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  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

Final Cut Camera App

Apple has finally released a "pro" camera app for the iPhone called... Final Cut Camera?


Yep.


It's definitely an odd choice for a camera app name as when you hear "Final Cut" you think of their editing app and post-production - not cameras or production. But that's what they called it and so we'll go with it...


The big question on most people's mind is how "pro" is it? Check out this video below where I answer that question and do an overview of the app:



Did you watch the video? :) Okay, so now here are some pros & cons...


CONS

  1. While it has some pro features, they are fairly limited, so I actually wouldn't call this a pro app (I'd go with "prosumer").

  2. One of the main reasons it's not professional is the lack of ANY audio controls. You cannot adjust or set the levels. Hopefully they'll add this in a future update.

  3. When shooting Apple Log there is no LUT support to see a REC 709 image, so that means you have to watch the low contrast, flat and desaturated log while shooting.

  4. There is no 48mm (virtual) lens or macro lens like there is in the native camera app. This is a baffling one, but perhaps it has something to do with photography and the computational imaging the native camera does (and this app is video only).

  5. To use several of the main features like shooting live multicam you HAVE to use Final Cut Pro (thus the name Final Cut Camera).


PROS

  1. The app is free, so it's a no-brainer to at least give it a try.

  2. It has it's own Media Library and so that means when you shoot large ProRes video files they don't clog up any iCloud Photos backup and then take up a lot of storage space (those files are HUGE) - they are stored directly/locally in the app itself. NOTE: They do get backed up in a full iCloud backup that does the entire phone, including apps, but they are not part of the individual Photos App backup.

  3. While the pro features are watered down, they are sufficient for a lot of jobs. The ability to now control shutter and white balance are particularly great.

  4. This is an ideal app for beginners. It's a nice in between app... It's not the overly simple native camera app - and then it's not the more complex Blackmagic Camera app. So if you're trying to learn manual control and get more professional results with an iPhone this is a good place to start.

  5. And for more advanced users or pros it's definitely a step-up from the native camera app, and so if you're shooting b-roll or maybe event videos or YouTube videos, etc. it's a nice option when you want to just quickly and easily knock out some shots and don't want to open a more advanced app like Blackmagic.


As someone who uses their iPhone in a lot of professional shooting scenarios I am glad to see Apple embrace more pro features. And it only makes sense once they added Apple Log with the 15 Pro/Max, as that is absolutely pro level quality.


But, as the app is really more of an in between option I will likely just use the Blackmagic app most of the time. And for everyday videos like of family and such I'll probably just stick with the native camera as it's just so quick & easy to grab a shot (and it has the 48mm and macro options that I actually use a lot).


I think this app is manly geared at Final Cut Pro users who do multicam, whether that's for YouTube or a podcast or webinars or corporate events, etc. - and so if that's you then this app will get a lot of use.


For me, again, I'm glad Apple has finally made a more professional camera app, but I don't see myself using it all that much - and I'm not a Final Cut Pro user either. So it's a step in the right direction, but I think it's use (for now anyway) will be fairly limited by most.


I'd suggest just getting the Blackmagic Camera app as it's free too and much more powerful. But keep this one on your phone and we'll see how it improves over time.


But whatever you do, don't wait to create - get our there and make your movies.


Happy filmmaking!

-BC


P.S. If you do want to learn the Blackmagic Camera app then you might consider my course... And use this link to save 10%.

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