Getting the new iPhone 6 felt a lot like getting a new lens for my DSLR. I started to see things from a different perspective. It forced me to think more critically about what I was shooting. And it jogged creativity.
At Wistia, we’re video nerds through and through, so we were really excited to start experimenting with the new camera on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Here are some of our favorite new features of the new iPhones and iOS 8, and a few ways businesses can take advantage of them.
Look! A handy key!
Have your iPhone videos ended up looking a little… ghostly? Good news: iOS 8 includes increased exposure control, which means you can get your lighting levels just right.
Traditionally, the iPhone auto-exposure worked well in many situations. However, it often got tripped up with shots that featured areas of extreme dark and extreme light (much like our typical Wistia studio shot). The new exposure control helps you hone in on the exact brightness your shot calls for.
Although this seems like a small feature upgrade, for us, the addition of exposure control is huge. We think it’s one of the most important (and powerful) changes to the iPhone camera since adding widescreen HD recording.
Advanced exposure control is good for:
- Shooting “talking head” footage in a studio with professional or DIY lighting.
- Outdoor or outside-the-studio shots with natural light.
- Shots that have areas of extreme shadows or highlights.
The iPhone 6 received some basic image stabilization improvements, but the 6 Plus got a massive upgrade with the addition of an optical image stabilizer. When you’re shooting B-roll, going handheld lets you move around easily and grab quick shots.
The 6 Plus captures pretty amazing handheld footage, but we still recommend using a tripod for things like shooting interviews and product shots.
Our iPhone tripod adaptor of choice has been the Joby GripTight. The GripTight still fits the iPhone 6 without a problem. The iPhone 6 Plus, however, is just too big to fit into our standard GripTight. Robby will have to order the XL version for his iPhone 6 Plus.
We also wrote a post about shooting stable handheld video, if you’re interested in more tips!
Autofocus on the iPhone 6 is far superior to its predecessors. The new technology allows for much faster focusing, which means tighter, more precise B-roll. Essentially, the camera is able to keep successive subjects tack sharp as you move the iPhone and change your shots.
Despite the advancements in iPhone autofocus, we still recommend using focus lock whenever possible. It’s less distracting than having the camera constantly search for what part of the shot to focus on.
Autofocus is good for:
- Shooting B-roll footage and on-the-fly footage.
- Letting you focus on the shot instead of focusing on the focus of the shot. :)
Time-lapse mode is a new feature included in iOS 8. Where you may have used a GoPro or DSLR before to capture something like an office party or a team lunch, you can now use your iPhone.
To get the best results, be sure to:
- Put your iPhone on a tripod.
- Lock the focus and exposure.
- Use airplane mode.
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are able to shoot at double the frame rate of the iPhone 5s. This means that your slow motion footage can be twice as slow, making for even more dramatic shots of throwing a water balloon at your unsuspecting boss.
Things to watch out for when shooting slow motion footage:
- 240fps is slow. It’s really slow. At 120fps, a 5 second clip turns into 20 seconds. At 240fps, that 5 seconds turns into 40 seconds!
- Shooting in slow motion drops the resolution from 1080p to 720p. You can definitely notice the difference.
- Find the buried option in “camera settings” to enable shooting 60fps at full 1080p resolution!
We’ve loved shooting video on an iPhone for a while now, and the new camera improvements from Apple have us tickled pink. The iPhone (among other modern smartphones) enables anyone, from any business, to produce quality video content.
In fact, we shot all of the photos and videos for this post with our new iPhones!
Which new iPhone camera features are you excited about? How are you using your phone to shoot video?