FiLMiC Pro app gives iPhone camcorder-like capabilities
By Ben Coxworth
September 7, 2011
So, you've put a DSLR lens on your iPhone's camera, added directional stereo mics, and mounted the whole shebang on a miniature camera dolly ... what more could you do to turn your iPhone into a little movie camera? Well, you could gain some manual control over the way in which it captures video - after all, serious film-makers usually don't just leave everything set on auto. That's where the FiLMiC Pro app comes in.
FiLMiC's landscape-format interface is designed to be thumb-operated, and all of its settings can be locked once they're set.
Probably one of its most useful features is its Double Reticle Mode, in which users can manually position two onscreen reticles - one determines exposure, and one sets the focus, based on where they're placed within the shot. The iPhone ordinarily chooses these values itself, which can result in an off-center subject being out of focus, or a shot being underexposed because of a bright object in the frame.
If users don't want to bother with this process for every shot, they can select Full Frame Mode, in which focus and exposure are determined by the content of the entire frame (pretty much the same as leaving it on automatic). The in-between point is Single Reticle Mode, in which one movable reticle sets both focus and exposure.
Frame rates from 1 through 25 fps can be selected, along with 30 fps. Users can also choose between framing guide overlays for three common aspect ratios, monitor their audio levels, throw up color bars, or select one of four resolutions (if they have an iPhone 4 or 4th generation iPod touch).
There's also a slate function, that lets users top and/or tail their shots with slates that include information such as production name, camera, scene, take, date, director, DoP, frame rate and external audio fields. A Sync Flash and Tone feature additionally lets editors match up video with a separately-recorded audio track.
When everything's been shot, the app can also upload raw footage or finished projects directly to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Drop Box, or an FTP server.
FiLMiC Pro is available for US$2.99, via iTunes.