Creating a Simple (and cheap) 1080p Video Workflow

I spent a good chunk of this week working on a fun project. The project involved high-end 1080p videography, video editing and distribution. The project had a very Jay Leno-esque "Street Talk" feel to it. In other words, it was a lot of impromptu interviews with people walking around, having a lot of fun while doing so.

As I as preparing for the project, I thought through all the requirements (environment, lighting, sound, gear, etc). In order to do the project right (after all, it would have my name on it, so it had to be as close to perfection as possible), I was dreaming up the perfect system using lots of expensive gear. Some of the gear I had already, other components I would have to rent. It was all becoming very overwhelming. That is, until a friend of mine pulled on the reins a bit and reminded me that my iPhone 5S has a great camera on it. "Eureka!" was the next word out of my mouth. At that moment, my plan of attack completely changed (for the better). My complete set of hardware and software now looked something like this:

iPhone 5S ($199 and up)
The iPhone 5S has an incredible camera built-in. It features an 8-megapixel sensor allowing for full 1080p video at 30 fps (frames per second). It also has some really nice features to help simplify the video capture process like autofocus and autoexposure.

iRig Microphone ($59)
IK Multimedia has made an ultra easy-to-use microphone designed specifically for the iPhone and iPad. All you need to do is plug it in to your iPhone's headphone jack and use the built-in video capturing app (Camera). The iPhone uses the iRig Mic instead of the on-baord microphone. The iRig Mic has 3 different audio capture settings, allowing you to record in a variety of environments (from rock concerts to golf courses).

DiskAid 6 (free, $29)
The folks over at DigiDNA have made a great utility (DiskAid 6) for easily extracting files from your iOS device. Sure, you could always just sync your captured videos using iTunes, but A) that can take a while and B) if you're using someone else's footage from their iOS device (as I was), you don't want to complicate things by trying to sync their iPhone with your iTunes. That gets messy. When connected, DiskAid 6 sees your iOS device as external storage, which in turn allows you to just drag and drop all sorts of content to and from the device. Their free version allows for limited functionality, or the full version allows for full functionality.

iMovie '11 (free, $15)
Apple's iMovie (part of their iLife suite of creativity apps) is an amazingly powerful video editing system. Not quite on par with its more expensive older brother Final Cut Pro X (designed for video professionals), but has many features that will help you to easily create stunning videos. It comes free with new Macs, or costs a whopping $15 to purchase through the Mac App Store.

YouTube (free)
YouTube, as you know, is an amazingly versatile video distribution system, and is a great fit with iMovie. Once you are done editing your video in iMovie, simply go to Share | YouTube, enter your username and password, and your video is uploaded to YouTube for the world to see! Not only that, but when you upload your video in a high resolution (high quality), YouTube will automatically offer viewers various qualities, allowing for the video to be viewed easily on all sorts of devices with all types of Internet connections.

EarPods (free, $29)
When Apple released the iPhone 5, the simultaneously released redesigned earbuds to go along with it. They called them "EarPods", and they sound great! If your willing to spend a little bit of money, however, you definitely want to check out the Bose QuietComfort 15 noise canceling headphones. They'll set you back about $300, but worth it.

Posted on May 20, 2014 and filed under How To, iOS, iPhone, Mac, iPad.