Use iPhone 15 Pro & USB-C to Record Professional Video & Audio | Blake Calhoun | Skillshare

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Use iPhone 15 Pro & USB-C to Record Professional Video & Audio

teacher avatar Blake Calhoun, Filmmaker

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      About Apple Log Video and This Course


    • 2.

      USB-C Recording to SSDs


    • 3.

      USB-C Recording to CFast


    • 4.

      USB-C Recording to SD Cards


    • 5.

      USB-C Recording with Blackmagic Cam app


    • 6.

      An iPhone 15 Pro Max SSD Rig


    • 7.

      USB-C Accessory - 3.5mm Adapter


    • 8.

      USB-C Accessory - Rode AI Micro


    • 9.

      USB-C Accessory - Basic Hub


    • 10.

      USB-C Accessory - Advanced Hub


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About This Class

Apple added a USB-C port to the iPhone 15 series phones and now for the first time using the 15 Pro or Pro Max models you can record Apple ProRes Log video (and/or audio) externally using the USB-C, and this is a big deal.

Shooting Apple ProRes Log allows you to record high-quality footage that rivals much more expensive traditional cameras. It also bypasses (for the most part) all the notorious processing that Apple does to its standard video (over sharpening and too much dynamic tone mapping).

While that processed look is fine for everyday kind of video like for social media, etc. it's not ideal for anything more involved like YouTube videos, short films, corporate video, etc. where you typically want to do your own color correction & grading in post-production.

Now the iPhone 15 Pro/Max can easily be used as a B camera on higher-end shoots or as an A camera on other indie and lower budget projects. And recording externally via the USB-C not only unlocks shooting 4K 60FPS Apple Log, it also allows us to expand the storage and then quickly transfer that footage to a computer for editing - or even edit from the SSD you recorded to. 

So yeah, pretty amazing stuff, especially for a camera you carry in your pocket and have with you all the time.

What you're learn in the course:

  • How to record Apple Log video (4K 60, 30, 24) externally to SSDs
  • How to record to other media such as CFast 2.0 or SD cards
  • How to do this in the Native iPhone camera & Blackmagic Camera app
  • Using other USB-C accessories to record sound
  • And how to record external video & audio simultaneously using a USB-C hub

The phrase "game changer" is used a lot, but in this case it really is accurate as these new USB-C features in combination with Apple Log can turn an iPhone into a truly professional video camera.

IMPORTANT NOTE: External video recording via USB-C currently ONLY works with the iPhone 15 Pro or Pro Max models.

Meet Your Teacher

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Blake Calhoun



Hi, I'm Blake. I'm a filmmaker and YouTube creator who has been creating films & videos professionally for 20 years. I run the mobile filmmaking YouTube channel "The iPhoneographers" and have a website dedicated to mobile video & filmmaking. I've also produced, directed and edited numerous feature films, digital series and short films using both traditional and DIY approaches.

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1. About Apple Log Video and This Course: I got the 15 pro max. I've been playing around with Apple Prores log. Hold on a second. That looks better. As I was saying, I got the 15 pro max. I've been playing around with pro rez log and I have to say it really is a game changer. We've of course had the ability to shoot pres log for a while now using third party apps like Filmic Pro and Cinema P three. And with those you can get great results. But now with Apple's version of log to me, it's the closest log I've seen to a traditional camera. As a matter of fact, in my initial testing, I would say that profile is very close or similar to airy log C. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not comparing this to an airy camera, I'm just saying that the log profile is very similar to that. And actually if you use an airy correction, let you'll get a decent result just dragging and dropping it onto the files. All the footage here was shot handheld and in the middle of the day, so not an ideal time for lighting. I have to say though, all things considered, the stuff looks pretty darn good. One really interesting aspect of shooting Apple Log is that you can now record externally to an SSD and more via the USBC port on the iphone 15 Pro or Pro Max. This works in both the native camera app or in third party apps alike from black magic and that's what we're going to focus on in this course. 2. USB-C Recording to SSDs: This is a 1 Terabyte 15 pro max. And really I don't need to go out to an external drive because I have quite a bit of storage in my phone. But the reason you would need to is if you want to shoot four K 60 pros. Because you can't do that internally in the native camera, now you can in some third party apps. But we'll talk about the native camera first. I'm using just a little B script tripod here in the moment tripod mount that safe in it. And this is a 15 pro max. All right, I'm in the native camera now. I'm shooting Apple Pros log. And you can see that I've got 124 minutes, just over 2 hours. And this isn't 1 terabyte phone that I think I have, maybe 75% free. That's pretty good. I really don't need to go to an external. However, if I try to go to four K 30, I get 115 minutes. It works fine. Four K 60 Pros not supported, you can only do that on external storage device. I just happen to have a five Samsung drive here. I don't think they make these anymore. If they're old, they now have the seven, which I have one of those two, but I want to show that the older ones work just fine. Now one thing you'll notice, I just plug the drive in and usually you get a little icon that says USBC, it's not showing up. And that's because you cannot record out externally except using the Prores codec. Because I tried four K 60 a second ago, it turned it off. Now I'll re engage it and now you see USBC down here and I can get 76 minutes this drive. Now this is a 512 drive and it's mostly empty. You can see that you don't get a lot of media going out to an external. You got to have a lot of space. Again, my phone is 1 Terabyte and I got 124 minutes. And if this was a 1 terabyte, I'd probably get about the same, or a little bit more because it's a little emptier. If I go to four K 30, though, it drops down to 61 minutes. If I go to four K 60, which you can record, I only get 30 minutes of footage, you can see going out. You got to have a lot of storage to make it work. But the nice thing is it does work with these relatively inexpensive SSD's. I think a T 7,500.12 gigabyte is about 80 bucks. Ssds are a nice solution. They're a little bit bulky though. You would be hard just to hang this off your phone and walk around and shoot. But if you wanted to velcro it to your tripod or to a case or something, which I would recommend using a case, probably I'm using an SSD, it becomes a good option, but it doesn't have to just be an SSD. 3. USB-C Recording to CFast: You can also go out to cards such as a fast card. Now this is a angel bird, it's a 512 gigabyte, it's 560 megabytes/second so it's really fast. By the way, these drives get up to 1,000 megabytes/second These are really fast. Are these. I use this actually with my red Moto, but now this card is like 300 bucks. You can get 1 terabyte versions of these cards and they're like 500. They get really pricey. However, they're really fast and they have a lot of space on them. We'll try this. This is actually a red card reader, Red digital cinema. Now this is a little bit bulky, but again, it's a pretty cool solution. If you want to shoot pros to an external drive. Now USBC lit up and this drive is pretty much empty. And I can get 73 minutes at four K 30, most of the time I shoot 424. But 460, I can get 36 minutes, 424, 92 minutes. That's quite a bit. That's a good amount. As a side note, the only time I would really, ever shoot 460 is so I'm doing slow mo, 60 frames per second in my world, in the film world is designed for slow motion. You get a 40% slow Mo look. Yeah, this is a good solution. But again, see how big the card reader is. You could potentially mount this with some bell crow to a cage or whatever, but it's a little bit unwieldy. I have a smaller USBC drive and this actually is one that has USB three, that has a USB C adapter, and this one was like $20 or under, maybe 15 bucks on Amazon, this is like $100 from red. Now just for fun, I have a 64 gigabyte card here. It's a really fast card though. 515 megabytes a second. It's fast two. However, pop that in and see how much time I get. I've got 124 minutes right now on my 1 terabyte phone, you get 11 minutes. You get 11 minutes on a 64 gigabyte card. Now, that's not bad if you just want to grab a couple shots. But you couldn't go out and shoot an entire afternoon with that. As a matter of fact, you really couldn't shoot an entire afternoon with any of these solutions. Externally, even internally, it gets sketchy. The best thing to do is record internally if you have a bigger pham and then just transfer using USBC for portability reasons. If you have time and can rig one of these, then getting a bigger card or get a two terabyte SSD And you'll have plenty of storage plenty of time. But the main thing I want to show here is you can use a cheap USBC reader and any CF two card or any kind of card for that matter, and it works fine. Speaking of that, the cheapest solution and the easiest solution might just be to use an SD card. 4. USB-C Recording to SD Cards: Now I use these on my Sony mirrorless camera, and most of the ones I have are 128 gigabyte. I don't like buying the 256 cards because on a Sony mirrorless camera you'll get hours of footage on this and I don't like to have to transfer that. And on top of that, if you lose a card or a card gets corrupted, I don't want to lose as much media. So 128 gigabyte is fine. But if I started doing this with the iphone, I would probably buy 256 gigabyte cards, and this is the official Apple Reader, USBC to SD. This is a really great solution though You pop it in, it's super lightweight and boom, there it is now again, 128 gigabyte four k 24, I get 23 minutes footage. So if it was double that, you'd get about 45 minutes or so, which isn't bad. And the nice thing of course, about SD cards is you just have several with you when you're dumping your files to your computer. Then you can pop SD card in and keep rolling. This card though, just to show, is a 250 megabyte/second card. I've heard rumors that Apple recommends 200 megabyte or more, but then I've seen guys on line use cards that are much slower like 90 megabytes, and they seem to work fine. But I would probably stick to the faster cards. It's all I own anyway, just to be safe, again, 23 minutes on that card. But it's an awesome thing to be able to record out within the native camera app, But what about other apps? 5. USB-C Recording with Blackmagic Cam app: Okay, now I'm in the black magic camera app and at the time of this video, to my knowledge, this is the only third party app that lets you record externally. There are other apps now like Film Pro that support Apple Log, but they don't go out the USBC at this point. The one thing with the black magic app, and it took me a little while to figure this out. When you plug in something to the USB port, it doesn't automatically show right down here in the black magic camera. You click this and you can look at the drive. Doesn't work the exact same in the phone app. Right now I'm recording directly to the phone. But what you need to do then is go to settings. You can see right here I'm recording Prores 422 Apple log. But you go down here to media and then it save clips to. Right now it's in app only. And here you have to go to files, and then you need to find the drive. And if you go to browse, you look over here, It's untitled. Untitled is empty, but I'll hit open now. It's saving it to the files, which is going out to the SD card, go to camera, and now it's switched. And you can see now I've got 35 minutes and 32 seconds of room to record. I'm recording an Apple log Prores 422. And as a side note, that's one thing really great about recording in third party apps is because then the native camera app, you can only record Pros HQ in here. You can record a variety of Codex, even HEVC and H264 with Apple log Pro. Resh Q is huge. The files are huge. I mean all of them are big for every day kind of stuff. Pros 422 or LT is fine, Even proxy can be good. I've done that quite a bit. But if I'm shooting log, I want to shoot 422 or more. And if you're doing visual effects or heavy color grading, HQ and 4444 is great quad four, but it just depends on what you're doing and how much media you have. In this situation, again, I've got 35 minutes going out to 128 gigabyte card and you had no other indication on the screen like you do on the native app. But once you do get it to the SD card, you can see down here that it changes. And if you want to go back to recording to your camera, you have to manually do it. Let me pull that out, go back to camera and it's flickering. It's kind of buggy, and it's like, oh, it doesn't know where to go. Actually put that back to save clips to app only. And I do app only by the way, because I don't want my big pros files to clog up my cloud backup going into the photos app. But now you can see I've got 3 hours and 39 minutes recording to the internal drive again. Great. You can record out the USBC using the black magic camera app, but you have to manually set it up. It doesn't automatically sense it or automatically know what's there. Now one last thing I want to show is rigging up the SSD using a DIY phone page. 6. An iPhone 15 Pro Max SSD Rig: All right, so here is a rig that I have built. I called it DIY. It's because I've Frankenstein a couple of things together. Got a small rig tripod, quick release, and this is the old school script pro, which you know what's funny is I have all these different cages and such. And often I just default back to this one. I've had this like six or seven years. Whenever it came out, 2017, 2018, I don't remember, maybe it's five years. But nonetheless, I really like this cage and I like this half version for the phone sticking out here. Although you can of course put lenses on this side if you want to use their mounts and such. But for this purpose really I'm just using it to hold the SSD. And so it's the cage, the phone, and then over here I put a cheese plate because I stole this little small rig mount. It's an SSD mount from my black magic camera. It's designed for the black magic camera cage. And so that's why I say it's Frankenstein, because I did get it to fit on this cheese plate here. I mounted the cheese plate to the B script pro A quarter 20, and then I mounted this small SSD holder to that. And it has two screws, but I can only get it to work with one screw. I'm hoping B script or someone comes up with a case or a cage that will hold SSD's or even just SDs or Fast or whatever. And again, you could veil crow it to it if you wanted a more temporary, easy to use solution. But if you're shooting something more serious, like a short film or even a feature film or whatever, having something more stable and more permanent like this is the way to go. In my opinion. We'll mount that there and the SSD drive goes into this. You tighten it down, the cable comes out the back here. I like these little flexible cables, but this one might not be the best because it probably needs a little more length on it to be able to twist around. But it works for these purposes. Plug it into your phone. Usbc indicator is on. I got 76 minutes to go pop this off. Shooting handheld with an SSD or you can put it on a tripod, you you fill up the drive, you just pop that off, plug in your computer or you could even edit off this. If you use Luma Fusion, you could plug this right into Lumi Fusion on your ipad and you're editing. Or if you use a traditional computer, again, these are super fast, you can edit off these or you can transfer it to your computer. So we're living in a pretty cool time as it comes to filmmaking technology now with Apple log recording out to an SSD. I've said this for years, but I mean it even more now. There's no excuse if you want to make a short film or any kind of music video or even a feature film, just get out there and do it. 7. USB-C Accessory - 3.5mm Adapter: Now we'll look at some other accessories starting with recording audio. The first one is the most basic there is. And that is a USBC to 3.5 millimeter jack. Pretty self explanatory. You pop that in and when that goes in, you have to put a mic in there. You need a mic that is a RRS connection that has three lines, basically, in layman's terms, to connect to a phone. If you have two lines there, it won't work. Those are for traditional cameras, so you plug that in. Now we've got audio coming into the phone. You can see it on the screen here. It says USBC 3.5 millimeter headphone jack adapter, and sometimes with the black magic app. I've discovered that when you first plug a mic in, it may not work. You have to go into settings and just basically activate it, choose what you want to stereomano go back it camera and then it'll show up. Just be warned about that. That could be a little bit buggy. But anyway, recording audio is very easy with a USBC to 3.5 millimeter headphone jack, more or less. But in this case we're using it with a microphone. 8. USB-C Accessory - Rode AI Micro: Now go a little more advanced recording audio and that is using an accessory that I highly recommend that I've recommended this for several years and this is the road AI micro. The cool thing about this is it has cables for USBC lightning or USBA. The cables just pop right in. I used to use this on my previous phones, now I'm using it with the 15 because it's USBC jumping back into the black magic app. Now when you plug that in, all the sound goes away. But it says Road I Micro. The beauty about this set up is it allows you to plug in two microphones. It's two channel and any type of mic, it doesn't matter if it's TRS or RRS, or even CelR with an adapter, as long as the mic has power. Now I've got audio coming in channel one and about a second mic, I come in channel two and it would be split track. Which is great if you're recording an interview and you want two people on two different channels. This is the way to go. Again, the great thing is you don't have to worry about having the right adapter from your mic to get into your phone, because the AI micro is doing the conversion for you. This is an accessory that will instantly turn your phone into a much more professional device when it comes to sound recording. 9. USB-C Accessory - Basic Hub: Can you record audio using a mic at the same time as you're going to an SSD or any type of external source SD card, a C Fast card, whatever the answer is, yes, of course. You just have to have the right adapter. I'm going to show several different ones. This is one of the cheapest ones I found. And partly because it has analog audio or USB, and then it has a charging port as well. The main thing you need to know about using these hubs is you have to have a port that will do data transfer. It can't just be a charging port, you can't get data out that port right there. It's a charging port, you can only get data out of a data transfer port. On this one, again, this is a less expensive one. You have an analog audio out, you have a USB, A type output, but it is USB three speed, which is what the iphone is. You connect that, you connect your mic. Then I'll use a USBC to USB adapter now. Check, check, check. Okay. Now I'm getting audio through the USBC audio device. I do have to have the game cranked all the way up, but I'm talking behind the mic and I should be able to now go out to the SSD. You've seen my previous video, you know, you have to go in here and change where it's saving the clips to and it has to go to the files. There it is, MacminiT seven, that's what that drive is called. And then here there's a folder that it creates called DCIM 100 Apple. And that's where the files will go. Now I am recording to my SSD, going to an analog mic through the small simple adapter. I think this thing is like 20 bucks. So this is a very cost effective solution and especially if you're using an analog mic. Now if you're using a digital mic that needs a USB or a USBC connection, this wouldn't work because this point right here is charging only, which is nice because I could run that to a charger if I'm shooting and keep the phone charged. But now we'll look at a more advanced solution. 10. USB-C Accessory - Advanced Hub: All right, here's one more set up that is really more of the advanced set up. I would call it the USB hub is bigger. And by the way, I don't really have a solution yet for putting all this stuff together. This is still a work in progress. That part of it, what I've done here is I've connected my road AI micro to this into USBA, and then my SSD drive is connected via USBC. This has a lot of ports. This one transfers data, this one is a charging cable, this is another USBC. Then over here you've got a headphone jack that you could technically run a analog mice to. And then, very cool, this one also has an SD card slot and a MicroSDcrd slot. And I have tested them, they all work. And then even more, that has an HDMI output, which you could also send an HDMI signal out to a monitor as a client monitor or whatever, to see what you're doing. And this one is kind of my current testing, the granddaddy, And it works great and you have everything connected at the same time. Right now, again, I'm going out to my road AI micro and the black magic app sees it. You can tell right there on the screen. And then down here I'm going to the drive and I've got 2 hours and 57 minutes. With this current set up, I think I'm shooting. I don't even what am I shooting, I'm using 422 proxy. That's why you get so much. With higher quality you wouldn't quite have as much. Although this is a 1 terabyte drive I believe. But now hopefully you can see with the right USBC, you can send out external video via SSD, use a Mic, but also monitor with an HDMI and or use SD cards, all because of Apple adding the USBC to the phone. I got to say all this and including Apple log. Pretty great stuff Now just get out there and make something cool. Don't wait to create.