capsule review

Filmic Pro for iPhone

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder FiLMiC Pro

Because of its on-the-go convenience and high definition camera, more professionals are turning to the iPhone 4 and 4S when it comes to shooting photos and video. But while there are dozens of powerful still camera apps to help give you manual control while shooting photos with your iPhone, there are very few that do the same for video and do it well.

Cinegenix's Filmic Pro is an outstanding video app because it takes advantage of all of the benefits of the iPhone's video camera while giving filmmakers more control in a feature-rich video app designed with professionals in mind. The app aims to give you as much manual control over your iPhone's video shooting capabilities as possible in order to create a similar experience to using professional grade equipment.

Three different shooting modes—Full Frame, Single Reticle, and Double Reticle—allow you to control the exposure and focus in different ways. (The reticles in this app are the focus and exposure circles.) Full Frame Mode is the simplest; it sets the focus and exposure based on information from the entire frame. Single Reticle Mode sets the exposure and focus through a reticle that is fixed in the center of the frame. Double Reticle Mode affords you the most control over the composition of your shot—in Double Reticle Mode you get two separate reticles that you can move around the frame to set focus and exposure separately.

In the Mode: Different shooting modes allow you to control the focus and exposure of your shots.

In the app you’ll see four buttons on the bottom of the screen. These buttons lock and unlock controls for focus, exposure, white balance, and torch (flash). Once you have the focus and exposure settings you want, you can lock in those settings with the touch of a button.

Other advanced features give you even more control of your video. You can set frames rates between 1-25 frames per second (24 is the American standard for film production and 25, the European) and 30. The ability to select different frame rates is important, because you can choose the optimal settings for your video depending on what you’re shooting. You can also choose from four different resolutions and corresponding bitrates. Features such as color bars and a customizable slate will help you maintain the professional quality of your video once you get to the editing room.

Filmic Pro also takes into account the growing trend of mounting DSLR lenses onto iPhones. A “35mm image flip” option ensures that this app will work for people who want to use it with a 35mm lens—for instance, if you’re using your iPhone 4 or 4S with an OWLE Bubo.

In Control: Advanced features give you control over almost every aspect of your video.

Once you have recorded your video, you can upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, DropBox, Tumblr, Facebook, and FTP servers. You can also choose to save videos straight to your device’s camera roll or to your Filmic library.

Not a pro filmmaker? Don’t be intimidated. Despite the app’s complex array of features, it has an easy-to-use interface that ensures even amateurs will be able to use Filmic Pro. There are also helpful tools included in the app that will help amateurs and pros alike, including a three-by-three grid overlay, framing guide overlays in four different aspect ratios, and an audio meter.

The $4 app is compatible with the iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4s as well as the iPad 2 and the fourth generation iPod touch running iOS 4.1 or later. (Only the iPhone 4 and 4S offer certain functions, such as adjustable focus, torch, and 1080p resolution, and the app isn’t optimized to run natively on the iPad 2.)

Cinegenix also makes a free version of the app, Filmic+, which is a more limited version of the Pro app. You can get more features, such as variable frame rates and different shooting modes, via in-app purchases.

[Karissa Bell is a Macworld editorial intern. Follow her on Twitter.]

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder FiLMiC Pro

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