For those of you who didn’t know, it’s always best to shoot video from your phone in landscape mode–meaning turn your phone sideways–rather than in portrait mode. You’ll get the full scene and when it displays on the computer or TV, the video will fill the screen. This helps tremendously when playing back the video or if you are using the video clips to make interesting final products using tools like Yourkidvid or Magisto.
And yet, even those of us who do know, have forgotten; in the rush to hold a baby, shoot the birthday party footage, and stir a pot on the stove, we hold our camera phones upright and shoot a video in portrait. It’s not the end of the world, but do you end up losing both sides of the video that would normally show you everything else in the scene. And what good is a birthday party video if you get the crying kid and not the clown in the perimeter making her cry in the first place?
The good people over at Evil Window Dog have come up with a solution to what they call the dreaded Vertical Video Syndrome. Their new app, Horizon, is a video app that uses the gyroscope in your phone to always frame your video in landscape mode, despite how you are holding the phone.
No more cut off sides, no more videos shot at weird angles — unless you are artsy and that’s the look you are going for, of course.
Horizon also allows you shoot in multiple resolutions, apply some interesting filters to the video, and then save the video within the app or directly to your camera roll. Also cool is the fact that with one button you can play back to your phone or to any networked device in your vicinity.
It’s a great $.99 app for anyone who shoots a lot of iPhone video and it works like a charm; however, I did notice some bouncing and a few dropped frames in the “Rotate and Scale” mode that seemed to disappear in the pure “Rotate” mode. One other caveat: you have to get in the habit of shooting video on your phone using Horizon, rather than right from your phone’s camera app. Because once you’ve committed the dreaded “video in portrait mode” sin, there is nothing they can do to help you.
Download the Horizon app for $0.99 at the Apple App Store. It is compatible with Apple devices including iPhone 4s and up, iPod Touch 5th generation and up, iPad 3 and up and iPad Mini. But don’t shoot with your iPad or you look like this.