A few years ago, you either had a camera for stills or a video camera (or maybe both); they each served their own purpose. But as technology developed things were simplified and made somewhat more convenient to not only have both photo and video in one device, but the ability to carry that device around in your pocket. Video has become an important aspect in the digital world as it tells a different story.
Video on iPhone has expanded its versatility in today’s newer models; much like the different modes we have in photograph mode we also find that video has different modes too…
Video mode is your standard video recording feature, this is great for filming and capturing exciting moments on your phone, but are you sure you are getting the most out of it?
I find it important to always opt for the best quality, although this does take up more memory. However the end result is worth it. So how do we know what the right settings are for video? Without getting too technical, I’m going to focus on two main aspects on video settings we are able change on our iPhones, one being the quality and the other the Frames per second(FPS) or also known as frame rate.
First off, quality is essentially measured in pixels. For example when we refer to FHD (Full High Definition), it means that the pixel count on a screen is 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 pixels down the screen vertically. We call this 1080p. This is just one of the quality standards available and I’ve found this setting works best, however there are both lower and higher quality settings that can be applied like 4K, which has a pixel count of 4096 pixels across a screen! This is high resolution, but it is going to eat up your phone’s memory, and is a big file to send.
Frames Per Second (FPS)
The more frames recorded in a space of time the smoother the video playback will be; this is useful when filming for slow motion as the more frames per second the slower the slow motion can be while still remaining smooth.
We watch TV in 25 FPS, and when we see something in slow motion that looks really smooth, this was probably filmed in 50 or 100 FPS and slowed down in editing to half the speed, which gives it a great cinematic effect.
So how do we set this on our iPhones?
If you go into your settings app, scroll down to “Camera” select it, this will bring up a couple of settings you can adjust, select “Record Video” and this will give you the following options:
You can select any setting you prefer or whichever one is best suited for memory on your phone, but the fps should ultimately be determined by what you plan to do with the footage afterwards. use the higher frame rates if you aim to edit the footage and slow it down, but if you want to retain it at normal speed then stick to 30fps.
4K is great for high quality recordings but it uses a lot of memory.
1080 is a fantastic setting for standard filming.
This mode allows you to film and then slow a certain section of your video down to half speed. This mode is different from the normal video mode as it haseven higher frame rates available. This mode films in 120 or 240 FPS, which results in super super slow motion video.
The resolution in this mode is also great, giving you the option of 1080p at 120FPS as well as 720p and 1080p at 240fps. This mode is great for close up action shots or subjects that are moving fast. Once a video is recorded, you can then edit the section you would like to slow down by using the two ends on the slider bar, selecting the start and end point of the slow motion.
Video is a great way to capture candid moments, it elaborates on emotions and also allows us to capture exciting moments on camera for us to view over and over again. Its changed the way we use our mobile devices.
Time-lapse is not quite a video, nor a photo. It’s actually a combination of both. A Time-Lapse takes multiple photographs and compiles them into a video. But what makes this different from a normal video? Well this would be the opposite of slow motion, where in slow motion we are adding as many frames as possible, in Time-Lapse we are capturing less frames per second, depending on how long the Time-Lapse will be, this will then compile hundreds of frames giving us a faster motion or something like a fast forward effect. For a Time-Lapse to be successful, you should have a moving subject for example clouds moving across the sky or perhaps a sunset. But what’s key to a successful Time-Lapse is once it has started, you mustn’t move the position of the phone; you want to keep it stationary and not move it if possible. Leave this for a long period of time, and your result should be a fast-forward video:
The beauty of digital is that you aren’t paying for film like in the old days, so as long as you still have battery life you can play around as much as you like while you get to grips with the various modes and settings.
Practice is the only real way to master this stuff, so get out there and start practicing.