All Apple Everything: Shooting and Editing Video with Full Apple Workflow

As an experienced photographer, I have spent a career focusing on mostly still images, not paying much attention to video. With the help of the Apple ecosystem, I have found an accessible way to say yes to the question, "Do you shoot video?". This article discusses the quality and convenience of an all-Apple workflow, which begins with the iPhone 15 Pro Max.

I'm going to begin this article by acknowledging that I am a lifelong user of Apple products. You can blame my dad, who purchased an Apple McIntosh Performa, which served as my first experience with a computer in the mid to late 1990s. "This is the future; everything is going digital," he predicted, as he began moving his music distribution company online, while the rest of the family wondered what on earth he was talking about. Many Mac products came and went over the years, and when it was time to make a home for myself, the Apple tradition continued; I have been conditioned over a lifetime into loving that Californian design. What can I say?

I have made a few short films over the years for artistic purposes, but I have honestly never considered video capabilities when poring over technical specifications each time I upgraded my DSLR, as I just wasn’t interested in shooting anything other than still images. That was until a few months ago when I was asked to shoot a test video for my musician daughter to coincide with the release of her first single. I have worked with many up-and-coming musicians over the years and really enjoy collaborating with creative clients of all types. Musicians make for great subjects in front of the camera, and I am not sure if it is because I am surrounded by music industry professionals, but there is a synergy present that just works.

As a stills photographer, my use of Apple products within my workflow usually begins and ends with using installed third-party apps on my MacBook, iPad or iPhone, so it was very intriguing to work on a project which was created solely with products from the Apple ecosystem through the entire workflow. First, by capturing video footage on my new iPhone 15 Pro Max, transferring to my MacBook Pro via Airdrop, and finally by editing footage on Final Cut Pro X.

My Workflow in Detail

Video Capture on iPhone 15 Pro Max

Start by setting the video format to ProRes Log in the iPhone camera settings. This provides an extended dynamic range, capturing more details in both the highlights and shadows, allowing for stunning, cinematic shots. Be aware that this format will look very washed out on your iPhone screen, but fear not, this has been designed to retain the most amount of information which will become visible through the editing process later.

I shot in ProRes 4K at 30 fps, although, with an external SD card attached, the iPhone 15 allows recording of $K videos at 60 fps. I opted for 30 over 60 frames per second as this was sufficient for the intended output, and this saves a little on storage space too. Be aware that these files are very large; a 3:32 video clip was over 16 GB in size, and as anyone who shoots video will know, you need many takes to pull together the final results. Space fills up fast, so you may want to invest in an SD card adapter to save files externally while shooting. It's very important to note that your SD card choice is critical in 4K or 8K storage as the card must have a fast enough write speed to keep up with the incoming data. The minimum write speed will need to be 30 MB/s for 4K, or you risk saving choppy footage. Only the U3 class is capable of writing at the necessary speed for 8K video.

Editing With Final Cut Pro X

Shooting with ProRes Log is just the beginning of your creative journey, the real magic happens in post-production. The combination of Final Cut Pro X and ProRes Log footage from the iPhone 15 Pro Max is a match made in heaven. With the extended dynamic range and color accuracy provided by ProRes Log, you have the freedom to manipulate the footage to perfection. Color correction and grading are more straightforward, allowing you to achieve a cinematic look that suits the music video's tone. Final Cut Pro X offers an intuitive interface and powerful editing capabilities, making this a perfect choice for refining your video. First, though, you will need to download the Apple Log LUT before you begin to give your ProRes Log footage a clean base. Ensure that right from the beginning during project creation in FCPX you choose the correct resolution for your intended output to minimise any loss of quality through your workflow.  If you are at all familiar with iMovie, you will find that it's a breeze to get to know your way around the program, and before you know it, you will be color grading, adding masks, and blending footage seamlessly.

With careful planning, the right equipment and effective post-production using Final Cut Pro X on your MacBook Pro, your video can stand up against others produced with dedicated professional cameras. The iPhone 15 Pro Max opens up new horizons for creative storytelling through video, and this is made easy within the seamless Apple ecosystem.

Will shooting footage with my iPhone 15 Pro Max be the beginning of my new career as a top filmmaker? No, of course not. However, for anyone looking for an accessible way to create a good quality film reel as an audition to get in to film school, collaborate with local musicians to create visuals or direct a low budget short film. Checking the time on my Apple Watch 9, the process of creating the teaser video with workflow all retained in the Apple ecosystem for my daughter's new single was quick and efficient. So, grab your iPhone and start capturing video today, and edit it with ease using Final Cut Pro X!

Kim Simpson's picture

Kim Simpson is a photographer based in the West of Scotland. Her photographic practice is an exploration of the human experience, with a particular emphasis on themes of identity and belonging.

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1 Comment

Hi, I noticed your comment about 8K video being captured using an iPhone 15 Pro and external memory. Can you confirm this and if possible point me to any information about this? Apple's own specification does not confirm this.