Blackmagic Camera turns your iPhone into a cinema camera

Blackmagic Design is known for its range of cinema cameras that deliver great features at budget prices. However, the company’s latest addition, Blackmagic Camera, is completely free.

Blackmagic Camera

For clarification: Blackmagic Camera isn’t actually a camera; it’s a smartphone app. But it does add digital film camera controls to your Apple iPhone. It’s also based on the operating system featured on Blackmagic Design’s cinema cameras, which is recognized as one of the best in the business. Blackmagic Camera runs on any iPhone with iOS 16.0 or later and the A12 Bionic chip or later. You can shoot 16:9 or vertical aspect ratios. There’s even a stealth mode for shooting 16:9 while holding the phone vertically.

Cinema camera controls

Blackmagic Camera has all the features you’d expect from a cinema camera. You can adjust settings such as frame rate, shutter angle, white balance, ISO and audio levels with a simple tap. There is also a full range of tools to help you ensure your footage looks great. These include histogram, focus peaking, levels, zebras and frame guides. The app’s heads up display shows you lens selection, frame rate, shutter angle, timecode, ISO, white balance, tint, histogram and audio levels.

Advanced settings

Image courtesy: Blackmagic Design

Via the Settings tab of the app, you can access advanced settings such as monitoring, audio, camera setup and recording options. You can record video in Apple ProRes, H.264 or H.265. In addition, you can set anamorphic de-squeeze and lens correction settings as well as use 3D LUTs. The audio features also include VU or PPM audio meters and AAC, IEEE Float and PCM recording formats. You can even add an external microphone.

Blackmagic Cloud

Using Blackmagic Camera you can record to your phone and transfer clips to a computer later. However, you can also record directly to Blackmagic Cloud in industry-standard 10-bit Apple ProRes files up to 4K. This means you can share footage directly into DaVinci Resolve project so your video will sync to all members of that project. In addition, if you don’t have internet access, you can select which clips you want to upload via Blackmagic Cloud when you next get a network connection.

What we think

If you own a compatible iPhone, Blackmagic Camera looks to be a must-have app. Having access to all the tools and controls of a Blackmagic Design cinema camera will make your video shooting experience so much better. In addition, if you have the new iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max, you can even record video to an external SSD. The only downside is that the app is only available for iPhone, so there’s no option for Android users.

Pricing and availability

Blackmagic Camera is available now as a free download from the Apple App Store.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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