Must Have Apps for iPhoneography

Explore some must-have iPhoneography apps with Michael Artsis.


Last Month I spoke about Why I Choose iPhoneography for Videos and Shooting Stills. This month, I thought it would be cool to go over some must-have apps and what they do. Please note, some of these will be explained in more detail in later articles.

Now that you know what devices I choose to use and why, it's time to learn about some great apps that will make iphoneography an even better experience and allow you to impress your kids, friends/family, colleagues, boss and clients. I put a lot of research into these apps and I'm constantly searching for new ones. So I will continue to bring you new apps and updates in future articles.


These are the must-haves: 



Filmic Pro - this is the best video recording app. It's robust and allows you to push the limits of the device. It has amazing features that allows you maximum control. You can change white balance, monitor audio levels (couple it with any MXL MM kit and you can hear your audio in headphones as your recording it too), change quality and frame rates, enter meta data, use DSLR lenses and a whole lot more. The best thing is you can control iris/exposure (aperture) to a specific point and lock in the settings. Same goes for focus. 



Native iOS Camera App - It's a great app. It comes with the phone. It's easy to use and understand. You can lock iris/exposure and focus. You can capture photos and videos without unlocking phone. Takes seconds start shooting and shoots high quality video. 













Videolicious - this is the fastest, best way to easily edit a professional video, even while shooting it. Add graphics, music, pictures, footage (b- roll) and more on the fly and in seconds. It's a great app. It does have some limitations. You need a subscription to their annual service to unlock some features. Sometimes it's buggy and crashes, but overall it's amazing and lets you get things done relatively quickly. My suggestion is that you pre-trim your b-roll clips in the camera roll before you import them to Videolicious. Save them as new clips after you trim them, so you don't lose the the original unedited clips. This can also allow you to make multiple clips from one long original clip

Touchcast - hands down, this app is the best way to engage your audience. The app is feature rich and allows you to create amazing, interactive productions, with ease. Imagine, pop up video meets scratch and sniff, coupled with interactivity and multi-tasking. It's that cool. This is for the ultimate multi-tasker. It allows viewers to simultaneously visit sites mentioned on screen by way of vapps, also known as hotspots, while gathering info and continuing to watch. These vapps are live links on the screen. They can even look at other pics and watch videos while you showcase your video. Touchcast works with many platforms and they are also building their own network, which is where works best. This app also offers the ability to do great green screens, simply. This is perfect for corporations, small companies and journalists, but can be great for everyone. I love love love Touchcasts, its so innovative and the best part... it's free.


Video Grade - in the past few years the need to color correct has become more relevant. It like the new hip thing to do. You can easily see how color correcting or grading helps make the images better. Most DSLR and higher quality camera owners use color correct. Some will even shoot in flat grey and then paint in the color, post shoot. This helps bring out each and every detail, especially in the shadows. You don't need it for every shoot on iOS devices because they shoot great, but it never hurts. It almost always helps. Color grading is usually a painstaking process and adds a tremendous amount of time to the workflow. It's very hard to do and takes hours of training and a great eye. Yet Video Grade makes it fast and simple. You can also compare before and after looks in the app before you save your work- so you could always abandon ship. Video Grade before you edit. Each clip takes about two minutes to process.

iMovie - this is a great video editing tool. It's from Apple. It's simple to use and it speedsup workflow. There isn't  much to say about it, except that it's perfect to cut your footage and it's the editor I use the most on the iOS devices. I really like it. I like its simplicity and how fast I can cut. It comes free with all new iOS devices so why not try it. It does have its limits, no audio meters and some other major drawbacks (Can I have audio meters and some basic graphics Apple). Still, it seems to get better all the time.










Pinnacle Studio - this is a more robust video editor. It's traditional timeline editing. It's good, fast and easy to use. It has some great features and includes basic graphics. The only downside: no audio meters. However, this is the best app to line up audio if you shot dual audio or have another audio source and need to sync audio and video. This comes in handy for music videos. I like this app a lot and use it regularly, but I prefer iMovie or Videolicious when I can use them. This is still a must have for the tool belt.

Kingston Mobilelight - you need this app to manage files to and from the Kingston Mobilelight SD reader. It's great and allows you to share clips and media between devices. You can also use the device and app for backup.

Seagate - you need this app to manage storage and back up on the Seagate wifi drive. It's simple and easy to use and backup is super important. The drive offers 1TB of storage. It's perfect.

Dropbox - not the best app in the world. But it allows you to send (share) and download (import) your content to your dropbox filing cabinet to its cloud. You need this - trust me.

Garage Band - need to tweak audio, do a voice over or create your own music bed? Enter Garage Band. Garage Band is simple, easy to use and packed with features. It's a great companion for video editing and you can import your files right into iMovie or Pinnacle Studio. Best of all it's free with iOS devices. You can also add filters and effects to the audio.


8mm. - this is a great app to stylize your video. It has great filters similar to the popular hipstamatic for video.

TimeLapse - nearly every video can benefit from a cool time lapse. They make every video look better, more creative, and professional. Traditionally creating a time lapse took forever. This app changed that. It does all the work and turns the photos into a video, so you don't have to. All you have to do is stand there and look pretty, then add the time lapse to your edit. Time lapses are great for a lot of things, but usually work well for transitions.




Multi Cam - the best way to shoot events, concerts and shows is with multiple cameras. Traditionally, you would capture all the footage and edit it afterwards altogether (This would take days). Or, you would connect all the cameras via cables to a video switcher and change angles live while the event is happening. This requires four to eight hours of preparation and setup plus a ton of expensive gear and cables. You would then have an edited recording. Multi Cam allows you to do this without the switcher, labor or time. Setup a wifi network or join one (a mobile personal hot spot created by a phone or a mifi will work). Then setup up to four iOS devices. Switch angles all from the device designated as the main one and pipe audio into it for quality audio. 10 minutes after the event ends you will have an edited final version all put together by the app. This is a real time and money saver.


Twisted Wave - this is a great app for tweaking audio files, audio in general, and doing voice overs. It's very traditional, for an audio program. So, it's intuitive and will look familiar if you have ever done audio work. It's worth the nominal price.


Pro Cam XL - this app allows you to control the aperture, ISO and shutter speed of your camera, just like a DSLR. Have unprecedented control over your image and depth of field. This is a very nice app and worth putting in the tool belt.

Stop Motion - Stop Motion is so cool. It's great for bumpers, intros, product shots and more. It's also good for animation or claymation if you have the time and patience. Stop Motion is usually very time consuming. But not on iOS. This app allows you to cut the workflow and time way down. It does all the calculating and work. It's fast and easy and makes it easy to incorporate these aspects/elements into your video project. When using Stop Motion use a remote to trigger the camera in the iOS device to eliminate shake. Stop Motion offers a remote which you can load on another iOS device. If you prefer you can buy a physical bluetooth or wifi camera trigger or plug the headphones that come free with phones from apple into the headphone jack and hit the + button on the volume rocker switch to trigger the camera.

Intro Designer - make cool intros quickly to make your videos more professional. This app is easy to use and also works for bumpers. You def need it. Some intros allow you to incorporate logos.

Intro Mate - make cool intros quickly to make your videos more professional. This app is easy to use and also works for bumpers. You def need it. Some intros allow you to incorporate logos. This app is the better of the two apps.

Ustream - want to broadcast or stream live from your iOS device? This is the best app to do it from. Broadcast live from anywhere, as long as you have a data connection, with your iOS device with Ustream. It's awesome!


Reverse Cam - this is an app that allows you to reverse your video. It's simple yet cool and can be very useful.



Please note that every time you save a video from an app to the camera roll, camera roll compresses it a little bit. This seems unavoidable at this point. It's not terribly noticeable unless you run the video through more than 3 apps before you are done with it. So try to manage your workflow and keep the amount of apps to a minimum. Unfortunately some apps will automatically compress the video themselves more than others. Both Touchcast and Vidoeolicuous do this. It's especially relevant when you import videos to those apps. This should be changing in the future across all iOS platforms and apps.


Currently Filmic Pro is the only app that allows you to pull your video clips uncompressed, import them to a computer, and export them in full resolution without compression. This can only be done when the iOS device is hooked up to a computer and it needs itunes to make it work. Connect to iTunes with your iOS device. Go into the apps tab of the device, then look for the iTunes app in the middle of the screen and drag and drop your files onto your hard drive or desktop.


There is a lot to learn and a lot to practice with. So now that you know all of this, you need to get the right gear, create test projects and begin to work on all of this. It can be tricky and there are nuances. We will discuss them all in future articles. In the meantime go practice and submit your videos for review and tweaking via email to Most of all be creative and have fun!


Hopefully this article was helpful, had some good insight, great tips and advice. I look forward to writing the next one and talking about some more new great and exciting things along with giving you tips on how to better your abilities. Since I am a TV guy I'll say- thank you for reading, until next time ... Be Terrific


You can also visit for sample videos, displaying some of the capabilities of these devices. Also, visit for more information regarding my monthly seminars.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Adorama.




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