iPhone Videography Accessories – 15+ Best iPhones, iPads, Accessories, and Filmmaking Apps

iPhone Videography Accessories Highlights: All iPhones are capable of recording high-quality video with an optical image stabilizer. If you want to shoot and edit on the same device, iPads or large-screen phones are ideal. You may require accessories such as tripod clamps and microphones.

If you have an iPhone, you always have a small, simple video recorder in your pocket. It’s ideal for filming in areas where other cameras would draw too much attention. Because video quality can be excellent, it is steadily being used for news and documentary video content. They’ve even been used in feature films. 

You can also edit on them, though the free iMovie app on the smartphone screen is a little limited: it’s easier on the iPad. VN Editor, which is also free, is another preferred content creator editing app for the iPhone or iPad. LumaFusion has more advanced features. I edit my own iPhone videos on a Mac with Adobe Premiere Pro.

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iPhone Videography Accessories - 15+ Best iPhones, iPads, Accessories, and Filmmaking Apps

Why isn't everyone filming on a smartphone? 

iPhone Videography Accessories

In low light, you can get soft, ‘noisy’ images, and when you shoot into the light, you may get a flare. The lens lacks true optical zoom, it’s difficult to use focus imaginatively, and the microphone offers challenges in wind and noise. 

However, if you avoid shooting in low-light situations and use the right accessories, you can get surprisingly good video out of iPhones. 

If you have a recent iPhone or Android phone, you might want to consider purchasing the DJI Osmo Pocket 2: it’s a small stabilized video camera that can use your phone as a screen.

Apple's iPhone or iPad? 

Reasons to Purchase an iPhone: 

  • In general, they have better cameras than iPads. 
  • They’re smaller and easier to grasp. 

Reasons to Purchase an iPad: 

  • The larger screen is preferable for editing. 
  • The majority are less expensive than iPhones. 
  • Some models (but not the Pro and Air) include a 3.5mm minijack for connecting headphones and microphones.

You can shoot on your iPhone and then transfer your clips to another device for editing, such as an iPad or a Mac. AirDrop, which is available on all recent iOS devices and Macs, makes this simple. 

If you’re on a limited budget, the iPod Touch is the most affordable iOS filmmaking device, despite its small screen. 

Apple has removed the headphone jack from all current phones; if you want to connect a microphone, you’ll need a Lightning to TRRS dongle.

Which iPhone or iPad version should you use for filming?

iPhone Videography Accessories - 15+ Best iPhones, iPads, Accessories, and Filmmaking Apps

iPhone Videography Accessories

Every current iPad and iPhone can record in Full HD, and all phones can record in 4K and slow motion. 

Make sure you have plenty of memory: video takes up a lot of space. The iPhone 13 Pro models have the most storage space, with a 1TB option (though this may be more than you need). 

The iPhone SE

The 2020 SE is the most affordable current iPhone. It’s the same size as the previous iPhone 8, but it has better video capabilities and is less expensive. 

Its single rear camera can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 frames per second in slow motion, has an extended dynamic range (better contrast handling) for standard video, and records stereo sound. 

iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 12 mini

These iPhones feature twin lenses (Wide and Ultra Wide), as well as Night Mode for low-light shooting, enhanced battery life, and dual lenses (Wide and Ultra Wide).

The iPhone 12 models support 5G networks and have HDR video recording; the iPhone 12 Mini is smaller. 

Apple's iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini

The iPhone 13 has multiple lenses and longer battery life than the previous model. It also has ‘sensor-shift’ optical image stabilization, which may allow you to film handheld tracking shots without the need for a separate stabilizer.

iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max

The iPhone 13 Pro is the best iPhone because they have lenses that are Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto. The introduction of ‘cinematic’ shallow focus (only in 1080p HD) with the ability to rack focus is the main advantage over other iPhones. 

They also have very good image stabilization. 

The iPod Touch is the most affordable iOS filmmaking device

If you’re really tight on cash, don’t overlook the iPod Touch. It’s smaller, lighter, and significantly less expensive than any iPhone or iPad, but it still shoots full HD video and slow motion.

Which iPad is best for filmmaking? 

iPhone Videography Accessories

The standard iPad is Apple’s most affordable tablet, with up to 256GB of memory and a headphone jack, but it can only shoot 1080p HD video and slow-motion is limited to 720p. The iPad mini has similar capabilities. 

The iPad Air has improved stabilization and can record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second and 1080p HD at up to 240 frames per second. Because it lacks a headphone jack, you’ll need to use an adapter. 

The iPad Pro is available in two sizes, both with dual cameras. They have 4K video capability, full HD 240fps slow motion, continuous video autofocus, and optical image stabilization. They have up to 1TB of memory and, like the Air, no headphone jacks.

Used/refurbished iPhones 

Buying a used or refurbished phone saves a lot of money and reduces emissions (making an iPhone accounts for roughly 80% of its lifetime carbon footprint). My reconditioned iPhone 12 Pro Max performs just as well as a brand-new model. 

If you do plan to replace it, you could keep your old handset for a second perspective or as a “crash cam” in situations where you don’t want to damage your expensive new phone. You can also use one with a lavalier (tie-clip) mic as a low-cost substitute for a radio mic: put it in the actor/pocket and sync it later.

iPhone & iPad Accessories That You Need To Film Great Videos

The most common problem with iPhone and iPad filmmaking is unstable video, which is followed by poor sound. Let’s start with keeping your smartphone or tablet stable first.

Keeping it stable

iPhone Videography Accessories

It’s difficult to keep a phone steady when holding it horizontally for filming. It is much easier to use a clamp or case with a vertical handle. (A selfie stick could also be used.) 

If you can afford it, I suggest investing in a stabilizer like the Osmo Mobile. Because of the powerful built-in stabilization in the top iPhone 12 Pro Max, you probably won’t need this. 

Except for the Mono Pod, all of these clamps and cases have tripod sockets, allowing you to mount your device to any standard tripod.

Movo PR-3 Rotating Smartphone Grip Handle Rig 

With the built-in stabilization on most modern smartphones, the PR-3 will have you shooting like a pro right out of the box! 

I like how easily this tool switches from landscape to portrait mode, and the cold shoe spots and 1/4″ screw threads make it a must-have. 

Shoulderpod SD 

Shoulderpod S2 is a high-quality grip with three functions: Tripod mount, filmmaker handle, and traveler stand. 

A sturdy and portable solution for professionally holding your smartphone camera. It is designed to fit most devices and is made of high-quality materials that will last a lifetime.

JOBY MPod Mini Stand for Smartphones

When I don’t have the Shoulderpod, I keep the Joby MPod in my pocket. It’s a mini-tripod and elasticated clamp in one: the legs can be straightened out to use as a handgrip. 

The MPod Mini cellphone stand, which fits most phone models, is an excellent solution for viewing videos or data on your phone. It is lightweight and portable, and its flexible GorillaPod legs allow it to balance on uneven surfaces.

iOgrapher case

You could also purchase an iOgrapher case for your iPhone or iPad

Handles for easy handling, a tripod socket, a 37mm mount for adapter lenses or filters, and cold shoes for mounting accessories such as lights and microphones are all included.

Most are tailored to specific phone models, but they also offer an adaptable Multi Case (without a lens mount).

Beastgrip Lens Adapter & Rig System for Smartphones

If you are looking for a more complex iPhone rig, I can’t express how pleased I am with the Beastgrip Pro

I use it to create explainers and new product videos for our company as well as for my personal use. Attaching lenses, led lights, microphones, and other tools is simple and secure. 

My iPhone 12 Pro is securely fastened and stays in place. This is a well-made product. Throughout, it has the appearance of a professional piece of equipment. 

Sound

iPhone Videography Accessories

Separate microphones can be connected to improve the sound. For microphones with a TRRS plug, you’ll need an Apple to Lightning adapter

Rode smartLav+

The Rode smartLav+ is a stylish lavalier (tie clip) microphone designed specifically for smartphones.

The smartLav+ is a broadcast-grade wearable microphone designed for use in a variety of film, television, and broadcast scenarios, as well as anywhere broadcast-quality audio, is required in a discreet, portable format without the complexity and expense of additional wireless equipment. 

Just simply mount the smartLav+ microphone on the talent, connect it to a smartphone or tablet headset jack, and record using the RDE Rec app for iOS, or any other audio app of your choice.

Boya BY-M1 

The Boya BY-M1 is a low-cost lavalier microphone designed for tablets and smartphones. For the price, the quality and sound level are exceptional. 

Professional microphones can also be connected, but a TRS-TRRS adapter is required.

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Various iPhone Videography Accessories

Electronic gimbal stabilizers are much easier to set up than tripods and allow for smooth tracking shots. 

Gimbal/Stabilizer

The DJI OSMO Mobile 5 is a small but powerful smartphone. The DJI OM 5 is a versatile companion that unlocks the full potential of your smartphone. It is portable and palm-sized, with a built-in extension rod. 

Enjoy flawless selfies, super-smooth video, automatic tracking, and many other features. A new ShotGuides feature even offers creative tips, allowing you to capture stunning images wherever you go. Prepare to master every shot with the DJI OM 5.

External Lenses

When shooting stabilized video, the cameras on iPads and single-lens iPhones do not have a very wide field of view. (You can get a wider angle by using apps that allow you to turn off stabilization, such as Filmic Pro.) 

Wide-angle, telephoto, and macro conversion lenses are available. The most useful adapters are those with a wide field of view. They allow you to get in closer and shoot in tight spaces, and they make the camera shake less noticeable. However, you will lose some sharpness.

Moment manufactures the highest quality iPhone lenses. There are telephoto, wide-angle, fisheye, and anamorphic lenses available. They’re fairly large and heavy, and they’re designed to be mounted on Moment’s own cases. There are telephoto, wide-angle, fisheye, and anamorphic lenses available.

Mini LED Lighting

Small lights aren’t great for video quality, but they can be helpful as ‘fill’ or for close-ups in low light. 

The Aputure AL-MC RGBWW Mini is a great value, compact, and easy to use. It does have a nice color rendition and comes with gels and a diffuser. It can be held in your hand or mounted on a cold shoe. 

Or, you can try the Pixel Liber RGB Pocket Video Light is a video light.

This handy little pixel light is pretty cool; it has a full range of RGB colors and can be programmed with specifics if you want a very specific shade of blue or whatever. 

You can also just scroll through the color palette to find a shade you like, in addition to the strobe effects and “police” “ambulance” which offers flashing and alternating colors, this is a useful little light and it’s quite bright. 

The coolest feature of this new light is its magnetic capability; it comes with four little sticky magnet tabs that you can stick up if you know where you want the light to hang, and the light has a built-in magnetic back.

Read review here for the Pixel Liber RGB Video Light

Full Battery - set up smartphone for filmmaking

Power

If you’re shooting on location and don’t have access to power to charge your smartphone or tablet, bringing along a portable external battery/charger is a good idea, especially for time-lapses. When I know that finding a power source for charging will be difficult, I use an Anker portable charger

This battery pack is a must-have for anyone who works outside or in an unpowered environment. It can charge my phone in under an hour and, thanks to the multiple outputs, I can charge my phone, headphones, and Bluetooth speaker all at once. 

The battery itself takes some time to charge, but thanks to the dual micro USB inputs, the recharge time can be significantly reduced. Strongly recommended.

Apps for filming 

iPhone Videography Accessories

The Camera app that comes standard with iPhones and iPads is simple to use, intuitive, and extremely stable. Newer iPhone models can shoot at the standard 24fps frame rate that many filmmakers use today. 

7+ Best Tips On How To Make A Smartphone Movie For TV & Cinema

FiLMiC Pro (pictured above) allows you to set manual focus and exposure separately, select different aspect ratios (screen shapes), frame rates, and video quality, adjust color balance, display overlays to aid in exposure and focus, and even ‘pull focus.’ 

Tangerine, a feature-length iPhone film selected for the Sundance Film Festival, was shot on it. You can turn off video stabilization to fully utilize the iPhone’s 29mm lens (stabilization crops the image). 

Adobe Premiere Rush (described below) includes a camera app with manual control options and a frame rate selection.

Click here for filmmaking apps that filmmakers need 

Apps for editing 

Because the iPad has more screen space than the iPhone, editing is easier. The iPad versions of some editing programs have more features. 

Apple’s iMovie (shown above) is simple to use and compatible with both devices. It allows you to insert cutaways and voiceovers, use only the audio from clips, and insert and move still photos. However, it is only intended to work with video captured on iOS devices, making it insufficient for serious filmmakers and mobile journalists. 

VN Video Editor (shown above) is a powerful free video editing app for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, PCs, and recent Macs.

LumaFusion adds a slew of professional editing features to the iPhone and iPad, including up to three video and three audio tracks, as well as far more flexibility and control than iMovie. It is compatible with a variety of aspect ratios (screen shapes). However, the interface is complicated, especially on the phone.

Adobe Premiere Rush is compatible with the iPad, iPhone, Mac, PC, and some Android devices. It is primarily intended for online video creators. 

Keyframe animations, layers, chromakey (green screen), and other advanced effects are available in VideoLeap.

There is a free version, but to access all of the professional features, you must purchase the paid version. You can pay on a monthly, annual, or one-time basis.

Online filmmaking classes for iPhone and iPad

If you need some basic training to get started with your smartphone’s filmmaking capabilities, I recommend taking an online course like iPhone Filmmaking: From Shoot to Edit – Cielo de la Paz

Cielo de la Paz, an experienced mobile filmmaker/photographer, teaches this CreativeLive.com course. It is a three-hour course with 19 video lessons that cover everything from planning and equipment to location shooting, audio interviewing, and editing. 

Cielo’s course teaches you how to film with the Filmic Pro app and edit with LumaFusion. Cielo’s teaching style is engaging, and her course receives 100 percent positive student feedback. In addition, all CreativeLive courses come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Eager to learn more, and receive a free ebook on the Top 10 Tips For Filming With A Smartphone?

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About the author: Trent (IMDB Youtubehas spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.

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