I love shooting pictures and videos on my iPhone – and really, who doesn’t? The iPhone has arguably one of the best cameras in any smartphone on the market, and it’s video capabilities rival (or exceed) most consumer video cameras on the market. Sometimes, when we shoot video, though, we suffer from various problems in framing, scaling (like shooting from too far away), or the dreaded curse of portrait video. While there are some very fancy apps on the market that can do very nitty-gritty reframing, cropping, or scaling, most of them are intimidating or scary. A new app to the App Store – ReVu – is very different.
ReVu (free in the App Store) is a video editor that makes editing a bit like a game. Using your iPhones accelerometer (or for a more old-school feel, drag to reposition as you go) allows you to zoom, pan, or reframe your video like some of the fancy editing systems.
In the video below, I shot a simple portrait shot, then tossed it into ReVu, and starting at the top, slowly “tilted” down to the bottom of the shot, and back up. The resulting video is grainy (which is to be expected whenever you zoom in on smartphone video), but it is no longer constrained to being a skinny clip with big black bars on either side of it when watched in the proper orientation. Additionally, I was able to create artificial camera movement after the clip had been shot.
Making the clip move was quick and easy. Either tilt the phone down, click “record” and slowly tilt up, and the video frame will follow your lead, or switch off motion control, and drag your finger to move the video frame up, down, left, or right. Zooming is done just as you’d expect – using the already familiar pinch/pull to zoom out and in.
Exporting the video once you’re done is a single tap away, and it saves it right back to your camera roll. Once thing I immediately noticed was the disgustingly large watermark with the ReVu logo once video was exported. This can, fortunately, be removed with an In-App Purchase of $0.99 for 10 exports (other options available for more exports, topping out at $12.99 for unlimited). This made me pretty sad, to be honest.
Another let down of ReVu was the lack of built-in video camera. The way the app is configured, you have to shoot all your video in another app, then open ReVu to tweak the footage. This is great if you shoot a bunch of clips and then want to tweak them later (like with my videos from a recent MUSE concert), but if I want to shoot a clip just to do some interesting cuts in the app, a built-in camera would have been great.
ReVu is a fun concept for editing and tweaking videos, and works well for adding an element of smooth movement to an otherwise static shot. While the market for this type of video editor may not be huge, simply being able to fix the mistake of shooting a great video in portrait, only to realize you’ve committed a terrible sin. Unfortunately, while the price of admission is free, doing anything with that video will cost you if you want to get rid of the bright logo watermark in the corner.
Simple, easy to learn
Motion or touch control of movement
Ability to edit “on-the-fly” – no complicated key framing
In-App Purchase Price
No Built-In Camera
If you’re into shooting lots of video on your iPhone, but want to have the control of panning, tilting, or zooming on the video, do yourself a favor and “fix it in post,” right from your iPhone, with ReVu – free in the App Store.