If you are a frequent user
of the iPhone for shooting video or the iOS version of iMovie, you might want to check out the recently released video app Videon ($2.99). While the the iPhone video camera has more than enough features for most users, Videon brings tighter integration between the video recording and editing process.
The app essentially merges the iPhone video camera and iMovie into one saving users the trouble of importing clips into a video editor. Videon includes realtime zooming, adjustable frame rate, focus and exposure lock, various color and special effect features, and video editing tools for splicing together several clips into one final production.
Once Videon has been downloaded you can immediately begin recording video by simply tapping the red button. the video app also includes buttons for pausing a recording, and a convenient timer overlay to see the amount of footage you’re recording.
Note: You will need to disable orientation lock on the iPhone camera when shooting a recording with Videon. In my test, if the orientation lock is enabled, the video captures will end up in vertical mode in the editor.
Where Videon really takes off are the advanced features not found in Apple’s video camera. While the default app does include a feature for tapping on the screen to automatically focus on a particular subject, Videon allows you to tap and lock focus and exposure separately.
As shown in the above screenshot, focus and exposure lock can be very useful in mixed light situations, where one part of the capture may be darker than the other part. The exposure lock allows you to adjust for those different lighting conditions.
Videon also contains zoom controls that can be used before and during video capture. Zoom is of course digital and so quality suffers as you’d expect, but it’s better than no zoom at all. The best way to get good zoom shots is to first zoom in the area you want to capture, lock the focus, and then zoom back out.
It is possible to use your thumb to move the zoom dial (in the bottom-right corner of the screen) slightly to the right for a slow zoom in. With the focus lock in place, the capture will retain the best possible focus. Using a tripod along with following a few basic video recording tips will make for even better zoom and pan shots.
Videon can use the iPhone’s built-in flash for low light recordings. It is also possible to tap the camera icon and snap photos as you record video, just as you can do on the iPhone video camera.
The Settings in Videon are also used to customize recordings and edit clips. You can choose the resolution size of your recordings, set the frame rate, reduce the video quality for smaller video files, set the max zoom, change the zoom speed to slow or fast, and select to save clips to the iPhone Camera Roll instead of directly to Videon’s document folder.
You may not ever get around to changing most of these settings, but depending on your needs and shooting situations, these settings make for a very advanced media app.
Unlike iMovie, Videon doesn’t use a timeline to organize clips. Instead you must tap the Preview button (the arrow icon) and then select your clips in the order in which you want them to appear. This approach works if you are very familiar with your clips, and you need a quick way to edit them together.
But if you want to quickly insert, say B-roll shots, or just see your clips in a timeline, the editing approach Videon takes may feel a little more cumbersome for some users.
Videon includes over a dozen different editing and special effect tools for speeding up or reversing the action in clips, adjusting the exposure, contrasting and saturation of clips, and straightening and resizing clips. You can also mute the sound of a clip and change it to black & white.
Similarly to the iPhone video camera, Videon contains tools (accessed via the scissor icon) for trimming and splitting clips. If you’re worried about the type of trims you make, you will need to first save the original clip to your iPhone’s camera roll before trimming a copy. Unfortunately, if you make a mistake with the trim, you have to import the original clip and start over with your edits.
While Videon’s trimming and splicing tools are useful quick down and dirty edits, the mobile version of iMovie contains a non-destructive editor, which allows for some complex edits. Your iPhone can also trim videos using the controls in the Photos app.
Videon is definitely a useful alternative to the iPhone video camera. However, many users might still prefer to use iMovie for editing together clips and being able to share final productions to YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. Videon only allows for exporting final productions to the Camera Roll. Still, it provides good control over the capture of video with a few nice editing features thrown in for good measure.
Let us know what you think of Videon and any other video apps. Are there particular features you like, or would like to see added? Do you use iMovie for edits? Let us know how you video things on the go in the comments, below this post.