Experiments in Storytelling with the iPhone using @FilMicPro @storehousehq @steller and iMovie featuring @fotopunctuation

I’m just back from the “RoosDagen” conference in The Netherlands where I held workshops on Mobile Journalism and also spoke as part of a Plenary session on the subject. While there I showed the most recent iPhone story I’ve shot: “Brendan O Se- iPhoneographer” which I filmed last week in Cork. As always I used FilMicPro as my camera App but I decided to experiment with the new version of iMovie (iOS7) on iPhone to see how far I could push it…

I’m actually very impressed with the new features which included Video Overlay, Detach Audio, Audio Fade in Fade out, PiP, Split screen and new title graphics etc.

Yesterday was an interesting day because it saw the launch of Steller a new Visual Storytelling App for iPhone. I’ve been a big fan of Storehouse for creating immersive multi media/visual stories since its launch but it is iPad only. However both are free and I would encourage you to try them both out if you can.

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Heres a link to a Steller version of Brendans Story (note max file size is 10Mb so I had to drop about 8 pages with videos to make it fit the size limit!)

https://steller.co/stories/205553277939484098

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Note: Best viewed using the App on your iOS device (as with Storehouse)

And I’ve just published a Storehouse version also. Download the App to view the full parallax scrolling/ immersive version

https://www.storehouse.co/stories/k113-brendan-o-se

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Olloclip hit the market with a Telephoto and polariser lens combo via @olloclip

Recently I blogged about OlloClip releasing a companion App for their hugely popular 3in1 lens system for iPhone. Now they have gone even one step further with the introduction of a 2x Zoom Lens and a Very nice adjustable Polariser filter. 

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The 2 in 1 lens is retailing on the OlloClip website for $99. Mine arrived in the post yesterday and the first thing that struck me was that the build quality was very good. Im going to take it out over the weekend and take some shots with it and if they are worth posting here as examples Ill pu them up over the weekend. In the interim though there are some nice examples on the OlloClip Website

I wonder does Patrick O’Neill and his team have any interesting iPad mini accessories in the pipeline? Hmmmm

Issues with the Rode iXY while recording Video via RockyBiasi

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“Rocky” left a comment on my post about the Rode iXY microphone for iOS. He asked if he was doing something wrong with the iXY as he wasn’t able to record audio while shooting video if the iXY was connected to his iPhone 4s. I was somewhat intrigued…I hadn’t tested the iXY while shooting video, to be honest (as I asked Rocky) why would you…the XY config mic is in effect sitting at a 90degree right angle to the camera so I assume the audio will be less than ideal (even if it was working) however I still decided to do a few tests to see if I could spot an issue/find a solution.

Its raised some very interesting observations actually…
1. Rocky is 99% correct, if you connect the iXY to the iPhone 4s and shoot video with the Native Camera App the audio level is unusably low (not non-existent)

2. I tested the iXY with the Rode Rec App and its working perfectly, I also downloaded the FREE Rode Rec LE App as it has a Firmware update which I applied to the iXY and tested again but the result was the same.

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3. I then tried using the iXY with the latest version of FiLMiCPro v3.3 but had the same issue as with the native camera App – Audio very low

4. Next I tested the iXY using FilMic Classic heres the result:

By the way I have to apologise for the shoddy, handheld, low light camerawork, but it is 2am here in Ireland and Im more than just a little knackered! :/

One tip, Make sure you enable the iPhone speaker when playing back the recorded clips. [Double tap home button, scroll left and tap the AirPlay symbol if it shows beside the volume slider – select iPhone Speaker if it in the list, if its not then it should be automatically selected.]

Im sure the guys from Cinegenix (who are the developers of FilMicPro) could shed more light on this if asked! Anyway Rocky, to answer your question: if you want to use the iXY to record audio on your video clips then FilMic Classic seems to be the solution.

The Best Video Camera App for iOS, @FilMicPro, just got a whole lot better.

Ive literally just downloaded the latest update to FilMicPro and Im blown away by the latest features.

Key updates:

1. REALTIME AUDIO MONITORING
2. IN APP CHROMA KEY
3. FILMIC REMOTE SUPPORT*
4. AUDIO FILTERING

Of all the above the one Ive been waiting for most is the Realtime Audio monitoring. I have to mention VideoPro App which alerted me to the fact that they had this feature in May, however one of my fellow trainers, John Inge Johansen from NRK in Norway tried the VideoPro App and discovered that on his iPhone 4S he was getting variable frame rates despite selecting 25fps – I dont know if that is still an issue but I will check. Nonetheless the ability to turn on or off audio monitoring is now in FilMic and this truly makes it the defacto BEST VIDEO APP for IOS (in my humble opinion)

Another cool feature is FilMic Remote, I had access to an early beta release of this and with the exception of some latency issues I was really impressed. In short it allows one iPhone or iPad running the FilMic Remote App to take control of another App that has the webserver enabled in the FilMic Settings. I need to check again but the plan was it could work over bluetooth, WiFi and 3G which is pretty awesome. So in theory you could have an iPhone plugged into a power supply and in standby mode and the remote App could wake it, set it to record and (though this may not be active yet) send the recording to the remote. Im going to test this in the coming days and report back.

One particular aspect of the Remote App settings though shows up in the settings as SCREEN OPTIONS and its in here that there is in fact a hidden gem. If you have ever tried to connect your iPhone to a separate screen you will know you can mirror via Airplay or use the Apple Digital AV adapter to connect it to a HDMI source- however it is an exact copy of the screen – menu and all. Under the screen options menu you get the following options:

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NO ACTION (the Default setting)
Disable Preview
DISABLE UI
Blank screen

Also these last three options appear for “While connected to FilMic Remote)

Let me explain what this means: FILMICPRO has just become the first camera App (to the best of my knowledge) that can send a completely clean HDMI live output from the iPhone. I can now connect it to a recorder like the ATMOS NINJA and record a clean output, I could connect it to a streaming device like the LIVESTREAM BROADCASTER- but why would I when I can stream directly from the App?!

The built in chroma key is a great addition, Ill shoot a test on a green screen background and see how it performs.

Im hoping to get a Skype interview with Neill Barham, the founder and CEO of Cinegenix, makers of FilMicPro this week so if you have any questions you’d like me to ask him reply or tweet them to me @glenbmulcahy

Check this out: RecoLive MultiCam – The Multi-Camera Shooting App for iOS via @RecoInfo

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RecoLive MultiCam – The Multi-Camera Shooting App – Video.

You may have heard of Collabracam or indeed Vyclone but here is another iOS multi camera application that has a new feature set that I think is quite unique and certainly gives it a competitive edge.

RecoLive is similar to Collabracam in that it uses the RecoLive App to either act as a remote camera or as a multi camera director/controller – the Director interface is particularly effective on the iPad.

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Ok, so maybe the Swiss developers don’t buy into the rule of crossing the line – but the video (in spite of being in French) still gives a pretty good idea of the potential of RecoLive. So heres the three extra bits they have introduced that I think really sets them apart from the competitors.

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1. Built in support for Galileo – the Kickstarter funded remote control iPhone holder and interface for iOS. Galileo is designed by Motrr and will be available to purchase soon via their website www.motrr.com This is pretty awesome stuff as it means the director (using the iPad App) can potentially control a number of remote iPhones  in Galileo mounts – this gives the director effective PT (Pan, Tilt) control. Pretty Awesome

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2. RecoLive Capture A companion App for OSX which streams the desktop output of the Mac or any camera available on the mac over wifi (presumably via AirPlay) to the Director App – meaning you can deliver a Keynote on the mac and it will appear as a source on the Director App together with any other RecoLive cameras  (as long as they are all connected to the same WiFi network and the AirPlay ports required are not locked down by a firewall.) Note this App is described on the RecoLive website as an “EXPERIMENTAL” version of the App to garner user feedback. Its free as a result but may also have some bugs to be ironed out.

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3. The latest update to the RecoLive App offers an override of the default auto exposure and focus with new Manual exposure and focus control and even a dimmer feature so the flash on the iPhone 5 can be used as a tally light! See their blog post for more info on this.

NOTE: I have not yet tested RecoLive or any of the features Ive just mentioned however I intend to do so once I can get my hands on a Galileo – which will hopefully be soon. I will update the post at that stage.

RecoLive is 4.99 on the App Store (note it requires iOS 6.1 to run the latest version and the RecoLive Capture App for OSX requires OSX 10.8)

You can follow RecoLive on twitter

Olloclip – makers of the famous 3-In-One iPhone Photo Lens release a free companion App | via @olloclip

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olloclip 3-In-One iPhone Photo Lens. I recently posted a blog about Olloclip and their new olloclip Quick-Flip Case. Well Patrick O’Neill, founder and CEO and the clever team at olloclip have also been busy developing a companion App – also called Olloclip.

The App is free and features:

A CAMERA with three functions Normal, Macro and Video modes.

I was surprised to see that the option of the Exposure control and focus control which can be turned on and controlled separately in either photomode  was not an option in Video mode. Also there is no way ( I could see) to lock the focus/exposure once set. Maybe that will come in the next version of the app.

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Note: When you switch to video mode the camera starts to auto-record – this is something that should be an option in the settings menu and not the default – in my opinion. But I like the fact that one of the settings in ALLOW VERTICAL VIDEO! Yeah no more VVS!

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The Macro photography mode also has a LOUPE mode which zooms in on the image by a preset amount (2x / 2.5x / 3x)

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MESH EDITOR MODE- gives you the ability to load images from your camera roll that were shot using an olloclip and correct the barrel distortion effects created by the wide angle or macro lenses.

If you are not familiar with olloclip check out this video:

iPhone 4s and 5 have separate mics for video and they are not where you (or I) think!. You Learn Something New Everyday – via @marcsettle

So on Friday 19th May I gave a 30min talk on Mojo at the Journalism.co.uk conference News:Rewired in London.

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I was advocating the use of some form of Tripod holder and and external microphone to augment the quality of the video content you can create with the iPhone. At the end of the session my good friend Marc Settle from the BBC College of Journalism gently called me aside and politely said – “One of your slides in factually incorrect” I blushed, took a deep breath and asked which one. “The one about the iPhone microphone for video”

Can I say at this point that when I get embarrassed I turn a gentle shade of pink, however at this point I was a deep velvety crimson. Marc (again politely) took out his iPhone 4s and recorded a clip and then while speaking proceed to cover the speaker and microphone elements on the bottom of the iPhone, he then asked me to cover the headphone socket, which I did, albeit slightly incredulously. When he played the video clip back the audio showed no change when the mic and speaker on the bottom of the phone was covered but was almost mute when my finger was over the Headphone socket. He then pointed out the PINHOLE beside the headphone socket – which it turns out IS the video mic.

For fear of suffering the humiliation of this epiphany a second time at some future date, as soon as I got home I tested the iPhone 5 – which remember has the headphone socket on the base, with the mic and speaker – and low and behold I discovered that on the iPhone 5 the video mic is in fact BETWEEN the lens and the led flash.

So you see we can all be wrong and we can all learn something new everyday. Im just thankful that Marc chose to call me aside to teach me this valuable lesson and that someone else didn’t  ask about this during the session. Im suitably humbled and better informed -Thank you Marc.

 

You Learn Something New Everyday

Video Microphone placement on the iPhone 4S versus iPhone 5

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