Makayama Flat Color Camera App for iPhone now Available for Purchase

Makayama Flat Color Camera App for iPhone now Available for Purchase

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.

Makayama Flat Color Camera - From Grading to Post-Production (Credits: Makayama, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Makayama Flat Color Camera – From Grading to Post-Production (Credits: Makayama, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

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

Makayama Flat Color Camera - Comparison Graphic (Credits: Makayama, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Makayama Flat Color Camera – Comparison Graphic (Credits: Makayama, Amsterdam, Netherlands)

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. 

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Satureyes
Member
June 20th, 2020

I’ve had many a chat with the developers of another camera app which I wont mention – (not filmic) about the use of ‘flat’ or fake log profiles in iOS devices- because they’ve pretty much dug deep into the iOS imaging system. They wanted to make an iPhone take an Input from a camera and then monitor and record – like an Atomos, but Apple do not allow this so they turned to working on a pro video app.

So log etc on an iPhone? Basically it’s nonsense.

The image pipeline in iOS devices doesn’t allow for this system level of access to the imaging chip. The most that can be done in an app is to increase the bitrate of what you’re shooting (like the ‘extreme’ setting in Filmic) and even then you can have an app set it at 100000mbps but it max’s out at somewhere near 100 but it’s a VBR anyway so it will almost never hit the top whack.

All these profiles do – is add colour correction (whether it be removing contrast /saturation). The image still hits the sensor of the device, it’s recorded as you would see it in the native app anyway or thereabouts and then these apps then pop in their ‘log’ profile over the top of the already processed image, then save it back to the camera roll or their own internal roll.

When you grade – all you’re doing is putting the colours the app has removed back in anyway, so you may as well just grade the original image. Essentially you’re adding a processing step which would actually degrade the initial image because you’re already processed it.

This goes for any app that has a colour effect when using with video. With stills – slightly different because you can get apps that enable RAW shooting (but not with the super wide lens on the iPhone 11 Pro – that can only be saved as a tiff)

The reason RAW isn’t enabled is because people would fill up their phones and iCloud accounts and most iPhone shooters dont care about post producing iPhone RAW files anyway. Same goes for why apple lock the bitrate of the video files. People would not be able to manipulate/send/share the videos because of the size.

So basically- you can’t. have log on an iOS device. Not yet anyway! (no matter what the marketing blurb from the app developers tells you!)

John Weber
John Weber
Guest
June 20th, 2020
Reply to  Satureyes

I don’t think it’s nonsense as Apple would have then banned these apps during the review process. Being an app developer myself, my guess is that the apps work with RAW images, which can be taken on the iPhone. They are then processed with the LOG profile, stitched together with the sound and saved compressed as a movie. So they’re not using the video pipeline of iOS, but the raw pipeline.

 Tim Maloney
Tim Maloney
Member
June 17th, 2020

I think these LOG video apps are beginning to border on the line of gimmicks at this point now that Apple is implementing computational photography/HDR within its native camera app. And highly I doubt they’re giving away that proprietary technology as API to even FilmicPro which is best and longest app out there for shooting log on an iPhone.

Andreas Schwarz
Guest
June 16th, 2020

Great! Now I dont have to buy an Alexa :)

 Salim Madjd
Salim Madjd
Member
June 16th, 2020

If you’re going to color grade a red Ferrari you better get the color right. To my eyes the color grading of the Ferrari looks off.

CHris Crows
CHris Crows
Guest
June 16th, 2020

“More dynamic range”. More like “”more BS range” ??

 Gonzague G-B
Gonzague G-B
Member
June 16th, 2020

Is it me or the each “color corrected” version of the video above just look plain ugly?!?!?

johnr
johnr
Guest
June 16th, 2020
Reply to  Gonzague G-B

No, it’s not just you …

fred
fred
Guest
June 15th, 2020

Why, if there is a better program FiLMiC Pro

Santu Lama
Santu Lama
Guest
June 16th, 2020
Reply to  fred

Well, competition makes the company get better and end-user will benefit from more competitive features and prices. like nowadays with Intel and AMD RYZEN processors. Ginimag made RED lower their mini MAG price lower.
No offence but if I sound rude am sorry.

Richard Lackey
Guest
June 15th, 2020

Hmm. Interesting.

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