Hollywood’s fave iPhone app supports Apple’s go-to video format

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iPhone filmmakers get HEVC support in Filmic Pro update.
iPhone filmmakers get HEVC support in Filmic Pro update.
Photo: Filmic

Filmic Pro, the gold standard iPhone app for filmmakers to achieve near-cinematic quality, released an update today to support the new HEVC format in iOS 11.

HEVC stands for High-Efficiency Video Coding (also called H.265), a compression standard that reduces the file size of videos while retaining much of the quality. This means users can store twice the number of videos on their iPhones or iPad Pros.

Think you need pro gear for great iPhone photos? That’s fake news.

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iPhone rig
You don't necessarily need expensive gear to make a great iPhone video.
Photo: Marques Brownlee/YouTube

You can make great photos and videos with just an iPhone. There is nothing fake about that statement. Thousands of great iPhone photos appear on our camera rolls and Instagram feeds every day to prove it.

Nevertheless, a recent YouTube video suggested Apple uses more than just iPhones to create its “Shot on iPhone” commercials. The video quickly went viral. Headlines it generated sowed seeds of doubt about the authenticity of Apple’s claims.

So, are we really getting the great camera Apple says it puts in its iPhones?

iPhone camera rig will make your footage look silky smooth [Review]

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Shoulderpod
The X1 Pro Rig from Shoulderpod.
Photo: Shoulderpod

The more powerful the iPhone camera gets, the less practical the iPhone design is for certain jobs. Holding a thin, pocket-shaped device out in front of your face with your forefingers and thumbs on both ends to view the screen is risky and shaky, especially for video.

But there are accessories that can give the mobile video shooter a secure and steady grip without adding much weight or bulk in the field. Among the best tools come from a company in Spain called Shoulderpod.

How Bluetooth mic on AirPods is useful for iPhone videos

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Earphones
AirPods aren't as good without iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Photographer, videographer and online instructor Cielo de la Paz uses the iPhone and other Apple products for a lot of her work. She never envisioned she’d find value in the new Apple AirPods.

But she recently discovered how the AirPods’ Bluetooth microphone, combined with the iOS app MoviePro, solves a big problem when she shoots some of her tutorials.

This rugged case turns your iPhone into a GoPro [Review]

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The Hitcase Pro 2.0, shown with a super-wide lens, is now available for iPhone 6, 6s and 7 on Kickstarter.
The Hitcase Pro 2.0, shown with a super-wide lens, is now available for iPhone 6, 6s and 7 on Kickstarter.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Yes, the iPhone can shoot pictures in the same places as many pro-level cameras. But because the iPhone lacks pro-level durability, you may not bring it on your most rugged adventures.

Hitcase’s latest product should ease your mind and let capture your most extreme imagery ever.

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.

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.

iPhone encroaches upon GoPro territory with dazzling action footage

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The iPhone in close at dirt level on a motocross track.
The iPhone in close at dirt level on a motocross track.
Photo: Freeride Entertainment/Vimeo

The fact that professional-level photos and videos can be made with the camera on the iPhone is old news. However, the amazement never gets old with professionals when they forgo conventional equipment to use iPhones on a shoot.

The cinematographers who capture breathtaking action sports for Freeride Entertainment were in awe of the results with the iPhone after filming some of the most daring skiers, wakeboarders and motocross athletes for a promotion for HITCASE.

TV station shelves expensive gear to report the news with iPhones

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A reporter from Léman Bleu in Switzerland executes a live standup with an iPhone 6 on a selfie stick.
A reporter from Léman Bleu in Switzerland executes a live standup with an iPhone 6 on a selfie stick.
Photo: Léman Bleu/FTVLive

The Apple advertising campaign “Shot on iPhone 6” can now be a line on the closing credits of a Swiss news station, which now does 100 percent of its broadcasts on the iPhone.

During the summer, Léman Bleu gave each of its reporters an iPhone 6 kit to shoot their stories and use for live shots. That means a reporter with a mic in one hand can use the free hand to grip a selfie stick for live standup shots.

iPhone monopod is more than you’ll ever need but exactly what you want

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High-end kit for iPhone videos (and photos) that scream
High-end kit for iPhone videos (and photos) that scream "pro."
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Taking iPhone video is usually a pretty manual affair. You try to hold your hands steady, but eventually some shudder creeps in. Trying to maintain a steady focal point can be tricky, especially if you’re filming a larger scene, like a concert or play.

You could use a tripod, but they’re big, bulky and require some setup. You don’t want to move around with a tripod.

Monopods, however, offer the stability and easy-panning joy of a tripod without all the fuss. Manfrotto’s monopod (the aptly-named 562B-1) is a solid, tall, adjustable, simply fantastic accessory to make all your videos, iPhone or otherwise, look much more professional.