Mixing Photos And Videos The iPhone Way With Precorder And Takes

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precorder iphone appMost iPhone power users know that the iTunes App Store is stocked with photo and video apps that can do everything from activating your iPhone camera with a voice command, to shooting up to 800 pictures a minute.

One could argue that the iPhone has indeed revolutionized digital photography and videography, but the possibilities are endless. I never imagined that an app could be built to take videos and shoot photos at the same time, which is a feature built into the current iOS 6 version of the iPhone camera.

More recently, a new photo app simply called Takes, actually creates videos based on photos you take. It’s similar to yet another app called Precorder that records up to 60 seconds of video before you ever hit the Record button!

Video and Photo Shooting

The latest feature in the iPhone camera app is the ability to snap photos as you shoot video. Unless you’re an avid user of the iPhone camera, you might not have noticed that this feature exists. Here’s how it works: when you put the camera in video mode and start capturing video, a camera icon appears on the screen. You hold the iPhone steady, and simply snap that icon when you want to capture a still photo of something you’re videotaping. The video will keep recording without interruption.

precorder iphone app

The only caveat is that you want to keep your iPhone as steady as possible so that the photo¬†subject ¬†is not fuzzy. Also, because of the relatively slow shutter speed of the iPhone camera, you won’t be able to capture fast moving subjects that well. For that purpose, you might try an app called Fast Camera, which can take up to 800 photos a minute.

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The built-in video and still photo capture feature will not be perfect for every situation, but the technology truly makes an iPhone camera a powerful tool.


Okay, say you¬†want to video capture your young daughter blowing out her birthday candle, or knocking a baseball down center field, but you don’t want to shoot a lot of video waiting for just the right moment. Well, you might use Precorder which saves up to 60 seconds of video before you hit the record button.

mix photos and videos

When you launch Precorder it starts recording in the background. If nothing happens during the prerecord time you set, it simply doesn’t save that footage. It only saves the footage it captures 3-60 seconds before you hit the record button. The amount of prerecorded time depends on¬†which version you download‚ÄďPrecorder Free (3 seconds), Precorder (10 seconds, ($1.99)), or Precorder Pro (60 seconds, ($5.99)).

If you regularly shoot video, you could simply use the Precorder in place of the default iPhone camera app. By constantly saving the previous few seconds of video before you hit record, Precorder helps you to never miss a precious moment. This app is similar to a photo app called Glmps, which takes up 5 seconds of video before it snaps a photo, so you end up with a brief video of what was taking place before you snapped a photo.

Takes: The Magic Camera

I’ve saved the best app for last. Takes (Free) is a recently released photo app that turns the pictures you take into a video. You may think I’m talking about a photo slideshow, but nope, that’s not it. You may want to even download this app first and try it before I explain how it basically works.

With Takes, you can’t use photos in your existing camera roll, it only does its magic with photos you take from within the app itself. So say you’re at a party and snap photos of people dancing, laughing, and giving each other hugs. Those photos will look like any other photos – still shots of actions you capture.

mix photos and videos

But when you select those photos in Takes and tap the “Next” process button, any movements in those photos will appear in video format, minus audio. You may not understand what I’m describing until you actually use the app. Even the promo video on the Takes website doesn’t convey the magic of this app. And by the way, all your still photos are saved to your iPhone’s camera roll. So you get both still photos and the short video production.

Okay, so before you read on, try out Takes. This article will be here when you get back. Basically, Takes works like Precorder and Glmps. It uses some sort of algorithm to briefly capture action in a photo you’re about to take. So if you snap a photo of your daughter blowing out her birthday candle, Takes will capture about five seconds of that action to the point of you tapping the shutter button. But the apps doesn’t give you any indication that it has started recording. Takes figures out when to start pre-recording, so it doesn’t waste video capture while you’re busy composing the shot or fumbling with your iPhone.

You can snap as many photos as you like of different things, and then select which photos you want Takes to stitch together in a video. The resulting video will include brief cross fades transitions between photos, depending on the actions and photos you snap. Before you share your “video”, you can add background music using a selection from the Takes app or the iTunes music library of your iPhone.

precorder iphone app

You can share your Takes videos on your Facebook account, or link to them on Twitter or via email. Sample video can be viewed on the Takes website and in the app itself.

Let us know what you think of these iPhone camera apps. Did you ever think such apps could do these things? I’m constantly amazed, and I think there’s much more to come.

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2 Comments - Write a Comment



great tips

Bakari Chavanu

Thanks for the feedback, Marko. .

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