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Ahead of IBC 2023, Blackmagic Design just unveiled a new smartphone filmmaking app that promises to turn your iPhone into a digital film camera. Called Blackmagic Camera, the application allows you to record Apple ProRes or H.264/H.265 clips in up to 4K resolution on your phone’s local storage or directly to DaVinci Resolve via Blackmagic Cloud. You can get the app now free of charge.
IBC 2023 officially opens its doors in a few hours, but the industry is already buzzing with new, exciting products. The CineD team will be reporting on the latest and greatest gear directly from the show floor, so make sure to stick with us over the next few days!
Blackmagic Design has kicked off the show in great style. Indeed, the company is introducing their first smartphone filmmaking app, along with 3 new camera models (article here), 2 new ATEM 1 M/E Advanced panels, and a massive 80×80 Videohub. But now let’s take a closer look at how the new Blackmagic Camera app can enhance your iPhone’s video capabilities!
The new Blackmagic Camera app is exclusively compatible with Apple’s smartphones and seems particularly appealing for content creators and ENG shooters thanks to its native integration with Blackmagic Cloud (more on this later).
Its user interface includes 4 main tabs: Camera, Media, Chat, and Settings. Starting with the Camera tab, this provides a user-friendly interface that closely mimics that of Blackmagic cameras. It allows you to quickly adjust camera settings such as frame rate, shutter speed, ISO, WB, and tint.
Additionally, the application packs a set of professional monitoring tools – including histogram, zebra, focus peaking, frame guides, anamorphic de-squeeze, audio levels, and more – and also supports the use of 3D LUTs.
The app allows you to record 10-bit Apple ProRes or H.264/H.265 16:9 or vertical video in up to 4K resolution, and you can browse through the Settings tab to gain granular control of your camera. Once you stop recording, you can move to the Media tab to preview the recorded clips.
Talking about storage, here’s where things get interesting. Indeed, you can choose to save your clips directly to your phone or even upload them to a shared project within Blackmagic Cloud. By choosing the latter option, a remote editor working with DaVinci Resolve can instantly see the recorded clips populating the Media Pool. This native integration with Resolve is what truly sets the Blackmagic Camera apart from other smartphone filmmaking apps currently available, such as the popular Filmic Pro.
Indeed, as you stop recording, the app can instantly start uploading a proxy version of your clip, which is then followed by the original file. This enables editors to start cutting on the fly, while colorists can download the higher-quality camera originals later on in the pipeline.
What’s interesting is that the same workflow can be applied to multi-camera scenarios with multiple phones shooting at the same time, even in remote locations. Once footage from all cameras has been uploaded to the cloud, you can use DaVinci Resolve’s Sync Bin for multi-cam editing.
Last but not least, the app offers a built-in messaging tool via its Chat tab. This allows smartphone filmmakers in the field to instantly exchange feedback with DaVinci Resolve editors and colorists working remotely.
The new Blackmagic Camera app for iPhone is now available to download for free from the App Store.
For more information, please visit Blackmagic Design’s website here.
What do you think of the new Blackmagic Camera app? Do you believe it can replace other filmmaking apps currently installed on your iPhone? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!
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Francesco Andreola is a Milan-based filmmaker. He currently teaches the Video Technology class at the European Institute of Design (IED) in Milan. He works in the Camera Department as a camera operator and assistant.