Hands filming grass with an iPhone
Tall Guy Films walks through how you can get the film look with your iPhone

While iPhone have come a long way in terms of video, they often don’t have the most renowned cameras. However, iPhones are capable of shooting cinematic video.

YouTube channel Tall Guy Films has a few tips that will help you get images on the iPhone look as cinematic as possible. The video discusses how to get the best result with an iPhone using its camera settings, equipment and editing options. Check it out below:

Settings

The first topic discussed in the video is adjusting your iPhone’s settings. iPhones are very limited in terms of what you can control compared to say a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. But there are a few things you can control.

One of those settings is the camera’s shooting resolution. Obviously you want to be shooting in the highest resolution you can with your phone. You can get more options through a third-party app. This will allow you to change things like frame rate, bitrate, focus exposure, white balance and aspect ratio.

So, to get the most cinematic look on your iPhone, you will want to be shooting with the highest resolution possible, with a frame rate of 24 fps and he highest bitrate possible. While it’s best to try keeping the shutter speed at 148,  Tall Guy Films says it’s better get keep things properly exposed than getting a certain shutter speed.

Equipment

There are a lot of video equipment you can get for your iPhone, but the video specifically discusses lenses, stabilizers and microphones.

Tall Guy Films says that it’s actually not a good idea to get a lens for your iPhone. Why? Because any lens you put over your camera will add distortion and decrease the amount of light getting to the sensor. This means that you’ll be getting an overall lower quality image even with a $500 lens. Now, iPhone lenses can be helpful for certain effects. For instance, if you want to get a wide-angle look or a telephoto look, you can opt for a lens. Otherwise, the video recommends to avoid them.

For stabilization, the iPhone has a lot of options. At the very least, the video recommends getting a tripod to get steady shots. If you want to get some hand-held shots, using a mobile gimbal will be a good option for you.

As for capturing good audio, try looking into mobile microphone like the ones offered by RØDE. A lavalier mic, an XY mic and a directional mic are all good options. The video however believes a directional mic would be the most useful for iPhones.

Editing

As with any clip of video, it needs to be edited in post. There are a lot of options available out there. You can check out our editing software buyer’s guide for guidance.

The best and worse situations for shooting with an iPhone

Since iPhone have tiny sensors, they aren’t the best in low-light. You should avoid shooting dark areas if you don’t want your footage to be noisy. Always shoot with as much light as possible.

You should also avoid shooting in places with high dynamic range. iPhone have a tendency to either overexpose or underexpose certain areas of a shot and will either leave those areas very bright or very dark. Adjust the camera or lighting to avoid these situations.

The best shooting conditions for iPhones are overcast outdoor locations during the daytime. The sun will provide lots of light and overcast weather will act as a diffuser, making that light even and soft.

While the iPhone may not have the most renowned camera out there, it still can shoot cinematic video. Just follow these tips and keep work and you will end up with something great.

Did you find this content helpful?