Because of an interesting question I got on the Video Marketing Mastery website the other day, I made this video for you with a camera I hardly ever use for my weekly videos: the iPhone.
When you watch the video you’ll discover immediately why I had to use this camera instead of the one I use 99% of the time.
But I thought you might find it interesting to know how I made the picture look the way it normally does in a controlled shoot.
“But, Steve”, I hear you say, “I’ve see your iPhone shoots and they look OK. Why are you making such a big deal out of this one?’
Good question! And the answer has to do with the factor of Expectation.
When you see a video that was shot with the iPhone, your expectation of quality is much different (lower) than when you see a “studio” or more controlled shoot. And when you see them side-by-each, the contrast can be startling.
So because I needed to find a way to make the image look the way it usually does, and for that, some tweaking was in order.
The tweaking came in resolution, chroma and brightness. These seemed to be the major differences between my pro-sumer camera and the iPhone in the real world.
The first time I shot this I shot it at 720p. This introduced a lot of unwanted grain into the picture and to my eye was completely unacceptable. So I selected 1080p. That helped, but didn’t get me all the way there because the capture rate was too low at 24.0mbit/sec. So I increased the capture rate of the camera to 32mbit/sec.
All of this was done using FiLMiC Pro, a very inexpensive app for the iPhone that gives you lots of control over the image. There are similar apps for Android and Windows phones.
So much for the image capture part. What about audio? Well, I’ve told you previously that if you are within arm’s length of the camera that you should be able to use the iPhone’s built-in microphone. So that’s what I did. You tell me if it sounds OK to you.
Partially because the lighting was so rich (I used the Ultimate Lighting Hack technique I’ve showed you previously) the image was color-rich, so I used a filter in Final Cut Pro X that reduces the amount of color in the shot by just enough to make skin tones look more natural. Reduce it by about 20%.
The image was still a little dark, so I used another filter in FCPX to increase the brightness by about 20%. This was just enough to raise the overall level without blowing out the image on the monitor screen. But here we see the limitation of the iPhone at play. There isn’t enough depth of image to raise the level much more than that because then the whole picture starts to blow out.
Here’s the thing: All editing programs give you this level of control over the image. These are simple, basic things anyone can do to make the image look relatively “Pro”.
After this editing piece was done, I inserted some text to use for annotations because I dislike the way YouTube makes annotations look, added some music, the opening and closing and that was it.
You might think that’s a bit of work for a 3 minute video, but if you want to give your audience a good experience, it seems like a fair trade-off to me. After all, shooting with the iPhone is much, much easier than with most video cameras.
OK. Now you can see how this came out: