Amsterdam – a short travelogue shot and edited on the iPad 3


Amsterdam – a short travelogue shot and edited on the iPad 3

While isiting Amsterdam for a few days with my daughter, I decided to see how well it would work to shoot and edit a video clip on the iPad 3. In fact, do it all on just the iPad 3.

Even though I had my Nikon D4 with me – a camera which is far more suited to shooting video – I decided that it might be fun to shoot and edit on the same device. While I could’ve shot the video footage more easily on my iPhone 4s than the clumsily large iPad, I wanted to edit on the same device, and the iPad offers a lot more real estate when you edit the clips in iMovie.

The iPad 3 was … interesting to use as a video camera. Even though it offers stabilization of the image, I think the shape of the iPad just means it will be more prone to camera shake than a D-SLR that you can cradle in your hand. There’s no easy way to brace the iPad.

Then also, I think I looked a bit of a dork shooting the video on an iPad. Especially with the Nikon D4 dangling off my shoulder.

The real limitations of the iPad came in that you can’t control exposure or focus. Also, you have a single focal length. Even with that, it was a fun challenge to work around these limitations to come up with a short clip that stands on its own. And for me, it is a wonderful reminder of the few days during which my daughter and I explored Amsterdam.

related link: workshop report-back: Amsterdam, July 22

edited to add:
Dick Mulder from The Netherlands, emailed me this helpful comment about locking focus and exposure:

Just saw your articule about making a movie using your iPad. I discovered (i.e. Without reading the manual.) that focus and exposure cán be controled (however a little/limited). When the scene I like to photograph or film is pretty bright, the exposure is mostly too dark (as usual like using a camera at program mode.).Therefore I point the iPad to a darker area of the scene and press on the screen at something which is also at the distance as my subject is. The trick I found out is that you should keep your finger pressed on the display until it shows a blinking square. After releasing your finger you’ll see an autofocus and exposure-lock text at the bottom of the screen, YES!!! :-)

Don’t know if you’re allready known with this feature, but it did certainly helped me out with exposure-problems.

11 Comments, Add Your Own

  1. 3Jennifer Lynch says

    That was really nice. Great editing. I can’t believe it was shot with an iPad given the great quality. Makes me want to go there and ride a bike.

  2. 4Erik Halberstadt says

    That tap and hold on the iPad for exposure and focus lock works on the iPhone, too: I believe it works on all iOS devices with the 5.0 version. I use it often for HDR and Brenizer Method imaging.

    If I’m using ProHDR, instead of letting it or iOS make the exposures, I take the camera out of HDR mode, brace it on something solid, then tap and hold for highlight and shade exposures. It’s even better merging in Photoshop.

  3. 5 says

    Hi Erik, you’re right. I forgot this to mention this since the article was about the iPad, but you’re right, it doés work on the iPhone too. Googling for “exposure lock ios” shows us also some more tips (like digital zoom and using volume plusbutton as a alternative shutter releasebutton). I think it would be better for most of us to read the manuals after all. Most of the equipment nowadays is pretty sofisticated and I’m sure a lot of functionality is not used, because we’re just not aware of them (including myself)… :)

    Regards, Dick

  4. 6 says

    Hi Neil!
    Great Video, thanks for sharing!
    If you did use your Nikon for Videoing, could you still have edited on iMovie App?
    I haven’t used iMovie but am led to believe it don’t support Dslr video files?
    Keep up the good work.

  5. 7 says

    I would use Final Cut Pro (or iMovie) to edit movie clips shot on a DSLR.
    iMovie definitely does support (all? / most?) DSLR video formats.

    Neil vN

  6. 8 says

    Great video Neil. thanks for sharing and for posting the tip about auto focus and exposure-lock functions. Glad you got to explore it a bit with your daughter. Looks like y’all had a great time!

  7. 10John Boyd says

    The video clips are so stable looking, I thought you were using some kind of “tripod.” It’s fantastic for a hand-holding piece. How long did it take to edit, I wonder?

  8. 11 says

    Nope, all were with the iPad hand-held.

    I edited this clip completely during the flight back to New York (incl music), and slept a bit and read some. It certainly made the time pass away much faster being creatively busy.

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