The smart guys at Moondog Labs have come up with a very clever Anamorphic lens adaptor for the Apple Iphone. In their words "Make cinematic video with the gorgeous widescreen impact, subtle distortions and horizontal flares found in landmark films like Apocalypse Now, Alien, and Inception". Now I'm not sure if it's really quite that simple but it certainly a useful tool if you're wanting to shoot widescreen anamorphic style footage with your Iphone or other Apple device.
Now for those of you who don't know what "anamorphic" means I'll try to explain. Basically it involves trying to shoot widescreen footage on a standard sensor or film - the widescreen image is compressed to fit on the frame and then is stretched back to it's widescreen format during playback or projection. Without this adaptor in place the only way to achieve widescreen style images with an Iphone would be to mask the image in your editing software and basically force the widescreen look by cropping top and bottom. Of course the drawback with this is you loose a lot of your image.
Using the FilmicPro app to control your filming is the best way to get the best quality video out of your phone and by applying the Moondog anamorphic setting in the app you can correctly capture and unsqueeze your video for display during capture and playback.
The circus came to town last night so with phone in pocket I shot a few clips...
OK so the Iphone has a lot of limitations when it comes to shooting video - after all it's a phone at the end of the day and not a video camera. But - and here's the big but - it's not a bad video camera and it's one that you have with you practically all the time. With the addition of this little adaptor it becomes a more interesting video camera, and that makes a difference. The Irish News broadcaster RTE has for several years now been experimenting with reporters using the Iphone for reporting, several full length features have been made with just the Iphone and one notable film, Tangerine, was shown at the latest Sundance film festival - all shot on the Iphone with Filmic pro and the Moondog lens.
So it's not perfect but the best camera, whether still or video, is the one you have with you.