How to Make Your iPhone Videos More Cinematic

Getting into video is often thought to be expensive. Buying new cameras, new lenses and specific gear such as stabilizers or fluid head tripods. But what if you could save some money and film with your iPhone, while still getting an amazing quality out of it? In a recent video, Matti Haapoja from TravelFeels gives us a few ideas on how to create cinematic looking footage with our smartphone.

Film at 24fps

While the iPhone may not allow for very refined settings when capturing pictures or videos, there are ways to push the limits a bit further. For example, when capturing still frames, you could use apps such as Adobe Lightroom for Mobile or ACDSee Pro for iOS. When it comes to video, an app such as Filmic Pro will give you all the features that you need to change most settings you could dream of accessing: white balance, shutter speed, ISO, etc. You can even purchase in-app additional packs and gain access to log and flat color profiles when filming. For just $14.99, Filmic Pro is a no brainer if you want to take your iPhone videos to the next level.

Use a Stabilizer

The next tip is quite obvious and it’s the same as when filming with a DSLR or any other camera. If you want your footage to look professional, making it smooth and stable is crucial. There are tons of different stabilizers available out there. Haapoja recommends the Zhiyun Smooth 3.

But there are other options on the market such as the Zhiyun Smooth C.

Use a Lens

With the iPhone, one of the biggest restrictions is probably the lens. If you want to zoom in or out, you either have to rely on the digital zoom or have to move around. While it could work if you don’t have any other solution, it’s not the most practical way to do things. Instead, using specific lenses on your iPhone could help you vary your shots. For example, Moment Lenses carry tele, macro, wide, and fisheye lenses and all of them won’t degrade much the image, which cannot be said for all add-on lenses.

Edit Your Footage

While you could edit your video on your iPhone, bringing it on your computer to put it through Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve is most likely a better idea. Edit your smartphone footage just as if it were shot on any other camera. There is no reason to edit your video in a hurry on your phone if quality is your primary goal. Why should clips from a phone be used any differently than ones from a DSLR or camera?

Use a Microphone

Last but not least, audio. Images make people want to click and watch your video, but audio will make them want to watch it until the end. There is nothing worse than looking at a movie with poor sound quality. Make your viewers happy and get an external mic or otherwise quality music.

What are some of the tips you’d add to the list to make your iPhone videos look and sound better? Do you rely on your smartphone to film on shoots? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Quentin Décaillet is a photographer and retoucher based in Switzerland specializing in portrait and wedding photography.

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