iPhone 12 Pro Max – What I DON’T LIKE about it as a Mobile Filmmaker

What is up everyone, and welcome back to another video. (stomach growls) I’m hungry (kettle clicks) (water boiling) (plates rattling) (wrapper crinkling) (utensils clang) (wrapper crinkling) (hot water pouring) (Benett slurping) (Benett sighs) (smacks lips) In a previous video, I talked about why I bought the iPhone 12 Pro Max as a pro camera. In this video, I wanted to share with you the issues I encountered using the iPhone 12 Pro Max when it comes to shooting mobile content, I have been using the iPhone 12 Pro Max for six months now. I’ve been using it intensively, I still think it’s one of the best smartphones to capture high quality videos, but it isn’t perfect. And with this video, I wanted to show you some of the drawbacks it has, as this can affect your mobile filmmaking experience.

Dimmed Display

Starting with the first issue is that the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts to dim the display whenever it’s overheated. Makes sense, but as a mobile filmmaker, this makes it hard to see what you’re shooting. The best way to solve this problem, is to remove the case or cover of your iPhone, as this tends to hold in the heat. You also want to keep your phone out of the I just leave it in the shade until the iPhone has completely cooled off, to then continue with the shoot. Make sure to also turn off apps running in the background as this will surely use more energy, and can more likely heat up your iPhone

Missing Pro Camera Mode

Next would be the missing pro camera mode. Most Android phones like the Huawei over here, comes with a pro camera mode where you have more control over your phone camera such as changing the ISO, shutter speed, controlling the focus and exposure separately, adjusting the white balance and more., the best solution to this is to download a third party plugin such as FiLMiC Pro, sometimes I prefer using the native camera app over FiLMiC Pro for certain shooting scenarios. For example when filming travel videos, like the one I did from Portugal. As I’m much quicker capturing those moments. In the other hand for more complex shoots, I go with FiLMiC Pro, as it has a lot more advanced functions. For example, when shooting time-lapses, I prefer using FiLMiC Pro as I have more creative options. For right now, I like using both applications, but it would be great to have all of these advanced functions in the native camera app. I’m probably expecting too much, but this way I will save time switching between those two apps.

Ugly lens flare

Next would be the ugly lens flare when shooting against the By ugly, I mean the green spot that appears in the video. Lens flare is basically caused by light reflections on your camera lens. don’t get me wrong, you can get nice lens flares with the iPhone 12 Pro Max and I like having it in my videos as an artistic effect, but sometimes it can be too much and distracting. DSLRs or mirrorless cameras produce much nicer lens flares, this is due to the bigger lens element. One way to have nicer lens flares is to attach an add on lens onto your iPhone’s camera. The one I’m using is the Telephoto Lens from Beastgrip. Because of its huge lens element it creates this nice lens flare that gives the video a vintage characteristic to it, surely better than the green spot. If you don’t want lens flares in your video, try using a lens hood, or try making one yourself. Or cover the lens with your hands, or use any kind of object to really avoid the sun hitting the lens. Another thing you could do is capture the shot from a different angle, in a way that keeps the light from reflecting off your lens. The next problem is the auto exposure lock.

Tone Mapping

The reason why you want to lock your exposure is to keep the light consistent. I still encounter a small light changes even though the exposure is locked. Most people probably won’t notice it but, as a mobile filmmaker this is something you want to be aware of, ’cause the phone starts to adjust in real time, trying to fix the highlights and shadows. Apple knows about this issue and is working on it. But overall, I think the video quality it produces in 10-bit HDR Dolby Vision is very powerful, and can be used to create professional videos. But let’s now just stick with the negative side of using the iPhone as a filmmaking tool.

Missing HDR On/Off toggle

Speaking of HDR, shooting in this format can be complicated because not all platforms support HDR, and not all displays can playback HDR footage. Also the workflow can be complicated if you want to do it right. I usually convert the footage from HDR to SDR in Final Cut Pro, since I have other clips shot in SDR. I like how Final Cut Pro handles it, and it’s not a big issue for me. But it would still be great if the iPhone 12 Pro Max had the option to switch off HDR, to then only shoot in 10-bit SDR. A solution would be to use the FiLMiC Pro app, where you can turn off the HDR function and only shoot in 10-bit, but like I said, I sometimes prefer using the native camera app for different reasons.

Missing Portrait Mode


Finally, would be the option to shoot in portrait video mode, where you’re able to create a shallow depth of field, meaning having the background out of focus and the subject in focus. There are applications out there that have these options such as, Focos Live app, or the Protake app that adds the functionality to shoot wide aperture videos with a bokeh effect. There are still imperfections to using these third party applications, but having this function on a native camera app together with LiDAR, which stands for light detection and ranging, could potentially increase the shallow depth of field, making it look like it was shot on a high-end camera. I could see the possibility for portrait video on the iPhone 13, which would be very exciting

So, these were some of the major issues. I hope that Apple fix this in the future, hopefully with the upcoming release of the iPhone 13., there are some other problems, such as file management and extended storage options that they could implement and improve on, but overall, I think these are the main issues I found worth mentioning. Let me know in the comments what issues you found disturbing as a smartphone filmmaker when using your iPhone, would love to know. Make sure to leave a lag if you enjoyed this post and if you’re new in the block, as this will help you get started making quality videos with your smartphone. All right guys, thank you so much for watching, take care, and I will see you in the next Post.

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