DV101 — Launch of the iRevolution

Column - DV101 Header

By Jay Holben

Today's technological tidbit is about the beloved iPhone 3GS
– a product that, I must admit, I do not own. I do not own any version of the iPhone at
all, although I do carry an iTouch with me everywhere I go. It's really
purely because of the iPhone's exclusive AT&T contract – a company
that I've had horrendous dealings with far too many times in the past
and I won't give up my Verizon account to switch to them. Sigh. I'd be
very happy with an iPhone of my own, but, alas, I shall await the day
when Verizon has their own official version for their network.

That said, the
iPhone is, hands-down the most significant technological introduction
of the last decade. In my lifetime, I have never seen more hype,
anticipation and actual delivery from any single product –
technological or otherwise – on such a massive scale. With the
introduction of the iPhone 3GS, including a 3.0 megapixel, auto-focus, auto-iris, auto-white-balance video camera, the iPhone is now capable
of shooting 30fps VGA (640x480) – and that's opened the doors to
a new toy for digital shooters.

For most people, the inclusion
of the video camera in the iPhone means that they can have a home video
camera in their pocket and capture their friends and family in their
wacky antics at the drop of a hat. For creative digi-shooters, the
iPhone now provides yet another tool for creative integration into their
production workflow.

The first antics I saw regarding the new video capability in the 3GS was from Pixel Corps
who did a MacBreak on their über-rig – a shoulder mount for the iPhone.
In their MacBreak video, Alex Lindsay demonstrates the shoulder rig
which combines a Redrock Micro DLSR 2.0 hybrid rig ( and a Thought Out Ped 3-Auto mount (
for the iPhone itself. It's hysterical in its overkill, but sobering in
the fact that SOMEONE is gonna use this kind of rig (and maybe more) to
shoot with the iPhone 3GS. You can see the video here.

Next up was a much more subtle mount for the iPhone  – the Zacuto ZGrip iPhone Pro
(seen below) – not a shoulder mount, but a slick way to get a better hold on the
camera, er phone, er... whatever it is.

Zacuto - iPhone Rig

In their demonstration video,
Zacuto's Jens Bogehegn and Steve Weiss show off their slick, adjustable
rig. Jens and Steve also promise a less-expense, less flexible ZGrip
iPhone (non-pro) coming soon.

This support gear was quickly
followed by the first music video shot with the iPhone: "Play" by Kenny
Mosher and Ben Rivet. It's not really a music video and there's really
no point to it – other than to be the first to publicly shoot and post
a video shot with the iPhone – but it's interesting nonetheless. You
can see the video here. As well as s 7-minute behind-the-scenes of the video (which is twice as long as the video itself) here.
They, alas, didn't use either the crazy Pixel Corps rig nor the Zacuto
– but MacGyver'd their own with supplies from their local home
improvement store. Quite hysterically, the guys shot the
behind-the-scenes for the iPhone 3GS video on the Canon 5D MKII (how
seriously hip are these guys?). The behind-the-scenes is very detailed
and shows several different mounts from shoulder to tripod to an HD
Glidecam 2000 that they used for the video.

Although I hate to pop Kenny and Ben's bubbles, iJustine ( beat them to the punch with the first public video from the iPhone – although not quite as musical.

The iPhone/tech queen was also present for Pixel Corp's Frankenstein creation.

Leave it to iJustine to get the scoop!

– the bottom line? Just another toy at your fingertips. If this had
come out 10 years ago, people would have laughed at the idea of
shooting anything more than your pets or kid's soccer moments, but in
this day and age – people take every new toy seriously – and every new
toy opens up other possibilities. How easy would it be to suction-cup
mount an iPhone in a car to get really interesting and dynamic shots?
With it's macro focus ability (not entirely clear if this works in
video mode or not), that could open up a number of new applications for
creative shooters.

Here's waiting for the next version of the iPhone that can shoot 1920 x 1080 in 24fps!*





*This is pure supposition and wishful thinking. I'm NOT
revealing any special secrets and I possess no insider information.