Filming videos with iPhone and iPad: Stiftung Warentest recommends software and equipment

Videos with iPhone and iPad

The authors of Stiftung Warentest have published a brochure (or will be published on March 15, 2016) that informs consumers about which software and accessories are suitable if they want to shoot, cut and edit videos with their iPhone or iPad. "Videos with iPhone and iPad - digital world for beginners” is the name of the book, and it promises to help the beginner both in the selection of the accessories and in the operation of the software, so that everything is explained in a comprehensible way, from the actual filming to editing and publishing on YouTube.

The blurb of the brochure on Amazon reads like this:

Videos with iPhone and iPadThe built-in cameras in our smartphones and tablets are getting better and better. With iMovie for example, iPhone and iPad offer a powerful app to cut, edit, and merge your own clips. This guide shows you very clearly how to make really good videos. Also included are small tips for the perfect camera pan, the best editing and the optimal scene structure. Even advanced users will find something worth knowing in the book with an introduction to the professional program Pinnacle Studio or video editing on the Mac. And if you want to upload your video to YouTube at the end, this will also be explained to you.

The camera of the iPhone 6s and 6s plus is already relatively good and offers 4K video and the iPhone 6 plus / 6s plus even has an optical image stabilizer built in, which achieves excellent results, but there are still options to rotate the videos improve. The testers from Stiftung Warentest have selected equipment such as clip-on microphones, light sources and clip-on lenses that are suitable for iPhone and iPad.

The recommendations for the iPhone accessories

In order to bring the above-mentioned book into focus, the authors have published two videos on YouTube that are intended to whet your appetite for more. The first shows which accessories you can use to enhance your iPhone for more professional videos. You can watch the YouTube video here:

iPhone accessories for video shoots

I have put together a list of the accessories shown in the video here. Since I don't know all the parts, I won't rate them (except for the Olloclip - it's great!). However, the reviews on Amazon show that it is definitely not a "useless lump" that was carelessly put together. Here the authors seem to have really tested and recommended what was practical.

  • Shoulderpod S1 (Smartphone holder with tripod holder, handle and stand)
  • Rode SmartLav + (Lavalier microphone with 3,5mm headset connection, suitable for clipping it to a sweater or shirt during interviews)
  • Joby Hybrid Gorilla Pod (Clamp tripod with flexible leg joints; for example, for attachment to railings, car mirrors, branches or the like)
  • Olloclip (Clip-on lenses that offer everything from telephoto lenses to macro to fish-eye)
  • ZOOM iQ7 MS (Clip-on stereo microphone with Lightning connector)
  • Neewer LED video light (dimmable video light with LEDs)
Rotate videos with the iPhone and iPad
Rotate videos with the iPhone and iPad: The brochure helps to achieve better results with mobile phone videos.

The question of the meaning of the “iPhone-Pimpens”

Of course, one can argue about the usefulness of expanding your iPhone with accessories that, taken together, ultimately weigh a multiple of the iPhone (and are also not particularly cheap). Personally, I would appreciate that one might use one or two of the "addons" to get better filming on the iPhone. But if I really film a lot, then maybe I'd better buy a camcorder that works with 4K and optical image stabilization. For example, I personally think the devices from Sony are extremely good: the Sony FDR-AX 100 E camcorder It doesn't cost little, but it offers Zeiss optics and a 1-inch sensor, which (the iPhone with all due respect) guarantees a better video image.

The crucial question is: For what purpose do I want to use the video and what quality do I need when filming. If the quality of the iPhone is sufficient and I only want the stereo sound, then a stereo clip-on microphone is definitely the best choice. But if I want to "pimp" several areas, then a camcorder might be the more practical alternative. But that's up to you to decide. :)

Practical tips for filming with iPhone and iPad

As a little goodie, the Stiftung Warentest people also made a second video that gives you practical tips on filming with your Apple smartphone or tablet. Here is a brief summary of the information:

  1. Wide format instead of portrait - later makes editing easier and improves the quality if you later want to publish the film in television format.
  2. Avoid background noise – keep your fingers firmly on the iPhone when filming, because every movement of the fingers produces “scratching and rustling noises” in the film.
  3. Turn on airplane mode – this prevents interference from Whatsapp and similar “colleagues”.
  4. Pay attention to focus and exposure - this can be set before the start of the recording by tapping the subject on the display.
  5. Adjust exposure - if you take pictures against a bright background or with backlight, you can change the exposure with the sun symbol and a swipe up or down.
  6. 16: 9 format on the iPad - With a double tap on the display you can switch to the 16: 9 format on the iPad.

If you still want to watch the video, you can do so here:

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.