Shoot 25 fps Video on iPhones?

Posted on by Larry

Recently, Harald asked:

“Can you please tell me why Apple’s iPhones (and other phones) do not let us shoot in 25 and 50 fps? I know there are apps, for instance Filmic Pro, but that app eats batteries really fast.”

I did some homework and discovered that Harald is right: iPhones don’t shoot 25 fps video – or 50 fps either.

The reason is that Apple considers iPhones to be consumer devices, with an audience in the hundreds of millions. Consumers, unlike pros, post primarily to social media. On the web, frame rates don’t matter. The web will handle any frame rate you give it.

From Apple’s point of view, frame rates only matter to professionals – and as long as there’s a quality 3rd-party app that provides this functionality, Apple is happy.

That brings us to Filmic Pro. For those that aren’t familiar with Filmic Pro this is a $15 (US) iPhone or Google app.

“FiLMiC Pro v6 is the most advanced cinema video camera for mobile. Ever. FiLMiC Pro has been enhanced with cutting-edge capabilities and the most responsive manual filming app available on iPhone and iPad

“FiLMiC Pro provides filmmakers, newscasters, teachers, vloggers, artists and musicians with the capability to shoot in a true LOG gamma curve (included in the Cinematographer Kit optional in-app purchase). LOG V2 allows for greater tonal range and flexibility in post production by expanding dynamic range by up to 2.5 extra stops and setting the iPhone’s capabilities on par with camera equipment such as DSLR costing thousands more.” (Filmic Pro Mac App Store)

FINAL THOUGHT

As filmmakers, we view the world through a different lens than Apple, though Apple continues to improve the quality of the iPhone camera. For Pro features, Apple expects us to use apps that best meet our needs.

Oh! And if Filmic Pro really does chew batteries that fast, then we need to let the developers know this is something they need to address.


Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Shoot 25 fps Video on iPhones?

  1. Daniël Brüggen says:

    Hi Larry, appreciate your suggestions a lot. I’ve used Filmic Pro for years now to occasionally use footage in my European timelines. The quality though is disappointing with regard to the native 30P of the iPhone (SE) itself which, despite the lack of controls is quite amazing. Camera movement or stabilized shots in Filmic show many problems and artifacts. It seems the 25P is just a software interpretation of the 30P rather than a native 25P. Is this true?
    Thank you and best regards, Daniël

  2. Lauren says:

    Larry, isn’t 24 fps also considered a professional frame rate? And all recent model iPhones support that. I always understood that 25 fps was unique to the European market. Do I have it backwards? Is the United States the only place where 24fps is a standard, just like our indifference to the Metric system?

    • Larry says:

      Lauren:

      Yes. 24 fps is a worldwide film standard, 25 and 29.97 (and 50 / 59.94) are broadcast/cable standards.

      Larry

      • Thomas FRANSSON says:

        Not quite, it’s based on the power grid frequency. North America have a 60hz grid while pretty much the rest of the world have a 50hz grid.
        That means that if you’re shooting with the wrong frame rate for your region your camera will pick up the grid cycles from lights making them flicker in your videos.

        Just for fun, image Google – “PAL/Secam vs NTSC Map”

  3. Norman Cates says:

    I have also been wondering why Apple (and Android for that matter) just ignore these frame rates. Is there a technical reason why they don’t offer the options?

    It seems to me that being able to shoot in other frame rates is LITERALLY changing a number from 30 to 25. (I’m sure it’s not QUITE that simple.) How is there ANY excuse for not doing this? Does anyone know?

    Otherwise it just seems like willful neglect on the part of Apple and practically every Android phone manufacturer to not provide the option. And in the case of Android, actually make it HARDER for 3rd party apps to record at other frame rates.

    This has been a problem for me (a niche consumer I’ll grant you) for quite a few years.

  4. Marco Camion says:

    The 30 /25 fps argument is an aesthetic one and its a pity that Apple didn’t realise this, well they kind of did by offering 24 on some phones.
    Conventionally one firstly has to assess what medium your film will be played back on. If its TV and you reside in the USA it will be 30 fps -NTSC – (29.97 actually!) because when TV started it needed a timing basis and they used the alternating phases of the local current, which is 60HZ. (In Europe – PAL and SECAM- it’s 50Hz so the frame rate conventionally is 25fps.) However, if its internet/website based playback one can play back on either. What one has to look at here is ones editing system because its there that you need to decide what base you are going to edit.
    I like to shoot and edit at 25 fps as it is closer to the cinematic feel of 24 fps which was adopted long ago by the film industry when sound tracks first appeared. The human eye is now so used to the ‘feel’ (motion blur etc) of this frame rate that 30 seems too clean. And if one shoots 4k at 30 fps you better get some real narrow depth of field going else your footage starts to look uber sharp and ‘video’ (unless you like that sort of thing of course.)

  5. Macbeth says:

    This is NOT only about professionals, or only for social media, it is about NOT flickering in Europe, it is amazing how by default all smartphones are made for America only and others areas with 110, here in Europe if you dont shot in multiples of 25 liek PAL, you get flicker from all the electronic lights, you can see this on social media. At least Apple should switch based on location to 25, to avoid flickering in Europe.

  6. Android user says:

    Me too, in Europe 25 fps gives better video quality at night or with artificial light.

  7. Tim says:

    The iPhone now does 25fps, can’t remember which update sorted this:

    Settings/camera/record video/

    Here you will find choices for resolution, and frame rates.

    • Larry says:

      Tim:

      My guess is that this showed up in the 11.4 update. However, you missed a step. To enable 25 fps recording, go to:

      Settings > Camera > Record Video then turn ON the PAL options. If these are turned off, all the 25 fps settings are not available.

      Thanks for pointing this out. My iPhone XR, which is a couple years old at this point – also supports native 25 fps shooting, so most modern iPhones should, as well.

      Larry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Larry Recommends:

FCPX Complete

NEW & Updated!

Edit smarter with Larry’s latest training, all available in our store.

Access over 1,900 on-demand video editing courses. Become a member of our Video Training Library today!

JOIN NOW

Subscribe to Larry's FREE weekly newsletter and save 10%
on your first purchase.