Capture breathtaking video on your iPhone with some extra gear.
DSLR cameras and quality camcorders can shoot beautiful, vivid, captivating video – but affording a good camera plus all of its equipment can get pretty pricey. If you're looking for decent quality lenses, audio equipment, stabilizers, sliders and accessories – on top of the cost of your camera – you could be looking at a price tag of around $7,500 or even more. How about you use your iPhone instead?
Here's what gear you'll need to turn your iPhone into a professional videography and photography machine, and what you need to get started shooting video with your iPhone. While the gear might still seem somewhat expensive, it's a lot less than paying for professional products.
The first thing you need to turn your iPhone into a professional video rig is a good quality case, specifically something that works with other equipment, can be mounted onto a tripod, and has a durable structure – after all, you don't want to drop your iPhone mid-video and have it shatter.
There's a wide range of cases to pick from, but cases such as the Beastgrip Pro work with virtually any camera phone and is a must-own if you're serious about iPhone videography.
The case's modular design with removable lens mounts mean you can customize and play with your rig to put together a video recording device that you're 100% comfortable with using. (And if you're looking for a case/rig that works well with your iPad, take a peek at the iOgrapher Filmmaking Case.)
If you're a fan of shooting iPhoneography already, then chances are you've seen or heard of external lenses. Like a DSLR, you can add a new lens to your iPhone to distort, enhance, zoom, and do things your iPhone alone simply can't.
There are plenty of different lenses that you can pick up individually on sites like Amazon or Photojojo, but those are aimed more towards iPhoneography than capturing crystal clear video (this isn't necessarily a bad thing, either!) Typically, you will get a macro, wide-angle, and fisheye lens with most packages, but these change from brand to brand.
Lens kits like the iPro Lens Kit come with a durable case plus three lenses (macro, super wide-angle, and 2x telephoto) which work great for shooting video as the case is durable and the lenses secure directly to it. High-quality lenses from Moment can also be customized with a case, or mounted individually with a mounting plate.
You can even pick up more bizarre lenses to shoot with if you're looking to get more creative, like Urban Outfitter's fly eye lens.
If you're wanting to conduct interviews, put together YouTube video reviews, or even capture the sounds of nature while you're on a walk, then you'll need a microphone that works hand-in-hand with your iPhone. There are a few different options to pick from: on-device mics, lavalier mics, and wireless microphones.
While your iPhone's mics are strong enough to pick up nearby ambient sounds, you can achieve a lot more with a lot higher quality, external microphone. Sound quality can make or break a video — poor sound can absolutely ruin a video with phenomenal visuals.
Microphones like the Shure MV88 are small enough to fit on your iPhone and iPad, while being strong enough to pick up even the faintest of sounds while providing superior audio quality and clarity.
Stabilizing your iPhone can be the tipping point between shooting amazing video or shooting sub-par footage. The pros shooting with DSLR cameras use camera-stabilizing mounts or tripods. These expensive rigs are designed to hold the camera and mitigate unwanted movements like camera shake and help your final product look professional and polished.
Because your iPhone is a heck of a lot smaller than a DSLR camera, you don't need a massive, expensive, full-body stabilizer or gigantic tripod to shoot your video. All you need is a more compact and portable device, like the handheld Istabilizer Gimbal, or for a less expensive option, the Steadicam Smoothee, a universal mount that can be used as a tripod adapter, and allows for seamless pan and tilt action like you expect from the movies you see in the theatre today.
Lighting is so important when it comes to photography and video. It can create a particular mood, accentuate certain details of an image or video, and be used to make things less or more dramatic depending on what you're looking for.
There are plenty of light sources available that work with your iPhone for either iPhoneography or shooting video. Some less sophisticated, cheap versions work just as well as more expensive ones, but it all comes down to what you're looking for and how much control you want over your lighting.
The iBlazr 2 syncs to your iPhone wirelessly, giving you full control over light's color and brightness. The lights work with a selfie remote and can be used with your iPhone or iPad. Other devices like the KickV2 feature 400-lumen output and a wide-angle beam so you really get a pocketful of sunshine when you're working with this light.
What gear is your go-to?
Is there we something we missed? A light you think needs to be on the list? A tripod you couldn't imagine shooting without? Let us know your favorite iPhone video devices and why you're so obsessed with using them to capture your footage!