How to shoot iPhone video like a pro

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iPhone video tips
Learn all you need to know to get the most out of your iPhone's camera.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

While iPhones have pretty much replaced standalone video cameras, they don’t offer the same level of polish that a dedicated video camera or DSLR produces. It’s true that “the best camera is the camera you have with you,” but you can almost always spot a video shot on a phone.

The quality gap isn’t purely due to the lenses and tech within our phones, though. Bad habits make plenty of iPhone videos look lackluster. To show just how good an iPhone video can be, I put all my filmmaking knowledge to use for the montage below.

Instead of using my $3,000 video camera, I picked up my iPhone. With a minimum of accessories, I managed to produce what I think is a pretty cinematic video. You can see the results below — and then I’ll give you some useful tips and tricks for shooting iPhone videos like a pro.

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How to make your videos more amazing with Clips

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Clips will make your lame videos look super-mega LIT!
Clips will make your lame videos look super-mega LIT!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Clips app wants to be your go-to for making short, fun videos geared for social networks. Clips is the perfect tool for the social media generation, allowing users to bust out engaging videos in seconds.

While the user interface is pretty simple, Clips packs a bevy of tools that help put a unique spin on your shots. Getting the hang of all the features can take a while, so we’ve rounded up some pointers on how to make the most of the new app.

Follow these Clips tips to make your videos pop.

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This iPhone film festival wants you to submit your masterpiece

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The Disposable Film Festival showcases video shot on iPhones and similar gadgets.
The Disposable Film Festival showcases video shot on iPhones and similar gadgets.
Photo: Disposable Film Festival

Calling all iPhone filmmakers! The Disposable Film Festival is now accepting submissions for its 10th annual program in March 2017.

Heralded as the “Oscars of online video,” the Disposable Film Festival showcases the finest films made on everyday devices and “disposable media,” including cellphones, point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs, webcams, screen-capture software, Flip cams, and newer technology like Google Glass, 3-D printed stop animation, and more.

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Pocket-size light packs studio power for your iPhone shoot

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Palm-size studio lighting by Lume Cube just got smaller with the new Life Lite.
Palm-size studio lighting by Lume Cube just got smaller with the new Life Lite.
Photo: Lume Cube

For all the magical powers coded and wired into the iPhone camera, it can’t rise to every challenge. You still need light to make a decent photograph and good light can be as fleeting as the moments you are trying to capture.

But what if you could put good light into your pocket and pull it out when you need it?

The makers of the popular Lume Cube have created a nifty but powerful light called Life Lite, ideal for mobile photographers who want to keep shooting even as darkness closes in.

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DJI’s tiny Mavic Pro drone will land at Apple Stores

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The Mavic Pro can be flown via the included controller or your iPhone.
The Mavic Pro can be flown via the included controller or your iPhone.
Photo: DJI

The battle for droning supremacy is heating up today after DJI revealed its tiny new Mavic Pro drone that will take on GoPro’s new Karma drone system.

Despite launching later, the Mavic Pro has a few advantages on the Karma though. It’s smaller, faster and smarter. And you’ll be able to buy it at your local Apple Store.

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Your GoPro videos will do a 180 with this Lensbaby fisheye

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How's that for perspective? Lensbaby gives your GoPro camera a new view.
How's that for perspective? Lensbaby gives your GoPro camera a new view.
Photo: Anthony Sims/Lensbaby

Lensbaby and GoPro. Pair the creator of artistic effects lenses with the king of the action cam and things could get interesting.

Lensbaby hopes so has it rolls out its Circular 180+ lens to fit the Hero series of GoPro point of view action cameras.

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Flip look-a-like YoCam takes aim at GoPro

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Yo, GoPro! This little camera wants a piece of the action camera market.
Yo, GoPro! This little camera wants a piece of the action camera market.
Photo: Mofily

The Flip camera was a hot seller in its day that put into the hands of consumers a simple, portable, digital video recorder. The Flip is no more, but it’s possible it gave us a son before it passed on.

The YoCam looks like a thumb-size version of the Flip, yet appears to pack as much punch as a GroPro, the reigning king of the space now known as the action camera market.

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Nikon does a full 360 with new action cam

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The Nikon Key Mission 360 is on a mission to compete with action camera industry leader GoPro.
The Nikon Key Mission 360 is on a mission to compete with action camera industry leader GoPro.
Photo: Nikon

Cult of Mac CES 2016 full coverageAdd Nikon to the growing list of companies taking on GoPro in the action camera market.

Nikon made a surprise announcement this week at CES in Las Vegas, unveiling plans for a portable camera that offers 360-degree immersive perspective.

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Pro Tip: Easily edit your iPhone videos with Adobe Premiere Clip

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Cielo de la Paz can provide steady guidance on how to shoot video with the iPhone.
Cielo de la Paz can provide steady guidance on how to shoot video with the iPhone.
Photo: Cielo de la Paz

Pro_Tip_Cult_of_Mac You have so much great video footage on your iPhone, but therein lies the problem. The thought of sitting down at a computer to edit any of it seems like a mountain you have no time to climb.

Cielo de la Paz is happy to help you reach the summit – rather quickly, too. de la Paz is a fearless creator whose soulful wanderings with her iPhone camera inspired Apple to select some of her work for the “Shot on iPhone 6” advertising campaign.

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Super-sexy DJI camera promises super-steady video

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The Osmo by drone makers DJI is a camera steadied by a three-axis gimbal.
The Osmo by drone makers DJI is a camera steadied by a three-axis gimbal.
Photo: DJI

DJI, which has taken our filmmaking aspirations airborne with its popular line of Phantom drones, has brought its tech genius back to Earth with a new handheld camera with three-axis gimbal stabilization.

The Osmo can record 4K video or 12-megapixel still images all atop a grip with built-in controls, a stereo microphone plus an audio jack for more sophisticated sound recording.

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