‘American Idol’ shoots on Apple’s broadcast quality iPhones

The producers of “American Idol” have sent home studio rigs to the signing competition show’s contestants, so that they can shoot the remaining episodes of the season. The kits are comprised of a three-camera setup, which includes three iPhone 11 Pros, a ring light, and a tripod.

Just Sam performs remotely on "American Idol" using an Apple iPhone setup
Just Sam performs remotely on “American Idol” using an Apple iPhone setup

Brian Heater for TechCrunch:

Here’s Apple, which is naturally more than happy for the opportunity to showcase how the smartphone can work in a pinch:

We know that people are relying on their favorite shows while staying at home, and we are happy to be a part of that process with the team at American Idol. iPhone offers a unique solution to deliver broadcast quality video, in the palm of your hand, while keeping production staff and on-air talent safe and in their homes.

Peter White for Deadline:

American Idol showrunner Trish Kinane, who is also President of Entertainment Programming for producer FremantleMedia North America… and her team of around 45 people started putting together a plan to film the contestants in their own homes, including sending each of them lighting equipment, wardrobe and the latest iPhones so that they can film it themselves.

“These are kids who are really used to iPhone technology, they are really familiar with it and use it every day. In the end, we decided rather than send them some complicated camera that you really need a camera operator to use, we would go with the the technology that they’re familiar with. These top of the range iPhones are amazing. It wouldn’t surprise me if we were using iPhones in the studio in the future,” she said.

Mills added that ABC was working hand-in-hand with Apple. “We are blessed to live in a day and age where we have technology, even if this had happened five years ago, I don’t know if it would be possible. There is a real can-do spirit here that is exciting and exhausting, it’s been fun to figure it out.”

MacDailyNews Take: As people learn new cost-effective yet high quality ways of doing things remotely, these new techniques will remain in use long after the COVID-19 pandemic is nothing more than a distant bad memory. No smartphone comes even remotely close to the video quality offered by an Apple iPhone.


  1. I can say the the quality is outstanding – makes what The Voice is doing on Microsoft teams look like it is crappy low res. American Idol is doing a great job on this and it is really amazing.

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