Filmic Pro, my personal favorite app for shooting videos on the iPhone, is soon to release an upgrade that will allow filmmakers to shoot in log format. What is log? It’s also known as “flat” profile, and essentially it’s as close to raw as you can get in video without actually shooting raw. It widens the dynamic range in both directions to the max, which gives more options and latitude for adjusting in post. When you know you are going to be majorly color grading a film, shooting in log or raw is a must.
Having log on an iPhone would be a huge deal, since most Canon cameras don’t come with Canon’s log profile accessible.
Take a look at what YouTuber Matteo Bertoli did with the new profile, as he was kind enough to upload both a finished and un-graded version of the film for comparison purposes:
In looking at the highlights and shadow areas, it looks like, at least right now, the dynamic range is slightly increased. Just a hair. It’s not revolutionary by any means, but that’s at the mercy of the sensor. That, and creating a log profile is actually insanely hard. It took Panasonic quite a while to finally release vLog, if you might recall.
In this particular color grade, Matteo is absolutely crushing the blacks, and I can’t blame him. At 0:05 you’ll see a shot where the left side of the frame is devoid of any detail, the shadows totally run black. This is because in the original footage, the area is filled with noise. So while the profile does give access to the range of highlights to shadows, what you might find there isn’t always useful.
Nonetheless, this software is currently in Beta and looks promising. I have to say, given the option to shoot in log and not, I would nearly always rather, especially with the iPhone, even if that means some of the footage might not be perfect.