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  • Blake Calhoun

FiLMiC Pro + Dolby Vision 10-Bit HDR

When Apple announced the iPhone 12 it was a nice surprise that they now included Dolby Vision 10-Bit HDR to the native video camera app. But, if you follow this site and my YouTube channel you know I'm not a big fan of the native app.


Do I use it? Sure. Especially for quick shots of my kids. But for everything else I use FiLMiC Pro.


So while I was excited about the possibilities of Dolby Vision, I wasn't excited about using the native app to capture it. And early reports were that Apple wasn't going to let third-party developers access this feature to use in other apps...


Thank goodness that was short lived.


So yes, now within FiLMiC Pro you can shoot Dolby Vision 10-Bit HDR!

Quick note: As mentioned in the above video... Below is the lake sequence in HDR. As of yet I can't get it to work on YouTube (turns out HDR uploads are a bit tricky and they are new to me, so still working on the best settings and workflow), but I was able to get it uploaded to Vimeo and you can watch it below or here on their site (make sure to use an HDR compatible screen like on a later generation iPhone or iPad).

While this is a very exciting development, for me I probably won't use this feature a ton (although that could change as it's so new right now).


Why? Well, it has a baked in look and so while you can color grade it, that's not what it's designed for. It is really a delivery format for watching HDR content, not one to manipulate in post. That's where shooting log or flat comes in and of course FiLMiC Pro's Cinematography Kit.


So in saying that, I really hope that FiLMiC will add 10-bit encoding to their SDR footage. THAT will be amazing and more useful for everyday work. And I ***think*** this will happen. I can't say it will for sure, but I believe this will happen.


Keep in mind that these new features ONLY apply to the iPhone 12 (and later, depending on when you're reading this). So previous iPhones will not shoot HDR or 10-bit. And btw, that's okay. You can still get amazingly good results using older devices. In particular iPhone 8 and newer. So don't rush out and buy one of these unless you're due for an upgrade - or unless you're very serious about mobile video (like me).


I just got the iPhone 12 Pro Max and whoa... It is a nice upgrade from my 11 Pro Max. So far it's night & day when it comes to low light video performance. And that's HUGE for me. Low light video noise is one of the biggest hurdles when using iPhones in more professional ways. So this is a very welcome benefit to the 12 Pro Max's larger sensor and new f/1.6 aperture wide lens (btw, all the iPhone 12 cameras have the new wider aperture - the 12 Pro Max has the additional larger sensor).


I always enjoy this time of year when the new iPhones are released, although it does put a dent in my wallet. :)


Who would have thought that one day we'd have PHONES that can shoot 10-bit video? Most traditional cameras can't do that (although now more and more are including this, but 8-bit has been and still is the norm - even on expensive cameras like the Canon C200, etc.).


Exciting times for sure and I can't wait to see where mobile video and apps like FiLMiC Pro go in the future. -BC

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