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  • Writer's pictureBlake Calhoun

Vlogging with an iPhone

I get this question a lot... What are the best settings to vlog with an iPhone?

Well, I don't personally vlog much, if ever. However, I do shoot with my phone all the time and my YouTube channel is geared towards using mobile devices (usually iPhones) to create video content... Whether that's movies or YouTube videos or news stories or corporate projects or yes, even vlogs.

So... I decided to make a video talking about this subject - but primarily focusing (no pun intended) on the technical aspects. Most people know how to talk to a camera, but many don't know how to make it look good - or at least more professional.

If you're new to shooting with an iPhone - and especially using the proper settings - this might have been a lot to take in. So below I've listed each setting mentioned in the video.

SUGGESTED SETTINGS for Vlogging with the iPhone 11 Native Camera App

In App Settings:

  • Shoot 4K 24FPS (for the most professional, cinematic looking footage - or 25FPS if you're in Europe or other PAL countries)

  • Use the Ultra Wide camera or the Selfie camera

  • You can press and hold on the screen to lock the exposure, focus and white balance

  • Or, if you're "running & gunning" just shoot with the full auto settings (you can get good results if your lighting doesn't change a lot)

General Phone Settings > Camera:

  • Turn OFF "Record Stereo Sound" (mono typically sounds best for vocals like this)

  • Under Formats use "High Efficiency" (HEVC / H.265) format if you're editing on a later computer - if not, use "Most Compatible" (H.264)

  • Set the default Slow Motion to HD 120FPS

  • Set the default Video to 4K 24FPS

SUGGESTED SETTINGS for Vlogging with FiLMiC Pro:

  • Under the Frame Rate menu select 24FPS (or 25FPS in Europe or other PAL countries)

  • Under the Resolution menu choose 4K 2160p and the FiLMiC Extreme bit rate

  • Also under Resolution choose HEVC if you want to shoot H.265 (default is H.264)

  • Shoot with the Ultra Wide camera or the Selfie camera

  • Under Audio choose the proper mic (Back or Front) depending on which camera you're using

  • Make sure that Image Stabilization is ON

  • Choose the best White Balance setting - either use a Preset (like Daylight if you're outside) of use the "Orange" AWB mode called Autolock on Record - this will lock the WB when shooting, but allows it to change before you hit record

  • If using the Cinematographer Kit (in-app purchase) use the Natural color profile to limit what you'll need to do in post-production and color correction (you can shoot Flat or Log though if you want)

  • Use "Full Auto" mode - double tap the focus & exposure reticles so they enlarge and then sample a larger portion of the screen - then you can lock or unlock them independently

Additional Shooting Tips:

  1. Turn Airplane Mode ON (and Do Not Disturb too) to limit any interruptions while shooting (like phone calls or text messages).

  2. Use an external mic, especially if it's windy outside.

  3. Use a small tabletop tripod to more easily handle the phone, but also to set it down for static recording.

  4. And IMPORTANTLY, if you're shooting outside in bright sun definitely use an ND filter - this one accessory will significantly improve the look of your video by ensuring you achieve proper motion blur.

And here are some gear suggestions to help you better vlog on your phone:

For additional gear suggestions check out our Apps + Gear page.

*Some of these are affiliate links.

Well, hope that helps! I look forward to seeing what you create. Share your videos with me on Twitter or comment here.

Happy vlogging! :)

P.S. If you want to learn more (a lot more) about using FiLMiC Pro then consider my training course The Complete Guide To FiLMiC Pro. And get a 10% discount using this link.

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