How to get cinematic results with iPhone 12 Pro Max using LiteChaser Pro

and welcome back to another post. I’m so glad to have you on my channel because today, I will show you how to get cinematic results 00:08 with the iPhone 12 Pro Max using the new Light Chaser Pro filter system. If you haven’t checked out the previous video on the Light Chaser Pro using the iPhone 11 Pro Max, I will leave a link up here for you to check out. Polar Pro, a California based company that produces high quality accessories for cameras has reached out to me to test out the brand new Light Chaser Pro filter system for the iPhone 12 Pro Max. i was very satisfied with the previous model and I can’t wait to show you what the new version has to offer. My girlfriend and her sister and I planned a trip to the mountains since I live in Switzerland, and I brought the Light Chaser Pro with me to test out. Especially as a mobile filmmaker, I like to have a minimalistic setup to capture moments quickly but also turn my iPhone 12 Pro Max into a professional camera that makes my videos just look more cinematic. I know people use the word cinematic too much, but if it looks cinematic, it’s cinematic, right?

OverView

So let me give you an overview of the New Light Chaser Pro and share with you my experience with it. In the package, I received a nicely designed case that protects the iPhone from damage. Polar Pro offers three different case colors, black, sage and Mojave.] Now, I got mine in black since matches with my shirt pretty well. If you have a MagSave charger, the case is compatible and you’re able to charge your iPhone with it. Now, if you use Moment lenses, you’re lucky guy because you can use the lens with this case. Now unfortunately, I don’t use Moment lenses, instead I use lenses from SANDMARC, but these are not compatible with the case. Another important thing to mention is that the filters are not compatible with the Moment lenses. So you can’t screw a filter on the Moment lens. Now, I also received a grip which gives more stability

Grip

when shooting videos handheld. Now, I must say that holding the grip gives a professional feeling to it and I’m able to detach the grip by pressing on the lock and position it differently to suit my shooting style. Now, I like having the grip to the very side, since it feels comfortable holding it when they’re shooting horizontally or even vertically. If you want to film yourself with the rear camera, you can switch to grip to the front of the case. I can also position it on a flat surface without having it fall. So the grip has 2 one quarter screw mounts, one on the top, one at the bottom and this allows me to mount the iPhone on a tripod and also add different accessories to expand the setup. I like to use the new included Bluetooth shutter,

Bluetooth shutter

which can be mounted onto the grip.I can simply turn on Bluetooth by switching this toggle right here. A green light then appears. In the settings, I can simply connect the Bluetooth shutter and I’m ready to go. This is very convenient since I’m able to pair it with the iPhone camera via Bluetooth that allows me to start and stop recording without having to use the touch screen. This also comes in handy when filming myself alone where I can trigger the record button from a distance to, you know, make a video or take picture. The great part is that it’s not only compatible with the standard camera, but also with Filmmaker Pro which we’ll get into it later. Unfortunately, what I notice in Filmmaker pro is that for some reason the Bluetooth shutter doesn’t work when an external mic is attached to the iPhone. When I press the shutter button, it starts to adjust the volume. So in this case you will have to use the record button on the touchscreen. On the standard camera, it works fine. Also to start and stop recording, the shutter button didn’t always respond well when using the Filmmaker Pro app. that is why I recommend double checking the screen to see if you’re actually recording. With the standard camera, I had no problems at all. Now overall, I think the Bluetooth shutter definitely adds a lot of convenience when shooting mobile content. During the trip, it was just so much easier using the shutter Bluetooth, and because it was so cold, I was able to heat my gloves on. It would be great if the shutter would respond better with FiLMiC pro, so hopefully they will fix this in the future. Moving on to the filter system, I also received a variable ND filter that cuts down light

Variable and Filter

three to five stops. Now the variable ND filter are alike sunglasses for your lenses that reduce the amount of light entering the sensor. This is useful for maintaining the 180 shutter rule.This rule states that your shutter speed should be double your frame rate for maintaining a natural motion blur in your video. Having that natural motion blur makes the video look more cinematic and real. So for example, if you shoot 4K 25FPS, you want your shutter speed to be 1/50 of a second, and if you shoot 4K 50FPS, you want your shutter speed to be 1/100 of a second and so on. Now, usually on sunny days, maintaining the 180 degree shutter rule would require you to use a variable ND filter to expose your shot correctly. Having your shutter speed too high will result in a sharper looking image. And in order for you to control the shutter speed, you will need a pro video app like FiLMiC Pro. This will allow you to adjust the settings like focus, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, white balance and more. We will get into the camera settings later. Unlike a fixed ND filter, a variable ND filter allows you to twist the filter to adjust the amount of light entering the sensor. This is practical for shooting outdoors where the light isn’t always constant. If you plan on getting a variable ND filter for your iPhone, I recommend getting a high quality glass like the I’m using right now, because cheap glass can impact the image quality negatively. Another thing to mention is that with the previous model for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the filters sometimes would detach whenever I took it out of my pocket. It even got so far that my variable ND filter fell from the case and got overrun by a car which I posted on my Instagram story. And that hurts so much. But with the new attachment system, the filter stays secure which allows me to leave it on the case without having to worry. I can simply slide it in until it locks and put the lens cover on to protect it from scratches. Even in the windiest conditions, the filter stayed attached. This allowed me to be more efficient when shooting videos since I don’t always have to reattach the filter on the case and save time. Keep in mind that Polar Pro doesn’t recommend it using the variable ND filter with the ultra wide angle lens since it can introduce weird artifacts into the shot. The next filter I received is the mist filter.

Mist Filter

that combines diffusion and variable ND filter in one. It not only cuts down light three to five stops, but additionally adds a creative look to your video. The mist filter softens the highlights and creates a sort of haze around bright objects creating a dreamlike cinematic glow. I must say I do like the look of the mist filter and it definitely does add value to the video production. Next, I would like to show you the best FiLMiC pro settings

Filmic Pro Settings

for cinematic video shooting with the iPhone 12 Pro Max. As mentioned, you will need FiLMiC Pro since that will give you full control over your camera. Once your own FiLMiC Pro, set the resolution to 4K since it has more detail and allows to crop without losing quality when exporting it in full HD. Also for the encoding rate, I will be using 10-bit since it will capture more color information creating an overall higher image quality. In terms of frame rate, I will be choosing 25 frames per second since I’m in a PAL region. If you’re in an NTSC region, choose 24 frames per second. This frame rate will give you a cinematic results. Make sure to enable grid lines to set your composition better. I also leave image stabilization on to compensate for shaking movements.

Exposure Controls

Moving on, open the exposure controls by tap holding on the circle. A slider will appear to the left and there I will set my ISO as low as possible o avoid noise in my image and lock it. As for the shutter speed, since I’m shooting at 25 frames per second, I will set my shutter speed double my frame rate, which has 1/50 of a second to get that cinematic motion blur we see in most Hollywood movie. Once set, I lock my shutter speed so that I’m only able to adjust the ISO. As you can see, the image is now overexposed. I can turn the variable ND filter to cut down the amount of light by twisting the filter until the image is well exposed. You can use the histogram on the bottom that will help you expose your shot correctly. Avoid having too much information on one of the side. You want the information to spread out evenly.

Lock Your White Balance

Next is to lock your white balance to avoid temperature changes during the shoot. So these are the settings I use to get the best possible quality out of my phone

Camera Movement

Next, I would like to talk about camera movement. I like having movement in my shots. You could go handheld since the iPhone 12 Pro Max offers great optical image stabilization. And I went handheld a lot of times, and using the grip makes your footage look even more stable. But in some cases going to handheld can be limiting, especially if you want to create more complex movements. That is why I like to sometimes use the DJI OM 4, which is a smartphone gimbal that helps reduce the shakiness in your videos The DJI OM 4 has become one of my favorite gimbals since it has a magnetic mounting assistant that allows me to quickly attach my iPhone to the gimbal, and is even powerful enough to hold the case and the filter. While shooting with the Light Chaser Pro, I had no problems using it with the gimbal. There you have it. As you can see, having those filters can improve or enhance your video. The Light Chaser Pro is pricey, at around $250, but keep in mind that the filters created are made out of high quality glass. There are certainly cheaper options out there for starters. I will leave links in the video description below, but just keep in mind that the glass quality won’t be the same, and could have a negative effect on the image quality as well as the sharpness of your video. If you are a mobile filmmaker and want to produce high end mobile content, the light chaser pro is a really great option. Now, the previous model for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, I actually bought with my own money and have used it ever since. But with the upgraded version, I can really say that Polar Pro has put a lot of thought into it. Now, going on a trip with friends and families and capturing a moments at the same time can be very stressful, and that’s why having a minimalistic setup is key to creating videos with my iPhone or any smartphone in general, since I can keep it mobile and focus more on the storytelling side. So having this setup made it really comfortable for me to shoot. Now, obviously you won’t get the same results as with a DSLR camera, but in some cases filming with a smartphone can be a better choice depending on the budget, the story and the look you’re going after.

So hopefully this post was helpful for you guys. Let me know in the comments what you think about the new Light Chaser Pro. We have been crushing it lately, this channel is skyrocketing. So thank you so much for your support. Now, if you’ve haven’t downloaded my freesmartphone filmmaking guide, ted filming quality videos with your smartphone. If you want to know more about filming with your smartphone, here are two popular videos that you can check out that you will certainly like. Thank you so much for watching. Stay creative, and I will see you in the next post.

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