The iPad’s stills camera might be terrible, but as a video camera it’s pretty good. And combined with iMovie in the big screen, it’s hard to beat. But even the big ol’ iPad is prone to shake, and iMovie has almost no special effects. Which is where Luma comes in.
Luma is a third party video-shooting app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It adds a few filters to your footage, but its main purpose is as an image stabilizer. When engaged (it switches off in low light), the stabilizer will iron out bumps and jiggles in real time as you shoot.
And it works pretty well. I tested it by walking around my apartment with the iPad held out in front of me. The result isn’t steadycam smooth, but it’s way better than you’d get otherwise. The iPhone 5 will have anti-shake tech baked in, but Luma has some other tricks up its sleeve. It corrects the rolling shutter effect, for one. Rolling shutter is the jelly-like look that happens as the shutterless chip scans its way down the frame. It’s ugly, and Luma kills it.
The filters aren’t bad, either. You get B&W, high-contrast B&W, and “grunge,” which is a slightly soft, vignetted look with slightly brighter colors. There’s also a horrible negative effect you’ll want to avoid, and an optical zoom engaged by pinching (avoid this on the iPad’s low-res camera).
I will probably use Luma for all video shooting now, as there are no penalties in terms of speed and resolution, and the stabilized video looks great. What’s more, the app is free.