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Review: Final Cut Camera is Apple’s slick new pro videography app

Developer: Apple
Price: Free
Size: 69 MB
Version: 1.0
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Final Cut Camera

Final Cut Camera almost got lost in the noise of Apple’s iPad event in May, where it seemed to play a subservient role to a powerful new version of Final Cut Pro for iPad.

That’s a shame, because while it can certainly feed into large multicam Final Cut Pro productions, it’s also simply a very sharp standalone pro videography app – and a completely free one at that.

The viewfinder looks like a souped up version of the Camera app

Having booted the app up and granted the necessary camera and mic permissions, you’re greeted by a typically Apple viewfinder. It isn’t a million miles removed from the default Video view in the Camera app.

Look closer, however, and you’ll notice the live audio metering gauge in the top left corner, and a live reading of the remaining battery and recording space in the bottom left corner.

Things like manual focus get a clean and steady dial

There are clear and constantly-available buttons to the left for format (HEVC or ProRes), HDR, resolution and frame rate, with the latter adding 25 fps (PAL) to your armoury.

On the right of the viewfinder there are quick settings for whichever cameras you have available to you on your iPhone, as well as access to a manual zoom. Tap the arrow icon and additional dial shortcuts will reveal themselves to you for manual focus, exposure, and white balance, as well as an orientation lock.

You can switch between four frame rates

Essentially, it places all of the tools you could need for a more hands-on video recording experience right at your fingertips.

The settings menu holds more tools, such as optional focus peaking (essential with that manual focus dial) and overexposure indicators. Both are handled in typically tasteful and solid Apple style.

You can switch between cameras or initiate a manual zoom

The button in the bottom left of the screen is your gateway to Final Cut Camera’s Final Cut Pro integration. Essentially, you can manage live multicam recordings from up to four iOS devices simultaneously, all of which will be running this app.

We didn’t put this Final Cut Pro implementation to the test, but it’s hugely promising for those with ambitions beyond the iPhone’s stock camera app. We should also note that the app omits some of the more advanced features of rival efforts like Kino, such as the ability to import LUTs.

Focus peaking is extremely satisfying

It might not be the most fully featured video app on the market, but Final Cut Camera offers an extremely slick and intuitive experience for intermediate videographers looking to take their smartphone recording game to the next level.