Regardless of its countless innovative features, the iPhone's camera has always been a big selling point for users. In fact, the iPhone remains the most popular smartphone model on Flickr, with their annual top 100 list of most used devices on their platform being dominated by various iPhone models. Thanks to their exceptional image quality, these smartphone cameras can easily capture everyday moments as well as more professional shots that can almost rival anything taken with a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
Aside from photography, you can also use your iPhone to shoot videos. The latest models, in particular, are perfect for aspiring videographers or filmmakers who don't have dedicated camcorders or DSLR cameras since their built-in cameras offer good video resolution, dual wide-angle and telephoto lenses, faster apertures, and optical image stabilization.
But unlike conventional video cameras that are specifically designed for the difficulties of videography, shooting videos on your iPhone may still require you to have the right accessories to produce the best output possible. To help you shoot more professional-looking footage, we've rounded up a few items that can help you turn your iPhone into a fantastic video camera.
Best Videography Gears for iPhone
Tripod or Stabilizer
A tripod (or stabilizer) keeps your phone steady while you take videos. It prevents or eliminates any unwanted camera shake and blurring, which you are likely to get with handheld shooting. This is also essential for achieving different shots in different settings since the added stabilization will allow you to shoot in low-light situations or create stunning slow-motion shots.
Interchangeable lenses aren't just for DSLR cameras anymore—there is now a wide selection of available lenses for smartphones as well. These are primarily used for photographic purposes, but you can definitely use them for improving your videos, too. Lenses are particularly useful when attempting to convey a certain mood or achieve a certain look in your videos.
Here are some commonly used smartphone lenses that are currently available on the market:
- The telephoto lens: The Telephoto lens has a long focal length that allows you to shoot a subject or scene from far away without resorting to your camera's zoom.
- Wide-angle lens: The wide-angle lens has a shorter focal length than other lenses, which enables you to get as close to a scene as possible while still capturing the entirety of the scene.
- Macro lens: The macro lens has high magnification and a short minimum focusing distance, which allows you to shoot detailed close-up footage.
- Fisheye lens: The Fisheye lens has an extremely short focal length that makes the scene wider and slightly distorted; great for adding a fun/whimsical quality to your footage.
Video Rig Case
Just like other devices, your iPhone is prone to physical damage. Since it's a mobile device that you can take anywhere, it will likely be exposed to various elements. If you're going to be doing outdoor location shoots, having a good case will help protect your phone from scratches, bumps, and the like.
Also, if you don't have a tripod (or a stabilizer, for that matter) to use while shooting your video, a video rig case would be your best option. Most video rig cases on the market have handles on both sides, so you'll have no problem taking steady shots.
Although your iPhone has a built-in microphone, you should never rely on it to record clear, good-quality audio—particularly if you're filming in a not-so-quiet place. An external microphone is another important accessory if you plan on including sounds or spoken dialogue in your footage. There are plenty of external microphones that are specifically designed to be used with the iPhone, so just make sure to pick the best one for your needs.
Of course, a good video won't be complete without good lighting. Aside from ensuring that your scene and subjects are properly exposed even in bad weather or poorly lit environments, adding light can set the mood and help you convey emotions. Natural ambient light is fine for certain scenes, but solely depending on the available light won't always do justice to your scenes—plus it's not the best way to make the footage look professional.
In cases where you need some artificial light to help improve your scenes, consider investing in a portable lighting system (preferably one that will allow you to create a three-point lighting setup). Or, if your film requires you to be on-the-go while shooting at various locations, make sure to get yourself a detachable light source that's specifically made for smartphones.
Let The Light, Camera, and Action Begin!
Make the most of these accessories to ramp up your videography. And, don't fail to share your great feedback.