I did some test shooting with my kids walking through crowds and
riding on carousels that was genuinely, shockingly good. It really
does provide a filmic, dreamy quality to the video that I was
previously only able to get with quick and continuous focus
adjustments on an SLR shooting video with a manually focused lens.
That, I think, is the major key to understanding Cinematic Mode.
Despite the marketing, this mode is intended to unlock new
creative possibilities for the vast majority of iPhone users who
have no idea how to set focal distances, bend their knees to
stabilize and crouch-walk-rack-focus their way to these kinds of
tracking shots. It really does open up a big bucket that was just
inaccessible before. And in many cases I think that those willing
to experiment and deal with its near-term foibles will be
rewarded with some great looking shots to add to their iPhone
That sounds right to me.