Over the past year, I have started using my mobile phone as a primary video camera. At CES in 2016, I actually used it as my main method of capturing interviews with vendors. While the native camera interface is good, there are third party apps that really enhance your experience and make it more like a professional-grade video camera. One such app is FiLMiC Pro.
FiLMic Pro creates a broadcast quality HD video camera out of your smartphone. Even though many smartphones feature at least 1080P HD video recording at 60 fps, you simply don’t have the same control over the camera and its settings as you would with a ‘true’ video camera. FiLMiC Pro gives you that control back. Some of the features it opens up includes variable speed zoom, audio gain control, and variable frame rates (up to 240 fps). You also have full manual control over focus, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, tint and color temperature right on your smartphone.
This week, developer FiLMiC Inc released an update for the app that brings it to version 6.0. It is a free upgrade for existing users but will cost the regular $14.99 if you have never downloaded the app. The newest features include (*indicates availability with iPhone 7/7 Plus only):
- Faster interface with dual arc slider manual controls
- Suite of Live Analytics including Zebra Stripes, Clipping, False Color and Focus Peaking ((A8 processor devices and newer)
- White balance adjustment matrix
- Gamma curve controls for Natural, Flat, Dynamic, and LOG*
- Live shadow and highlight adjustments*
- Live RGB, saturation and vibrancy adjustments*
- Temporal noise reduction up to 1080p resolution*
Now, one thing I really want to point out is that if you aren’t experienced with a DSLR or any camera that has an onscreen interface, FiLMiC Pro will be a bit foreign to you at first. When you first open the app you will be met with the camera display along with various controls on the screen. I would recommend taking the time to really learn what all of the controls do and what they do for your video. Not too long ago, I upgraded my DSLR to a Canon D70, which was a lot more advanced that the camera I had before. When you move from a point-and-shoot camera to a DSLR, it’s an entirely different world. The same is true when you are using a smartphone camera and you add FiLMiC Pro.
So, getting started you will see a screen like what is pictured above. There are a lot of icons to learn about, but one thing that is really handy is the layout. FiLMiC Pro really does this right and makes it so the options you have aren’t intruding into the main screen of the camera where your video is.
Under the Settings menu you will see everything available to you —
- Resolution — Let’s you choose your video resolution. Your options are 16:9, 17:9, 2.59:1, 1:1, 2.2:1, 2.76:1, 4:3, and 2.39:1. You can also crop your source to the overlay and choose the quality of your video in this menu.
- FrameRate — While you are given a couple of options Apple’s native video camera settings, FiLMiC gives you a much wider variety of frame rate. Starting at 24 fps, you can go as high as 240 fps and choose between Standard video and a Timelapse option. This is a really great option to have for creating film looks with your mobile camera.
- Audio — If you have an external microphone to attach, here, you can select either the internal mic on the phone or the external one. You can also select the file format (PCM, AIFF, AAC) and the sampling frequency (44.1 kHz or 48.0 kHz). If you want to just take video with no audio, you can select Video Only in this menu, plus you can enable the gain correction and voice processing.
- Device — This menu gives you a lot of options about how the app interacts with your phone. You can automatically have FiLMic Pro save the video to the Camera Roll and you can also lock the orientation of the camera here.
- Presets — If you find a setting that is ideal for a specific type of video you are shooting, you can save it as a preset. It will then be saved to this menu. If you want to return to ‘zero’, the preset menu also has a Reset to Default Settings included.
- CMS — CMS stands for Content Management System. With FiLMiC Pro you can enable content management and label your videos with a slate — complete with Production, Scene, and Take labeling. This would most likely be used in a commercial setting.
- Hardware — Even though your main camera is coming from your smartphone, which of course your app will automatically know, you might be using different pieces of hardware with it. This menu gives you the option of enabling several different accessories that you might have attached like the DJI OSMO Mobile.
- Sync — This feature is only used if you utilize FiLMiC Pro’s cloud system FiLMiCSync.
- Community — As you might guess, this has links to social media, FiLMiC Pro’s website, and contact information for FiLMiC Pro.
- Overview — This might be one of my favorite features as it simply shows what your current settings are.
- Camera — Choose between Wide, Tele, Zoom, or Selfie lenses.
- Torch — This will toggle your flash on/off for lightning purposes.
- Guide — You can toggle an on-screen grid line to be able to better line up your shots.
- Info — This menu holds information like the Quick Start Guide, User Manual, etc. so that you have easy access to it.
Aside from the main settings menu, there are also a few other features on the on-screen display. Those features include color correction, zebra stripes, clipping, false color, and focus peaking. All of these little details add up to one great big feature package that make FiLMiC Pro so special and so valuable to mobile filmmakers.
If you already have the knowledge about how to use controls like ISO and frame rate, the interface will be pretty easy for you to use. As I mentioned above, if don’t already have that experience, then I recommend spending some time with the FiLMiC Pro interface to see how all these features can effect your videos. FiLMic Pro can really make your mobile videos spectacular and it gives you the option to have a professional-grade camera within your hands.
DOWNLOAD — FiLMiC Pro — $14.99 — iOS
Originally published at macsources.com on March 21, 2017.