t hold up well in the cold, but it’s too soon to say if the iPhone 8 will be better or worse in that regard. However, Apple claims that their batteries will last up to two hours longer on the 8 than the iPhone 7, so that sounds promising.

And—last but not least—the iPhone 8 is waterproof, which is something that all sledders can appreciate.


Apple iPhone 8


So is the time right for you to upgrade your smartphone? Maybe, maybe not. But if you do choose to pick up an iPhone 8 when they become available, your sledding photos and video that come out of it will certainly look a lot better.


— MS

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