iPhone 11: LumaFusion, Filming without a Gimbal

Discussion in 'Movi Technical' started by Rorick Edge, Sep 22, 2019.

  1. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    EDIT: re filming without a gimbal, and microphone clearance with the 13mm lens, see post #9 and following.

    I used to think that a computer was necessary to process still photos. Then Instagram came along.

    I’m thinking of trying my hand at using an iPad Pro and an iPhone 11 Pro Max to edit video. In the last year, Jonathan Morrison has uploaded two videos showing that it can be done on an iPad. He used LumaFusion. I don’t know how iMovie and the new new iOS 13 video editing functions compare, but LumaFusion appears to have a lot of fans. It’s claimed that some broadcast journalists are using it.

    There are a lot of LumaFusion tutorials at this point, the LumaFusion forum is quite active and some people claim that the app can be used effectively on an iPhone as well as an iPad. I’m skeptical about that, but happy to be proven wrong. The 11 Pro Max has the largest display of the series and the A13 chip may help.

    Apple did shoot and edit this on an 11 Pro Max, not that I would use an iPhone for something this complicated:



    Currently, I use Final Cut and Logic. Has anyone tried LumaFusion or iPadOS/iOS iMovie? Thoughts? Is it time, in 2019, to get with the programme, or am I crazy?

    Cheers

    P.S. Not holding my breath on an iPadOS/iOS version of Final Cut :)
     
    #1 Rorick Edge, Sep 22, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  2. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Ted Forbes (The Art of Photography) says that he’s using LumaFusion and an iPad for all of his YouTube videos, and that the people behind it formerly worked for Avid. This is a good demonstration.

     
    #2 Rorick Edge, Sep 22, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  3. Marc Smith

    Marc Smith New Member

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    It works great. I edited 4K 60/30 and downscale did to 1080. No issues, no lagging. I have the iPad Pro 10.5.
     
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  4. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    This is the earlier video that Forbes refers to in the video above (post #2). He has tried using an iPhone as well as an iPad with LumaFusion and talks about the difference at 14:55. He appears to think that a phone works OK, but is fussy/fatiguing.



    The “Henny” YouTube channel that he refers to is presumably Henny Tha Bizness, which has a number of videos on LumaFusion: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjOdcJbnQcVjH_o4j2AbLog
     
    #4 Rorick Edge, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  5. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Thanks. I’ve decided to give it a try and I’ve purchased the app (US$30). Your post and Ted Forbes’s and Jonathan Morrison’s videos have me convinced. Like you, I have an iPad Pro 10.5”, also an iPhone 11 Pro Max. Will experiment with both.

    The issue for me is going to be sound. Like Ted Forbes, I record all sound separately (double system), and it’s good to hear from him that LumaFusion doesn’t present any synchronisation issues. However, I don’t use Final Cut when it comes to substantive editing of sound; instead I use iZotope RX, Logic and iZotope Ozone, which require a computer. Nevertheless, LumaFusion may work for at least part of the editing process, and it may get me making simple, short videos for upload to social media that are edited entirely in LumaFusion.
     
    #5 Rorick Edge, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  6. farbrorjoakim

    farbrorjoakim New Member

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    I use Lumafusion all the time. Its great, quick and easy to use. The only thing i miss are more graphical titles like the ones you can find in Premiere.
     
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  7. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    This is an eye-opener. Spent the last couple of hours working with LumaFusion and iMovie on an iPad Pro 10.5” and an iPhone 11 Pro Max.

    Using the iPad is easy. I’m also convinced that it’s possible to shoot video on the phone, edit it on the phone and then export it from the phone. For a short video, this could be extremely convenient and a significant timesaver. It’s possible with both apps to view footage full screen, which was something I was concerned about. It looks like it’s also possible to mirror footage to a larger display, such as an iPad display, and of course there’s AirDrop. One of the attractions of the iPad and iPhone is that there shouldn’t be issues about display colour accuracy.

    LumaFusion has a lot more features than iMovie, but I want to check out iMovie anyway. One of the YouTubers that I follow uses iMovie for all of his edits. This guy travels to major European and North American cities for work, and uses a quite good Fuji camera. If he’s using iMovie, it’s because it works for him, not because he can’t afford to buy Final Cut or rent Premier. Indeed, I now realise that he may be using iMovie because he edits on an iPad Pro or iPhone. I also want to check out the new iOS 13 Photos App. Apparently its photo editing functions now work for video.
     
    #7 Rorick Edge, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
  8. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Brief update on the new iOS 13 Photos App, plus AirDrop...

    It is indeed possible to trim video clips and process them as you would a photograph. As with photos, reverting to the original is just a tap. Depending on the length of the clip, saving may be a bit slow. However, the App won’t combine video clips, so it is only useful for single take video or if you want to process in the Photo App, but then edit in a video editor like iMovie or LumaFusion. With iOS 13, the Photos App has more options for processing clips than the iOS version of iMovie.

    I’m finding that AirDrop works very well for transferring video clips from an iPhone 11 Pro Max to an iPad Pro 10.5”. The devices generate their own WiFi connection, so there’s no need for external WiFi. The clips go straight into the iPad Photos App, from which they can be imported into iMovie or LumaFusion.
     
    #8 Rorick Edge, Sep 25, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019
  9. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    As a result of improved stabilization in the 11 series phones, and problems using the 13mm lens on these phones with the Movi Cinema Robot, I’ve decided to try reducing my use of a tripod or gimbal, relying more on the phone’s own stabilisation and a simple hand-grip.* Options include Manfrotto’s PIXI Mini with their TwistGrip, the ShoulderPod S2, used for the Matteo Bertoli video below, and the BeastClamp/BeastClamp Rig.

    Matteo Bertoli shot this 11 Pro Max video entirely handheld. He talks about iPhone 11 stabilisation in his YouTube description of the video:




    Matti Haapoja shot the first 01:20 of his 11 Pro review handheld and talks about the phone’s inbuilt stabilisation at 06:40:



    Here is a Moment Lens video showing use of the Manfrotto PIXI Mini and TwistGrip as both a hand grip and mini-tripod. I already have the TwistGrip (US$41) and I expect to receive a PIXI Mini tomorrow ($18). Manfrotto also sells a plain TwistGrip handle:



    Also, while the ShoulderPod S2 is US$40, if you already have a phone clamp you can buy just their handle (part H1) for US$20. Amazon doesn’t sell the handle separately, but Adorama/B&H will order it.


    * This also avoids any conflict between the phone’s stabilisation and the gimbal’s for the 26mm and 52mm lenses. The 13mm is widely thought not to require stabilisation in most cases (see the videos above).
     
    #9 Rorick Edge, Sep 25, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  10. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    One advantage of dispensing with a gimbal is that it can make it easier to manage sound recording. I sometimes record directly to the phone, running a cable from a lapel microphone (DPA 4060) to a small preamplifier (DPA d:vice) and from there to the phone’s Lightning jack. With a gimbal, this means that I have to monitor the cable to make sure that it isn’t interfering with the gimbal’s free operation. If I hold the phone with a simple hand-grip, there’s no need to monitor the connection.

    Depending on the sound that I’m recording, the Movi Cinema Robot can work well when I use a condenser microphone (e.g. Schoeps supercardiod CMC641) and record to a portable recorder (e.g. Sound Devices MixPre 3). The mike can be mounted on an MCR Hoodie. However, this can cause an issue with keeping the mike, especially its windscreen, out of the video image. iPhone 11 series owners will need to check how big an issue this is with the ultra-wide 13mm.

    Mounting a mike on a Hoodie sometimes results in poor mike placement, in which case I don’t have a free hand to hold the mike where I want it because I need two hands to hold the MCR. Sometimes, I’d be happier using one hand to hold the phone and the other to hold the mike; and hand-holding the mike is the only option, short of a separate mount, if there’s a breeze and I need to use a zeppelin (e.g. a Rycote Windshield).
     
    #10 Rorick Edge, Sep 26, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
  11. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Further to post #9, I tried the Manfrotto PIXI Mini plus TwistGrip today and it makes for a nice, compact rig. When collapsed, the PIXI’s mini-tripod legs work well as a hand grip both one-handed and two-handed, and the ability to set a phone down in mini-tripod configuration is handy. Some Amazon reviews say that the TwistGrip has too much play. I don’t find that in individual shots, but I am seeing some lateral movement of the phone in the TwistGrip over time. I don’t know whether this is a design issue or due to the fact that I’m not yet using a case, which adds mass, on the phone, but I’m monitoring it. In any event, there are lots of options when it comes to phone clamps.

    However, I also tried mounting the TwistGrip and phone on a carbon fiber monopod, and the monopod, rather than the PIXI, is going to be my go-to gimbal-free setup. My monopod (Gitzo GM4542) is 58cm/22.8” folded, 159cm/63” fully extended and weighs 680g/1.5lb*. I like the mass, the versatility and the handling, especially that I can use it in a lot of ways that won’t tire my arms. Extended, the monopod also gives me significant reach for filming (e.g. overhead) and/or sound recording. There are more compact, lighter monopods (e.g. Gitzo makes one in its “Traveller” series, 36cm/14.2” closed, 405g/0.9lbs), and ones that are less expensive, but this is the one that I have. I think that it’s going to work great.

    I might add that when I purchased the Gitzo I also tested Manfrotto and Sirui monopods that have three short legs that can convert a monopod to a semi-tripod. I wasn’t keen on them (fussy, something else to go wrong), but I’m probably in a minority. These hybrid monopods have become very popular.

    * The Movi Cinema Robot is only 10g/0.35oz lighter, and that’s without counterweights. DJI’s new Osmo Mobile 3 is 405g/0.9lbs.
     
    #11 Rorick Edge, Sep 28, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  12. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Further to post #10, I also experimented with what I have to do to stay out of the 13mm image with a standard condenser microphone and windscreen. The mike that I used to test is a Schoeps supercardiod (CMC641; length: 138mm, 5.5”; diameter: 20mm, 0.79”) with a foam ball windscreen (Schoeps part W 5 D; diameter 90mm, 3.5”). Unsurprisingly, I found that the key is to mount the mike to the right of the phone’s Lightning port, in other words as far away from the 13mm lens as possible.

    The TwistGrip (see posts #9-11) has a cold shoe mount on its top, but with the TwistGrip in the middle of the phone it would take a spacer of several inches between the TwistGrip and the mike for a mike like this to clear the 13mm image; in other words, closer to Rube Goldberg territory than I want to be. With the mike a few inches to the right of the phone, and with the head of the mike not too far in front of the phone, I was able to keep the mike out of the 13mm image.

    This means that I’ll probably use a horizontal bar/plate that I can screw onto the top my monopod, on which I can mount both the phone and a mike with adequate space between them.* I also want to figure out how long a bar would have to be to mount the phone plus a mike in a Rycote Windshield (zeppelin). A monopod, unlike a small hand grip, can handle a zeppelin easily, and this would be very handy. The bar could even be an alternate, available when needed.

    I already own a sound recording stereo bar, and it just might work out for this. [EDIT: This turned out to be the solution. See post #26.]

    In the next couple of days, I’ll check what happens when the mike is mounted on an MCR Hoodie.

    * Manfrotto, ShoulderPod, etc. sell lateral bars for their grips, but I would want to be sure about clearance of the 13mm image before purchasing one of these.
     
    #12 Rorick Edge, Sep 29, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
  13. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Matti Haapoja has followed up his review of the iPhone 11 Pro (link, post #9) with an experiment, using the phone to record both the video and sound for his latest YouTube video:



    I can’t say that this is one of Haapoja’s more riveting videos, but that’s in the nature of experimenting and having decided to make the video as a vlog, and it is revealing of what the phone can and can’t do.

    The thing that surprised me is the indoors audio. It’s better than I would have expected. However, when Haapoja goes outdoors (from 07:38) the audio suffers a lot from wind hits. He could have fixed that, while remaining extremely portable, by using a small preamp (e.g. DPA d:vice) or recorder (e.g. Lectrosonics PDR) in a breast pocket and a lapel mike. Indeed, just yesterday I used an 11 Pro Max, a DPA d:vice and a lapel mike in my New York neighbourhood. I was testing how much my voice, when speaking, would stand out from the sounds of our local streets. Care in placing the mike, and a tiny lapel mike windscreen, meant no wind hits, and I was happy with the result.

    My own experience with the 11 Pro Max accords with Haapoja’s on the other issues that he talks about, including stabilisation. His overview of the strengths and weaknesses of using the 11 series phones to make YouTube content starts at 09:50.
     
    #13 Rorick Edge, Sep 30, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  14. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    FWIW, I have a pair of Joby Hand Grips and several different base plates.
    I can mount an iPhone mount (screw, rather than spring, type for safety) on the Joby Hand Grip in a variety of ways, most directly with a male to male ¼ x 20 adapter.
    I found several screw-type phone mounts and one wide, sturdy spring-type, more like the Movi clamp. Many of the iPhone gadgets come with a very poor iPhone mount. I've thrown a couple of those away.
    I could mount a base plate to the Joby Hand Grip, and the other end to the Movi, to provide a two-fisted grip and mount a mic to the Joby Hand Grip.
    Or I can mount a second Joby Hand Grip for two-handed, gimbal-free use. You can also mount a base plate both top and bottom so the iPhone clamp can be mounted on a sliding screw on the top base plate.
    Mics can be mounted in a variety of locations using a cold-shoe adapter.

    There is a huge variety of ¼ x 20 adapters, cold shoe mounts, base plates, hand grips etc., and they're all relatively inexpensive.
     
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  15. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Hi. Looks like Joby has discontinued its hand grip and 208mm plate, although someone is still selling it on Amazon U.S. Adorama/B&H no longer carry it.

    Yesterday, Moment Lens uploaded a video comparing the 11 Pro Max and XS Max for which they used a ShoulderPod Rig (two handle version of what Matteo Bertoli used to make the video linked in post #9) and, as phone clamps, two MeFoto Sidekick360s. No gimbal:

     
    #15 Rorick Edge, Oct 1, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
  16. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    Amazon had the Joby Hand Grip as of 9/27.
    I have no particular love for the Joby grip, except that I already had one and they're very plain and simple.
    I could have made one, but when I started adding up the costs of the core of the grip, plus shrink-wrap grippy material, etc., the Joby was cheaper.
     
    #16 Stephen Hart, Oct 1, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  17. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Time to put “no gimbal” to the test. There’s an above ground subway station near my home (New York #7 Train). Lots of people plus moving subway cars should be a good test for the 11 Pro Max’s inbuilt stabilisation and image quality; also for CMOS rolling shutter distortion. Forecast for tomorrow is rain, but intermittent. Otherwise Friday works.

    If I learn anything interesting from this shoot I’ll update this post.
     
    #17 Rorick Edge, Oct 2, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  18. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    Further to post #17 just above, too much rain today but I did shoot on the street. If I took some care in walking, even that was pretty stable.

    I also came across a new YouTube channel by someone who is shooting walking videos with an 11 Pro. He uses an MCR, but his latest was shot entirely handheld. Note the outdoor walking sections in particular, where the pace is pretty fast with no apparent effort at reducing vertical movement:

     
    #18 Rorick Edge, Oct 3, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
  19. Rorick Edge

    Rorick Edge Active Member

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    A couple of peripheral observations...

    Several YouTube reviewers have questioned the need for the 52mm lens and suggest purchasing the less expensive standard iPhone 11. I guess this is a question of personal preference, but I’m using the 52mm a lot, and for me it’s essential. Not thrilled about the additional US$300, but no regrets.

    AirDrop is great for backing up to my old iPhone 7 when shooting, and for copying clips, when I get home, to my iPad Pro. I then use the Photos App, which I have barely touched in the past, to preview and cull clips. Now that the App can process video clips as well as still photos, I’ve also used those functions a bit while previewing and culling. Reverting to the original before bringing clips into a video editing app is just a tap.
     
    #19 Rorick Edge, Oct 3, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
  20. Stephen Hart

    Stephen Hart Member

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    My experiences are similar to Rorick's.
    I also use the 52 mm lens a good deal. And, as I'm (at least for a few years) using the iPhone Upgrade Program, upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro reduced my monthly payments compared to the iPhone Xs.

    I have also found that AirDrop is much improved. I still sometimes have to choose AirDrop to find my iMac, when it's inches away, but at least I can AirDrop to it. In the recent past, I sometimes had to restart my iPhone Xs to see my iMac. I also use Final Cut Pro X, and haven't seen any downside to importing video into Photos, then importing from there to Final Cut. But I may well be missing something on that score. (It'd be nice if Apple would set up a preference so that any video is imported to Final Cut and any stills to Photos.)

    I'm a long-time Aperture user with nearly a terabyte of images (with heavy use of the description field and locations). Last year, with much trepidation, I switched to Photos, and the change was mostly uneventful. My current experience with Photos is OK. Not perfect, but OK. (I still edit in Photoshop quite a bit.)
    Just this week, my son sent some photos from his research trip to Shangri-La (literally), and Photos accurately tagged one photo of a colleague as the same person as in a photo from a 2009 research trip. Not too shabby.

    But I'm getting pretty far afield from Movi...
     
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