Devices: iPhone and iPad
How is it of use to journalists? Ever shot a video on your iPhone and got that sinking feeling afterwards, that in the heat of the moment, you filmed in portrait mode instead of landscape?
The vast majority of video players use a landscape orientation, so videos shot while holding the phone vertically will appear with thick black bars on the side when played back. This can be fixed, with some difficulty, but the clip will look out of sync with the finished product.
However, the Horizon app makes sure you always record horizontally, whether you are holding your device upright, sideways or even at an angle.
Using your iPhone or iPad gyroscope, the app auto-levels videos as you record them. The resulting video is stable and straight – even if you decide to tilt or flip your phone from vertical to horizontal while filming.
Screenshot from www.evilwindowdog.com
You can record using the front or back camera on your device and shoot in three different aspect ratios: standard (4:3), square (1:1) and wide (16:9).
You can also shoot in multiple resolutions, including VGA and HD, and set the quality of your video from low, medium or high to save space on your device.
And, if you fancy getting artistic, you can apply one of nine Instagram-style filters (though they are perhaps not so suited to news video, the sepia or 'nightowl' modes might be useful for a more stylised video).
When finished, videos are automatically saved to your device camera roll, and there are in-app sharing options for Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
The app does fall down in a couple of places. For example, while you can open Horizon videos in other apps there is no function to import pre-recorded vertical video into the app to correct it.
It is also missing a zoom function.
However, it is a simple and intuitive app which, for journalists, would be useful for ensuring video is stable in situations where it may be difficult to hold a phone steady, for example, in large crowds or while travelling.
And if vertical video syndrome is something you suffer from regularly, save the app somewhere you can access it quickly and be safe in the knowledge that your smartphone videos will always be horizontal without you even having to think about it.
- Journalism.co.uk offers a one-day course in how to shoot and edit high quality video on iPhone or iPad
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