You don't need to buy a whole new camera set up if you want to start filming, your trusty iPhone can do the trick if you have the right kit
If you’re just getting into filming, you may feel daunted by the amount of kit that videographers and filmmakers have to buy, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Many of us cinephiles tend to overlook the tool we have in our pockets.
The iPhone is an incredible device that can sometimes be overlooked as a solution to our filming problems. One of the biggest ways it can do this is by becoming your main camera but first you’ll want to kit it out with some accessories for it to reveal its full potential.
Here are four of the necessary iPhone filming accessories that you’ll need.
iPhone filming accessories:
Filmic Pro app
The biggest obstacle for getting good film footage from your camera is your camera itself. Built to be the most foolproof system, Apple’s iPhone cameras have a whole host of automatic settings to allow you to not worry yourself with minor details. Unfortunately, this means that the camera can sometimes produce results that won’t professional.
Filmic Pro allows you to take control of your camera’s full capabilities, from frame rate to your bit rate, making your footage look less like a home video.
This app is going to be the most important tool you buy if you want to make films professionally on your phone. Adjusting the standard frame rate from 30fps to 24 will give you a more natural looking product like you see in films while doubling the standard 50mbps bit rate to 100mbps will give your footage a better overall quality.
White balance, exposure factors and other features can be adjusted through the app giving the user a lot more choice than the standard built-in camera software.
Røde VideoMic Me directional microphone
Now that you’ve got your filming capabilities sorted out, the next biggest task to tackle is the audio. The microphones built into your iPhone are directional with one next to the primary camera on the back and one next to the front-facing camera. The problem with these is that they just aren’t that good so to overcome that you’ll need to invest in a proper directional camera.
Røde is one of the most popular microphone producers and the VideoMic Me is an affordable shotgun mic offers clean and crisp sound, plugging into the camera’s headphone jack. The mic’s portability is enhanced with the mic not needing a separate power source, meaning no fiddly wires. No wires equals a clean filming set-up.
Zhiyun Smooth-Q Gimbal
Getting those steady shots on your phone can be the difference between your iPhone wowing future clients and scaring them off. The best way to combat that is through the use of this Zhiyun Smooth-Q Gimbal.
This may be the most expensive accessory you’ll buy for your phone but it’ll pay dividends to the final product. The three axis stabilisation allows you to film with no worries of shaky footage needing to be digitally stabilised in post production. The programmed controls also allow you a variety of different motions from completely stabilised where you can move on all three axis’ and the camera won’t shake or you can employ a panning motion that will allow you to slowly pan when you move the camera past a certain point. All of this will give your footage a much more filmic look as you vary your shots.
Unless you’re using a camera that has two lenses built in, you’ll want to get yourself a range of lenses to help create a number of different shots. Most single lens iPhone’s have a telephoto lens so it would be a good idea to get yourself a wide angle lens so you can get more encompassing shot.
Moment have a whole range of lenses designed for different smartphone devices and range from $90 to $100, making them quite costly but they can go along way to matching the versatility of DSLR cameras and their multiple lenses.
Be sure check out our lowdown on the new iPhone 8, 8+ and X and keep up to date with all things filmmaking at The Video Mode.