How we shot 80 interviews in 4 days using an iPad mini, Vizzywig, and iOgrapher as our close-up camera!

Vizzywig was one of the sponsors of our #CESlive coverage, but I have nothing to do with the sponsorships around here, and I hadn't spent much time with the app before walking onto the stage. Now, having seen it in actions for several hours a day over the course of the week, both watching Geek Beat's John P. handling it, and handling it myself, I was blown away. With it, we shot all the close ups for all the interviews — almost 80 in total — over the course of just 4 days. Here's how!

i4software's Vizzywig does a few things very well. More importantly, it does them all in the same app. First, it shoots video. Point. Capture. Done. Second, it lets you edit that video. Take your shots, move and manipulate them until they're just exactly where and what you want, add transitions and titles, and you're good to share. If that sounds a lot like a combination of Apple's built-in Camara app and downloadable iMovie app, it's because that's pretty much exactly what it is, just with the convenience of an all-in-one. But it's only the beginning. The real magic of Vyzziwig is remote cameras. You can take up to 10 iOS — or Android! — devices, send them out, and the switch between them in real-time. It's not something we were able to use this time, but it's absolutely something we're looking at for the future.

The Vizzywig interface is big, and bold, and usable, but it'd be nice to see it get some iOS 7-style pixel love (especially that old-school disk save icon!). Also, at $30, Vizzywig may not be for everyone. However, it's certainly some of the best money any aspiring videographer can spend on mobile. As someone wants more incredibly powerful, incredibly sophisticated software on mobile, I love that it exists. And that it allowed us to do something we likely couldn't have done, and certainly not as easily, without it.

What was of most interest to most of us here at iMore and Mobile Nations was the speed of workflow Vizzywig enabled. I've long been envious of my MacBreak Weekly co-host, Alex Lindsay's ability to work as a one-man video crew at shows like CES and MacWorld. He captures, edits, and uploads video straight from his iPhone, straight from the show floor, with incredible turn-around time. Vizzywig is the first tool we've tested that might just be easy enough for us to do likewise. (Stay tuned for more on that.)

Our #CESlive setup also included an iPad mini — Vizzywig works on both iPhone and iPad — which ran straight into the live broadcast thanks to an HDMI-out cable. The iPad itself was in an iOgrapher case. While iPhoneography is far more common, and strangely accepted, than iPadography, it's not uncommon to see pro cameras and displays as big, if not bigger, than iPads in production. Sometimes you really need to see what you're shooting! However, those cameras typically also enjoy things like one or multiple shoe mounts for flashes, lights. boom mics, Wi-Fi mic receivers, and other components, and tripod mounts for the rig. That's where iOgrapher comes in. It not only gives you 3 shoes right on top and a mount below, it gives you big, easy to use handles on both sides, and a lens attachment so you can go wide-angle, telephoto, or fisheye and really up the iPad's shooting game.

Taken together, the setup feels like an example of what Apple's promoting with their what will your verse be? (opens in new tab) and I think a good one. If you're into video, let me know — how important are the iPhone or iPad to your workflow, and how important would you want them to be?

  • $29.99 - Vizzywig - Download now (opens in new tab)
  • $65.00 - iOgrapher - Buy now (opens in new tab)
Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • Interesting. The Mini's camera is useful after all. I just feel weird when taking a picture with an iPad.
  • Taking a video too. Forgot to add that.
  • The size of its display is useful. I wish the camera was as good as the one on the iPhone 5s, but even at 5mp, for 1080p video, with the extra lens attachments the iOgrapher allows, it was great to use.
  • Pretty amazing stuff. Do you guys foresee this as the removal of dedicated video/camera guys going forward (I'm guessing in the past the above would have required a team of folks)?
  • I don't think we'd remove anyone, as this simply improves workflow, it doesn't give you talent or an "eye". But I do think it could increase efficiency. For example, instead of having 2 or 3 people in each team, those same people could all go out individually and cover more and different stuff.
  • Being a television editor I was interested to see how Vizzywig worked.
    But did you actually use Vizzywig to broadcast any live video, or were any segments that went to the site actually made using Vizzywig? (links please)
    I only say this as I would love to see live switching and broadcast of video from an iPad. When I watched the live feeds and interviews it looked like Vizzywig served only as the app open on the iPad; which you cut to via the HDMI cable output.
    It looked like you were shooting the main part with another camera, and switching with actual video switching hardware.
    Using Tricaster as they were a sponsor? So apart from the demo (shown on a different iPad) you could have just as easily used the Apple camera app and displayed it out via the HDMI cable.
    Maybe I missed the segments and stories shot and edited using Vizzywig.
  • All the stuff you see in the video at the top, and in all the CESlive videos, was taken out of Vizzywig via HDMI and broadcast live over Ustream. Like I said, we only used it as the close-up cam for this, but after talking with John P and Alex Lindsay, and spending some time with it, we're going to use it for more stuff in the near future. Likely to capture, edit, and upload remotely. (Not live.)
  • What apps does Alex utilize to do his thing? I'm interested to know. Sent from the iMore App
  • I think he just uses but I'll ask him!
  • Amazing setup you got there for the iPad Mini. I've seen a lot of your videos from CES and it was pretty interesting to see your iPad Mini combo in action. It was very efficient in taking close up shots during interviews since it removes the delay that is usually present when a different person is the one doing the close up shots.
  • It was really cool to see the close ups of the different products. Sent from the iMore App
  • Rene as always your work impresses me, keep it up! I was just thinking about what you use to do the great work you do and boom you gave it to me! That is impressive. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hello, this is great information. What type of lens are you using? I am interested in a lens that is good for zooming in. I think I heard that the light is model CN160, what brand is that? Thanks so much.