Smartphones are increasingly used for video and there are tools to edit and do multiple other things with those videos, but smartphones are also invaluable as a “Swiss knife” for videographers. From a slate to a depth of field calculator, they can transform into multiple tools. Here are some specific apps for Windows Phone 8 videographers.
While Android or iOS phones have multiple choices in terms of apps, Microsoft’s Windows Phone (which previously had the Nokia name associated with it) is less popular, meaning there are not as many options in terms of apps to use. Recent numbers about the Windows Phone universe suggest that the situation may not get much better, but still, there are some tools that videographers may want to install in their WP8 smartphones.
Updated to version 3.0, with improved responsiveness and a new icon design, Mobile Slate costs $0.99 and is your digital clapper you can take anywhere.
A clapper is used to sync sound with the moving image, if you’re using external audio recording, and having a digital slate means you can have it in your pocket until it is needed. Less gear to carry and, in fact, a tool that is more than a slate.
Perfect for DSLR filmmakers, whether you require a timecode or static standard clapper, as it is switchable, the Mobile Slate is easy to use. Just tap the section of the info you want to modify and you either change it there, simply tapping, or are taken to the interface allowing to make the changes. All the usual things you expect to find on a slate are available on the Mobile Slate.
If you do not need the clapping sound, you can use the slate to capture the essential info about the production at the start of a take. The app gets the date from your phone and allows you to introduce the usual stuff: roll, scene and take number, name of director, camera, whether it’s an EXTernal or INTernal shoot, DAY or NIGHT. Timecode options, which include Time Of Day and User Set Timecode, are also present, along with the option to change the number of frames. Users simply tap Settings to access the complete menu for this app.
The author indicates that the new version of Mobile Slate offers major improvements with the sync with sound effects and frame rates. There is a trial version available, although it is of version 2.5. Anyway, it will give you an idea of the potential of this clapper, which is one of the best available for Windows Phone 8 users.
TimeFrame is a professional film and video timecode calculator available for $2.99 and with a trial version Windows Phone 8 users may want to try.
The trial version of TimeFrame is, according to the author, fully functional, except that it only allows you to choose your available frame rates from three presets, and doesn’t allow you to use custom frame rates or change certain settings. Still, that’s enough to test one app that has received good reviews from the users.
One of such comments states this: “Really high quality timecode calculator. Works great to help align dialogue and video with slate markers in Premiere. Timecode conversion feature is a nice touch. This app gets better and better with every update!” while another user gives the app five stars and says that there is no need or words.
TimeFrame can be used to calculate positions for aligning audio with video (dialogue, slate markers, etc.), calculate the duration of a slow-motion (high-framerate) clip when converted to normal speed, easily convert timecode from one frame rate to another (keeping duration or frame count) and quickly see how many frames a clip contains, and a lot of other things related to timecode.
The program remembers recent operations with the calculator history and will save you hours of calculating time! Check and download the trial version of TimeFrame from Windows Phone 8 store.
Depth of Field 7
The interesting point about the Depth of Field 7 app is that it offers DOF information for photography cameras but also for cinema cameras. And it is absolutely free.
The most recent update to Depth of Field 7 added support for cameras as the Nikon D800, D4, Canon 5DmkIII and others, making this app an invaluable tool for users of those models. The update also fixed some bugs and introduced some changes, as the name of Canon models, to reflect the names – Rebel and Kiss – used in different markets.
Photographers will welcome this tool, as it spares them from carrying around DOF charts. While many cameras still allow users to preview depth of field, sometimes that alone is not enough, and having the means to know with precision the distances covered is a welcome bonus. The Depth of Field 7 app does exactly that. Furthermore, the app has information for cameras from different brands: Canon, Fuji, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma and Sony.
What’s even more interesting is that the app offers depth of field calculators for film, with everything from 35mm film up to 8×10, and also a section for cinema cameras, with 16mm, Super 16, 35 and 75mm. Although there are multiple DOF apps available, even for Windows Phone 8, none offers as much as this one.
The interface is very easy to use, offering smart visual sliders updated in real time, for f/stop, distance and focal length, makes the app very easy to use. Being able to sync hyperfocal or infinity focus with one touch, adjust the f/stop scales to show full, half and thirds of f/stop and show information about circle of confusion (how much out-of-focus something will appear) makes the tool a valuable asset both for photography and video. The app works in different units and converts automatically between them, meaning it really is a universal Depth of Field calculator. Try Depth of Field 7 if you’ve a Windows Phone 8.
There is no shortage of apps for Windows Phone 8 showing the Golden Hour and Blue Hour, but Magic Hours beats most of them in the design department, while also giving you all you need to know to be in the right place at the right time.
The Magic Hours app is probably a tool that photographers will adopt, but videographers needing to know the best times to shoot at sunrise and sunset can also include such a tool into their smartphone list of programs.
Completely free, Magic Hours gives you information about Golden and Blue Hours and sunset and sunrise for your location, but also allows you to define other locations and save that information, together with your own notes. It shows your position on a map, allows you to set reminders for specific dates and hours, and even gives you a calendar for the whole month. Tap on a date and you’ll get all the info for a specific place. Great!
There is some information that could probably be added, like the phase of the moon, which would certainly add value to this nicely organized program. I mention this because I use another app, Golden Hour, which costs $0.99, and besides a clean interface offers info about the moon phase. For those after the Blue Hour this might be a good indicator, if they want to take a photograph or create a video of the Moon. So, let’s look at Golden Hour.
Golden Hour for Windows Phone 8 shows start time and duration of golden and blue hours.”In photography, the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour, especially in cinematography) is the first and last hour of sunlight during the day, when a specific photographic effect is achieved due to the quality of the light.” indicates the Wikipedia.
The app, which costs, as mentionned above, $0.99, allows users to “modify sun altitudes that determine start times and duration (in different sources both Golden and Blue hours are at different ranges of sun altitudes, so you can choose, or set these parameters in the most feasible way).” The app also lets users set alarms before these events, and specify how earlier before the event alarm should be set. If the app is active on the LiveTile, it displays time of both hours, which is very convenient as with a simple glance you get the essential info for the day. Find more about Golden Hour at the Windows Phone 8 store.
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