The iPhone 13 Pro Max is without a doubt the best smartphone for video production. It can be even better. With some extra tools, you can get footage that is on par with professional video cameras. Tack on the fact that the latest iPhones can even shoot 10-bit HDR in ProRes and you have a very capable video system.
To elevate the iPhone you are going to need some accessories. You’ll need some rigging and some optics – maybe even a true cine lens and a matte box. For a great example of what you can do to maximize your iPhone 13 Pro Max check out this piece from Michael Tobin.
This isn’t the first time Tobin has taken an iPhone and made it into a ridiculous rig, it’s now just round two with the iPhone 13 Pro Max. He has a couple setups to show off, though the core of both is the same.
For the anamorphic option, he uses the Beastgrip Pro Smartphone Cage with their 1.55x Anamorphic Lens on the front. It will definitely add some character to your images, so you. should be making this decision based on how you want it to look.
If you are going this route you might want to upgrade from the stock camera app to something like Filmic Pro so you can properly de-squeeze the footage for monitoring. The app also supports multiple color gamuts and file formats.
The sample footage looks very nice for getting anamorphic on an iPhone in a capable but relatively compact setup.
The next setup is a bit more aggressive. It allows you to mount a full-size cinema lens onto the iPhone. You start with the same cage but then add the DOF Adapter MK2 to mount Canon EF glass. You will definitely need to use a third-party app for this as well since it does flip your image before being captured by the iPhone. Monitoring options to flip the image are required.
Now you are talking about a much larger and finicky setup. There are some other points of concern. Vignetting is a problem with certain lenses and this adapter so you might have to crop in or add some effects to make the footage work if you can even get away with them at all. It also looked fairly soft.
Still, this is a quite effective look you can get using just a smartphone as your main camera. It’s about as big as a regular camera setup, so it really is for those that love smartphone videography.
It could also be a more affordable way to add a second camera to your kit. Since you likely already have all the main components, adding the adapters and cage are going to be cheaper than a whole new camera.
What did you think of the iPhone footage?
[source: michael tobin]
- Beastgrip Pro Smartphone Cage (B&H, Amazon)
- Beastgrip Pro Series 1.33x Anamorphic Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Beastgrip Pro Series 1.55x Anamorphic Lens (B&H)
- Beastgrip DOF Adapter MK2 (B&H)
- IRIX 45mm T1.5 Cine Lens (B&H, Amazon)
- Tiltaing Mini Matte Box (B&H, Amazon)
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