Phone-based photography is really becoming an accepted way to take everything from snapshots to professional-grade photos. It wasn’t all that long ago that camera phones were shunned for their poor image quality and lack of features. But most people don’t even own point-and-shoot cameras anymore because the cameras on their smartphones are good enough to be the only cameras they need.
Apple made a serious step up in its own camera phone technology with last year’s release of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The cameras built into these phones contain the most advanced imaging hardware ever made by Apple (and some have argued, ever made for smartphones). I’m not sure if Apple is so thrilled with these cameras that they really want to make sure people know how to use them, or if they’re attempting some clever marketing to clear out old stock ahead of the release of a new iPhone later this year. Regardless, the company has released a series of short videos on YouTube to help iPhoneographers get the most out of their hardware.
This tutorial series is called How to Shoot on iPhone 7 and it contains five parts:
- How to shoot a great portrait on iPhone 7 Plus
- How to shoot a close-up on iPhone 7
- How to shoot a vertical Pano on iPhone 7
- How to shoot without a flash on iPhone 7
- How to shoot action on iPhone 7
You can watch the entire playlist in under three minutes. These videos are quick and to the point. But they still contain plenty of that somehow-casual-but-still-well-produced vibe Apple is good at.
If you’d like to expand your skills with your iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus’s camera, this is a good place to start.
Smartphones and tablets are more than just communication and consumption devices. They’re high-powered computers capable of doing many of the same things as full-fledged desktop machines. For media producers, that means things like multitrack audio production. And while devices like iPhones and iPads come with built-in microphones that make it possible to record sound, this process can be greatly improved with the addition of a dedicated audio interface. That’s where the new iTrack One Pre from Focusrite comes in:
Capture high resolution audio from a mic or guitar directly onto your iPhone or iPad, wherever and whenever you want.
Never before have you been able to record a professional condenser microphone into your iPhone or iPad without needing any external power, making it even easier to record on the go.
The iTrack One Pre connects to an iOS device thru the Lightning port, where it sends audio into the host device for recording. Live audio monitoring is done thru the host device’s headphone jack. (Devices without a headphone jack, like the iPhone 7, don’t have the ability to do live-audio monitoring, but can still record with the iTrack One Pre.)
The iTrack One Pre is officially Apple MFi certified on all iOS devices up to the iPhone 6s Plus and iPad Pro to ensure compatibility with host devices and apps. The iTrack One Pre can also provide phantom power for condenser microphones that need it.
The iTrack One Pre is available for purchase for $129.99.
The iPhone has become a valuable tool for media producers. And while the device can do a lot on its own, it can be improved dramatically with external add-ons like microphones. Simply plugging a high-quality, dedicated microphone into an iPhone can raise the sound quality of audio and video recordings noticeably. But, it’s not always easy to find a microphone that’s compatible and/or easy to use with an iPhone. That’s where the new Lolly microphone comes in:
Lolly is the first portable 3D recording device that gives listeners an immersive feeling. Our three dimensional sound makes it seem like you’re hearing the music live!
Lolly is compact and portable so you can easily slip it in your pocket. It’s also very user-friendly. You don’t have to be an audio engineer to have professional quality!
Lolly records in 48kHz/44.1kH. The response frequency ranges from 20Hz to 20,000kHz. & sensitivity is -42dBFS/Pa at 1kHz
Lolly connects to an iPhone thru the phone’s Lightning port, so there’s no dongles or adapters to worry about if you’re using the microphone with a newer iPhone model. Lolly also works seamlessly with all iOS-based media production apps, including GarageBand, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and Voice Memos.
Lolly is set to be released in the next few days. Follow the link at the top of this post to sign up for release announcements and more information on the Lolly microphone.
Thanks to their built-in high quality video cameras, modern mobile phones have been a real game changer for video producers. And while “phoneography” puts a lot of power directly into the hands of creators, there are still lots of limitations. After all, these cameras are designed to be accessories to cell phones. Not the other way around. But products like the new Beastgrip adapter can turn any mobile phone into a professional video rig.
Beastgrip is a modular and flexible adapter system that works with any iPhone, Android or Windows Mobile mobile phone. Beastgrip also works with phones regardless of whether or not they’re inside of a protective case. This system allows many external lenses and accessories to be used with a mobile phone camera, greatly extending the camera’s functionality.
beastgrip is designed to be one truly universal phoneography system. For example, if you just need to connect your mobile phone to a tripod, Beastgrip does that. If you need to expand your rig to include special lenses or external microphones, Beastgrip does that, too. The possibilities are nearly endless for how you can use Beastgrip. Here’s some specifications:
- Removable lens mount assembly with standard 37mm lens/filer mount, additional grip and two 1/4″-20 threaded mounts
- Compatible with wide variety of standard conversion lenses/filters and DOF adapters
- Extra grip and two mounting points to attach additional accessories
- Base with adjustable spring loaded clamps will keep your phone securely in place
- Standard 1/4″-20 threaded mount allows to mount it on any tripod or other support gear
- Cold shoe mount allows to attach LED light or microphone
- Ergonomic handle provides with comfortable grip for stable handheld shots
- Two 1/4″-20 threaded mounts for attaching additional accessories
- Handle can be removed from the base for more compact setup
Beastgrip is being officially launched thru Kickstarter. The campaign has already exceeded its desired goal amount by more than double. There are pledge rewards at many levels. The $40 level will get you two special Beastgrip lens adapters that will work with many popular lens adapter kits (not just the Beastgrip system). The highest pledge level of $210 will get you the full Beastgrip Pro rig with all lenses and accessories.