Filmmaking has revolutionized, thanks to the prowess of technology that even smartphones come equipped with. IPhone is one of the fine examples when it comes to videography using smartphones. Indeed, over time it has a strong history that stands evidence to good video performance. Today the best options for shooting with iPhone are iPhone 11 and the Pro version, available at $699.
With such a device in your hand, you can shoot 4K videos at 24, 30, and 60 fps. The three new models shoot video at 1080p at 30 and 60 fps. Even if you are still holding onto an iPhone 7 or a 7 Plus, these are capable of shooting videos at 30 fps at 1080p. This model even has a selfie camera that has the capability to record at 1080p. Hence, iPhone filmmaking is easy to achieve, even for HD videos, putting in slow-motion effects as well. The models 6s Plus and higher even have image stability built in to counteract shakes and allow exposure for a longer time.
5 Essential Tips for Shooting with iPhone
While all you need to do in iPhone movie making is to put it in video mode and start recording, here are some useful tips to consider. These pertain to ensuring steady shoots, the right lighting conditions, how to make the most of the inbuilt features and handy accessories that are easily available in the market.
Smooth the Video Image
One of the essential steps is to ensure that your video shots are stable. While selfies and stills are easier to take with a steady hand, filming larger moments might require additional support. To ensure your shots smooth, it is best to invest in a tripod or any other stabilizing tool.
Even though your device probably has optical image stabilizer property, you could invest in an accessory such as OSMO mobile that is a stabilizer tool for iPhones. Beastgrip Pro is another alternative that comes with a modular rig and camera adapter system.
If you have nothing else in hand, ensure that you are holding the device close to the body and try resting elbows on a surface. If there are bounces and shakes, try to absorb them with the body.
The angle that you hold the device will also affect the uploading and editing of shoots and images later on. For instance, if you wish to upload videos on YouTube, horizontal orientation is ideal. However, for Instagram posts, vertical videos are better. While informal sharing among friends does not need much planning, the orientation can affect the editing process. It is best to hold it in the same manner when you wish to edit and put together a couple of video clips.
Avoid Digital Zoom
Digital zoom is best to avoid when you are about to shoot movie on iPhone. Some models like the iPhone 7 Plus comes with a dual-lens fitment that allows optical zooming. In other cases, the cameras will simply digitally zoom which can make the images appear pixelated.
If you have an iPhone 11, the main camera offers 1x magnification while at an ultra-wide-angle it offers a 0.5x magnifying effect. 11 Pro also has a telephoto lens which comes with a 2x magnifying effect. When you film with such lenses, you will get the optical quality that is best even for iPhone movie making.
In case you are using a lower model of the iPhone, it is best to stay at magnifications such as 0.5x, 1x, or 2x. However, with good lighting and the 11 Pro model, you could shoot at 3x and maintain a good quality of your shoots.
You could pinch the screen to zoom, but it does not produce results that are precise and can disturb the video frame. With the latest iOS 13, there is a zoom dial feature included. This allows you to zoom in or out with the use of a finger or thumb and keep the motions smooth. All you need to do is tap and hold when the magnification button comes on. You can slide the dial either way for zooming in or out.
Shoot in Favorable Light Condition
If you wish to shoot a movie on iPhone, it is best done in natural light conditions. However, you need to prevent overexposure as well. Also, backlighting is a technique best used when you shoot sketches of people. However, for indoor shooting or in low light conditions, you need to add supplemental lighting to ensure a professional end result.
All iPhone models come with a camera flash that is built-in. However, professional lights will go a long way to improving video shoots. One example of a lighting accessory is Westcott Ice Lights which are versatile. However, there are budget offerings as well such as lighting kit accessories that are under the range of $100. If you do not have studio standard lighting and are indoors, use the sun by positioning the subject facing a window.
If your video looks overexposed through the monitor of the camera app, it is possible to reduce exposure to people’s faces. For that, you need to fine-tune autofocus and auto exposure on your device. Tap on display to get the yellow focus square and adjust the exposure. You can then use fingers to adjust the brightness icon until the subject’s lighting looks optimal.
Also, during a video shoot, the expiration could keep adjusting or refocusing. This can lead to jitters in the footage. Thankfully there is a focus lock for the exposure function. This helps keep focus as well as exposure constant during the recording.
Get Better Audio with External Mic
When shooting on iPhone, you need to ensure that onboard mic recording would be good enough for your film. For that, the subject needs to be close to the inbuilt microphone. At the same time, there needs to be distance enough for focus and framing to look good. For easy solutions, especially when one opts for vlogging, wired headphones that are sold with the devices are the better options.
Other options include a shotgun mic that you mount on the smartphone or plug into the Lightning port. Microphones that subjects can clip onto clothes are also helpful.
There are powered mics available that can work as external microphones. Some shotgun microphones are perfect options for vlogging.
Slow-Motion & Time-Lapse
In iPhone movie making there are ways to add amazing effects, mainly through the built-in slow-mo and time-lapse feature. For instance, if you are shooting someone in skiing action, it would look great if you add on slow-motion effects. When it comes to settings on the camera, you can set the shoot at 120 frames per second with a resolution at 1080p. Alternatively, you can reduce the resolution to 720p and record videos at 240 frames per second.
To record slow-mo in high definition, ensure that lighting is high around you. If you are using artificial lighting, it might add a strobe-like flicker to the recording. Hence, such videos indoors can be tricky to master. Also, when you playback the videos on your gadget, they will look great but on a larger screen like a TV or a computer will bring out the flaws.
The time-lapse feature is beneficial if you are showcasing a busy event or a work environment that is bustling. To use the seamless time-lapse feature, you need to put the device on a stand or tripod. Before you start it, set exposure and lock focus for natural and smooth lighting changes. Also, don’t forget to put on the airplane mode.
When you have an iPhone in hand, it might be all you need for versatile film making. With the effort that Apple has put in for refining the camera technology, it is akin to having your own professional videography equipment. With the latest models, it is possible to film 4K quality video at different frame rates. Indeed, when the version 8 model was being marketed, such high-resolution videography at differing frame rates became the highlighted feature. The sensor in 8 and X models are faster and larger, and the primary camera is 12 megapixels.
Hence, with the new models, any consumer has a choice in the zoom, optical image stabilization feature as well as different frame rates to choose from. One can record videos at 30 fps and at 1080p resolution even on 7 and 7 Plus versions. These versions support selfie shoots at 7 megapixels and can record at 1080p. Hence, you have a lot of options as you work with high definition videos; add on time-lapse or slow-mo features.
Besides the inbuilt features, applications also come in handy to enhance the camera functions. There are also many apps that make editing easy and help make your videos flawless.