Let me be clear; this is not a paid review. My thoughts are based solely on my personal experience using this app on a recent project.
In the world of mobile filmmaking, innovation comes at a rapid pace, and as someone who's been using mobile phones for filming over the past three years, I've seen it all. From investing in mobile lenses and filters to relying on the trusty FilmicPro app, my journey has been filled with creativity and challenges. However, in the past week, the game has changed with the launch of the Blackmagic Camera iOS App.
ProRes on Any iPhone? Yes, Please!
One of the most exciting features of the Blackmagic app is its ability to shoot in ProRes, even on entry-level iPhones. Previously, ProRes was reserved for the iPhone Pro series, but with this app, all iPhone users can elevate their video quality. This was a game-changer for me, and it instantly expanded my creative possibilities.
Familiar Controls for Blackmagic Enthusiasts
Being an early adopter of Blackmagic Cinema Cameras, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the controls in the Blackmagic mobile app felt incredibly familiar. It's as if they brought the essence of their professional cameras into the palm of my hand. This made the transition from my Blackmagic Cinema Camera to my iPhone seamless.
Proxies for Workflow Efficiency
The app's ability to create proxies directly on the phone significantly improved my workflow. Although filming in ProRes consumes storage rapidly, the convenience of having proxies for editing was a game-changer. With the new iPhone 15 Pro, you can even tether and record on an external HDD using the USB C, which is a lifesaver for storage-hungry ProRes workflows.
Seamless Integration with DaVinci Resolve and the Cloud
The integration with DaVinci Resolve and the Davinci Cloud was like a match made in heaven. My workflow felt like clockwork, allowing me to edit and grade my footage effortlessly. The quality of the footage held up impressively well, even in low-light conditions, without breaking during grading.
Perfectly Matched Footage from Multiple iPhones
One standout feature of the Blackmagic app is its ability to ensure that footage from multiple iPhones matches seamlessly, even without grading. By copying the same camera settings in both cameras, I was able to achieve a consistent look, making it ideal for multi-camera shoots.
Timecode Sync for Seamless Multi-Camera Shooting
The other feature that truly impressed me is its time code functionality, which can be set to time of day. This capability becomes a game-changer when shooting with two or more phones simultaneously, as it allows you to achieve precise timecode synchronization.
In the world of filmmaking, maintaining sync between multiple cameras is essential, and this app makes it remarkably convenient. Whether you're capturing a multi-camera scene or recording from different angles, having synchronized timecode ensures that your footage aligns seamlessly in post-production.
It's Free, but Here's What I'd Love in Future Updates
While I wouldn't call them cons, there are a few features I'd love to see in future updates. Firstly, having control over the cinematic mode focusing capabilities within the app would be fantastic. Additionally, the ability to transfer proxies over Bluetooth would be a welcome addition, as it currently requires a cable connection. Integrating support for popular cloud storage platforms like Frame.io, Dropbox, or Google Drive, similar to DaVinci Resolve, would also be a game-changer.
Enhancing Audio Capabilities
On the audio front, it would be great if the app could simultaneously trigger connected external microphones or recorders over Bluetooth. This would streamline the audio recording process and open up possibilities for capturing high-quality sound on the go.
Conclusion: A Giant Leap for Mobile Filmmaking
In conclusion, the Blackmagic Mobile Phone Camera App is a significant leap forward for mobile filmmaking and filmmaking in general. It brings ProRes and Blackmagic-quality controls to any iPhone, enhances workflow efficiency with proxies, and seamlessly integrates with DaVinci Resolve and the Davinci Cloud. While there's room for improvement, the fact that it's free makes it a must-have tool for any filmmaker looking to push the boundaries of creativity with their mobile device.
Image © Blackmagic Design