Blackmagic Camera review: Today’s best camera app for professionals?

As the professional mobile videography market grows and smartphone camera technology continues to develop, we’re seeing an influx of camera apps geared toward video professionals. The latest company to throw its hat in the ring is none other than Blackmagic Design. Known as a major player in the cinema camera market and video editing software space, Blackmagic Design recently revealed the Blackmagic Camera app for iPhone.

With the market saturated with many camera apps already, we were excited to see what Blackmagic could bring to the table. Thankfully, Blackmagic Design didn’t hold back and delivered something quite innovative.

Let’s take a closer look at the Blackmagic Camera app and discuss what we experienced while using it.

What can the Blackmagic Camera app do?

Though iPhone’s native camera app has improved over the years, it still lacks the features needed for real-deal filmmaking. Resolution, frame rate and exposure aside, there’s no way to make other manual adjustments for settings like shutter speed and white balance. This isn’t surprising since the vast majority of people don’t need those features. However, this means that iPhone’s native camera app falls short for professionals looking for a more comprehensive feature set. Here is where Blackmagic Camera fits in.

The Blackmagic Camera app is made for video professionals. It offers a robust suite of features that can turn your mobile video into cinematic, broadcast-ready content. We’ve seen others like it, but the Blackmagic Camera app really is the all-around solution for full manual control of the iPhone camera. Picture settings aside, it really does give you the full functionality of a camera with its HDMI output and file storage settings.  The app has all the settings and features you’d want and expect out of a professional video camera. That includes manual focus, stabilization and white balance control. Beyond that, basic settings on the interface include frame rate, ISO, white balance, tint and resolution.

The part that’s especially nice is the monitor controls. Here, you can enable features like false color, grids, zebras and focus peaking. You can also set up frame guides, which is helpful for getting the framing right for other formats. For example, you can use a vertical 9:16 frame guide if you know you’re shooting for both landscape and portrait content. At the bottom of the display is a full RGB histogram and stereo meters for audio.

The app also makes it simple to keep files organized throughout post-production with the slate feature. Just like a traditional slate, this allows you to take note of the project name, lens data, take number and other production information.

iPhone only (for now)

Unfortunately, the Blackmagic Camera app is only available for iOS — a blow to Android users. Historically, third-party apps for Android have struggled to get access to key camera features that make a Blackmagic Camera app possible. However, Blackmagic recently announced at NAB 2024 that the app will be available for select Android devices soon. There’s no word yet on when this will come though.

Advanced settings

Diving into the settings tab, the first thing to look at is recording settings. This includes the option to pick your desired codec, with options for Apple ProRes, H.264, and HEVC (H.265). Also, here, you can switch from the default Rec.709 color space to others like Rec.2020 and P3D65. You can also enable timelapse recording. In the Monitor tab, you can tweak the look of your guides and focus assist, as well as choose if you want the HDMI output to be a mirrored or clean feed.

The most advanced settings we came across were the app’s capabilities for LUTs and proxy workflows. You can import your own LUTs into the app. Plus, you can choose whether or not you want it baked into the original video file. Additionally, you can choose where to store your original and proxy files.

The audio settings are also pretty comprehensive. You can choose the source, format, sample rate and monitoring settings. Interestingly enough, you can even choose which iPhone mic is used as a source (back, bottom or front).

Putting the app to the test


Performance is critical to any video shooting app, and Blackmagic’s offering excels in this area. The app is stable and has different shooting conditions, maintaining its functionality without crashes or significant bugs. This sets it apart from other apps, as professionals need to have a reliable app, especially during time-sensitive shoots where every second counts.


The layout was initially overwhelming, with so many options and buttons visible as soon as you open the app. But once you find and lock in your desired look for your shot, a quick swipe upwards on the screen will hide the HUD. So, you can switch between settings and monitoring the image. And while the layout was overwhelming at first, it took us only a short time to learn the lay of the land. It only took a few minutes of selecting and playing with different options to understand what everything does. So, this isn’t a major hindrance against the app. The user’s experience level with camera settings and other mobile camera apps will ultimately affect the learning curve here. However, we’re confident it won’t take long to get the hang of it.


During our testing, we ran into some issues with the app’s storage workflow. For our tests, we used an iPhone with over 30 GB of free storage available. However, we were perplexed to find that the app claimed we only had 3 GB available. We tried various ways to try to fix this to no avail. We resorted to checking online to see if others were running into this issue, and it turns out that they were. Some people claim to have fixed the issue by clearing the cache in other apps like Snapchat, deleting clips via the Files app, and reinstalling the Blackmagic app. However, after trying these three suggestions, we found that only clearing the cache freed up 2 GB. This brought our total to a whopping 5 GB — still quite short of our supposed 30 GB of storage space.

Another online suggestion said that this had something to do with the way the iPhone stores photos when “Optimize iPhone Storage” is selected in the photo settings. This automatically backs up full versions of photos to iCloud, keeping low-resolution versions on the device that can be downloaded again when needed. It’s theorized that this makes the iPhone appear to have more storage than it really does. Either way, it’s recommended that you use an external storage device when filming, especially in large formats like Apple ProRes. Even if you do have ample phone storage, you won’t after a few shooting sessions. Investing in external storage and an adapter should solve any storage-related problems.

Is the Blackmagic Camera worth your time?

Overall, the Blackmagic video shooting app is a powerful tool designed with professional filmmakers in mind. Its rich feature set, high performance and integration capabilities make it a valuable asset for professional videographers. While it might be a bit overkill for beginners, its benefits for professional production are undeniable.

If you’re shooting casual videos, you may find the app overly complex for the task. But for professional filmmakers, the Blackmagic app is a game-changer. It supports complex production scenarios, where its depth of features can be fully utilized. We often find iPhone video via the native app to be overexposed and cause issues in programs like Premiere Pro, especially when using variable frame rate. Using the Blackmagic Camera app eliminates this issue, allowing you to set the frame rate and codec of your choosing.

While there is a learning curve, especially for those new to video production, the intuitive design helps ease this transition. Furthermore, the app has features that even lower-tier DSLR and mirrorless cameras don’t have. If you want to learn more about camera features like false color, the app serves as great prep for when you upgrade to a camera with these features. If you’re already a part of the Blackmagic universe and using their cinema cameras and editing software, Davinci Resolve, the app is a natural addition.

When compared to competitors like FiLMiC Pro and the native camera apps on smartphones, the Blackmagic app holds its ground. It could even be considered a successor to other apps like it. With all of its robust features, it easily overwhelms competing camera apps. And, being free, it’s accessible at no risk, even for beginners who may want to try it. With all that in mind, we don’t see a reason this shouldn’t be a go-to solution for professional iPhone (and soon, Android) video shooting.


  • Full manual camera control, supporting different resolutions and codecs
  • Plenty of monitor settings, such as zebras, focus peaking, and false color
  • Cloud access to video files via Blackmagic Cloud


  • No support for Android yet
  • Subscription needed for additional cloud storage

Information on app

SellerBlackmagic Design
Size74.6 MB
CategoryPhoto & Video
Requires iOS 16.0 or later and a device with the A12 Bionic chip or later.
LanguagesEnglish, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
Kyle Alsberry
Kyle Alsberry
Kyle Alsberry is a multimedia producer and audiovisual technician at California State University, Chico and is Videomaker's associate editor.

Related Content