The stock Camera app on iOS has gradually improved over the years, but it still lacks many of the features that are important to those focused on iPhone videography. In this week’s Friday 5, we go hands-on with Filmic Pro, the best advanced video capture app on iOS.
If you’re serious about video, then you should also be just as serious about audio. Filmic Pro features a handy audio meter that is prominently displayed on the right side of the app while in landscape mode. The audio meter works with all of the iPhone’s built-in microphones, but it’s also capable of monitoring externally connected mics, such as the Shure MV88 (review).
iPhone X users will especially appreciate how the audio meters in Filmic Pro look on the OLED display, which makes it appear as if it’s part of the iPhone’s bezel.
The waveform monitor allows you to easily judge the brightness of your image by providing an abstract look at what’s currently in frame from left to right. It’s a great way to see if there are areas in frame that are too light or too dark.
Update: see note about OIS in comments.
If you’re using a stabilizer like the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 (review), then you’ll want to disable the camera’s built-in image stabilization so that it doesn’t conflict with the hardware stabilization provided by the gimbal. There’s no way to disable stabilization in the stock Camera app, but Filmic Pro allows you to easily do so from its settings.
Manually pull focus
Filmic Pro comes with on screen focus tools, but for a more cinematic look, use the app’s manual focus ring to pull focus. You can even set focus markers to pull focus to a precise point.
Focus Peaking is a feature that’s normally found on mid-range consumer to high-end video-centric cameras. It’s a tool that helps you ensure that a subject is in focus by highlighting the in-focus areas with a special color that stands out from the rest of the frame. Focus Peaking in Filmic Pro takes it a step further by removing color from the frame, while highlighting in-focus areas in color. And if you enable the focus assist toolset, Focus Peaking will automatically engage while manually pulling focus.
I could go on and on about Filmic Pro, as it’s one of the apps I use the most on my iPhone (and iPad). If you’re a fan of iPhone videography, but often feel limited by the options found in the default Camera app, then you should definitely consider Filmic Pro. As a side note, if you’re someone who’s intimidated by Filmic Pro’s advanced feature set, I think you’ll like what those folks are currently cooking up…more on that later.
Filmic Pro is $14.99 on the App Store, and is a universal app for iPhone and iPad. Would you like to see in-depth tutorials about this powerful videography tool? Sound off in the comments below.
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