The app Makayama Flat Color Camera was released last month. This software is a new iPhone app to shoot flat color profiles to prevent over-exposure in highlights, create options for color correction, reduce blow-out in highlights, extend the dynamic range, and deliver better control over color tones and subtle details. The “Flat Color Camera” App is available for $5,49 in the App Store now. Let’s take a closer look at this new app.
While all the post-processing of the frames from the sensor usually takes place inside the iPhone – when using the Camera App – and the user can only alter the result within stringent limits of the consumer-grade H.264/HEVC coded footage from the iPhone, Makayama presents users with an attractive new solution.
Flat Color Camera – Profiles and Recording Options
Although an iPhone is an phone and not a “proper” cinema camera, the app now allows the user to record video in 5 flat color profiles: CINE, M-LOG1, M-LOG2, M-LOG3, and OFF. Curves of the varying Makayama proprietary M-LOG’s have not been available to me so far. The user is further able to select from HD or 4K resolution with each 24, 25, or 30 fps. The press release also points out that exposure, ISO, and also focus are automatically adjusted when recording with the app. Why the user is unable to set the focus point individually remains unclear to me as of this writing. It would most certainly be an advantage for a new version to control the focus manually.
Flat Color Camera – Comparison and Color Correction
As shown in the examples above, M-LOG within “Flat Color Camera” seems to give users a strongly flattened footage. This footage is supposed to be ready for grading in professional tools like Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer or Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve. Makayama claims that typical steps of grading (such as raising the contrast, manipulating the gamma curve, and increasing saturation) are possible due to the use of this logarithmic mode. The example above is supposed to demonstrate that the user can get back more color tones and especially a higher dynamic range than he would typically be able to capture with an iPhone and its internal software. I’ve been unable to confirm details and any specific numbers on the changes of latitude that this recording process would bring as an increase to the possibilities when recording in the standard video mode of an iPhone. On top of that, Makayama suggests that the user may choose LUTs like the Sony S-log2 or S-Log3 to correct the footage automatically.
Are you interested in trying out the Makayama Flat Color Camera App? Let us know what you think – we’ll happily put it through its paces too.