FiLMiC Pro iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max
Image courtesy: FiLMiC Pro

The FiLMiC Pro mobile app aims to make your smartphone work like a professional video camera. Now with its latest update, the software has taken another step towards that goal by adding support for ProRes recording.

iPhone 13 Pro/Max only

Although FiLMiC Pro is available for iPhone and Android devices, the app only supports ProRes recording for iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max users. On these devices, you can select ProRes Recording within the app when choosing your recording resolution from the “Settings” menu.

ProRes flavors

FiLMiC Pro includes four ProRes variants, all of which provide 10-bit recording with 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. This will deliver very high-quality recordings. The options are:

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  • ProRes Proxy with a maximum bitrate of 170Mbps at 4K.
  • ProRes LT with a maximum bitrate of 360Mbps at 4K.
  • ProRes 422 with a maximum bitrate of 540Mbps at 4K.
  • ProRes 422 HQ with a maximum bitrate of 735Mbps at 4K.

You can make recordings at up to 30 fps in 4K and 60 fps in HD.

FiLMiC Pro ProRes support
Image courtesy: FiLMiC Pro

Intra-frame codec

ProRes is an intra-frame codec which means the compression is applied to the data within each frame to reduce the overall data rate. As such, the codec is ideal for video editing, where the need to cut on every frame is essential. You will also find that playback is often smoother than with formats such as H264 or HEVC. In addition, 10-bit video can be graded more heavily without the image breaking up as with 8-bit codecs.

The FiLMiC Pro interface displays an on-screen ProRes logo when you are recording in the format. Additional icons show which variant you are using and the recording time remaining.

Recording times

One thing to consider is that ProRes files can get very large, especially when recording in 422 or 422 HQ. For example, a 1 TB iPhone 13 Pro will give you up to 799 minutes of recording in ProRes Proxy when shooting in 4K at 24 fps. In ProRes LT, the maximum recording time drops to 399 minutes. In the highest quality, with ProRes 422 and 422 HQ, you can record for up to 266 and 200 minutes, respectively.

Rec2020

In addition to Rec709 (BT.709), FiLMiC Pro has now added Rec2020 (BT.2020) ProRes support on the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. The Rec709 option offers maximum compatibility for editing and post-production. However, the Rec2020 variant should be the preferred option
for HDR or wide-gamut footage.

Pricing and availability

FiLMiC Pro version 6.17.1 is available now from the App Store for $14.99.

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.