Aerial video shot on iPhone 6S proves vision is more important than gear

Two San Francisco-based filmmakers set out to document some of their favorite American cities from the sky. While the pair was accustomed to working with all sorts of professional cameras ranging from the Panasonic GH4 up to a Red cinema camera, this project would be shot entirely on a much more consumer-focused device: an iPhone 6S.

The film, titled Flying into Dusk, features gorgeous views of the picturesque cityscapes of San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. Many shots, especially one particularly nice flyover of the Golden Gate Bridge, look like they were pulled right out of a Hollywood production. Of course, while the camera may have been basic, the technique was still advanced.

Shooting at golden hour and into the night, the filmmakers took advantage of the most interesting light, both from the low sun and the lights of the cities themselves. The iPhone was also loaded with the FiLMiC Pro app, which provides full manual exposure control and data rates up to 100 megabits per second, on par with many advanced mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

In writing for Resource Magazine, filmmaker Jaron Shneider said they were impressed with the capabilities of the app and phone. “We have to applaud Apple here, because the quality of the video footage out of these iPhones is downright amazing. We were getting as good or better quality from the iPhone as what we had been shooting on for the past year, the Panasonic GH4.”

The phone was also augmented by the Ikan Fly-X3 handheld gimbal, which provided very smooth shots without the jitteriness so often associated with handheld phone videos. And while shooting on the iPhone certainly kept costs down, the film likely had a larger budget than most iPhone owners have access to, as, you know, honest-to-goodness helicopters were involved.

Still, the end result is simply impressive. Shot in 4K, it rivals the quality of many other aerial videos we’ve seen that were produced with cameras costing much, much more. While the discerning eye will notice a few blown highlights and noisy shadows in some of the night shots, it would be hard for anyone to not be impressed by the fact that the entire thing was shot on a phone. Knowing that a device small enough to fit in a pocket has this much creative capability is nothing short of mind-boggling.


This A.I.-powered camera follows the action to produce epic selfie videos

Want to capture more epic action selfies? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action. Using a handful of different modes, the camera works to keep the action in the frame.

Here are 8 GoPro tips to get the most out of your action cam

There's more to your GoPro camera than just mounting it to your skateboard. Whether it's finding the best accessories or understanding the settings more thoroughly, learn to shoot video like a pro with these simple GoPro tips and tricks.

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.

From 4K powerhouses to tiny action cams, here are the best video cameras

Although not as popular as they once were, dedicated video cameras still have their benefits. From travel vlogging to home movies to recording your kid's little league game, here are the best video cameras you can buy right now.

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.

Sony crams its best camera tech into the new $900 A6400

Love Sony's autofocus, but can't stomach the full-frame price? The Sony A6400 mirrorless camera uses some of the same autofocus technology and the processor of the A9 in a compact, more affordable crop-sensor camera.

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…

GoPro bumps resolution on Fusion 360 cam to 5.6K with new firmware

Currently available in public beta, Fusion firmware version 2.0 offers a new 5.8K mode that results in 5.6K output when the 360 camera's two hemispheres are stitched together. It also adds support for 24 fps video and RAW time-lapse…

With 5-stop optical stabilization, Fujifilm GF 100-200mm is ready for adventure

Fujifilm revealed a new lens designed to deliver on the GFX system's promise of adventure-ready medium-format photography. The GF 100-200mm F5.6 R is a weather resistant, relatively lightweight, 2x telephoto with impressive stabilization.

Olympus teaser shares glimpse of OM-D camera that’s good for more than sports

Is Olympus about to release a new mirrorless camera geared toward sports photographers? The latest teaser offers a glimpse of an upcoming OM-D camera set to launch on January 24, and by the looks of the teasers, it's capable for landscapes…

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.