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If you have an iPhone 3GS or later or fourth generation iPod touch or later, you have the ability to shoot video as well as still photos with the Camera app. And we're not talking grainy low-resolution video either, the iPhone 4 shoots in high definition 720p video and the 4S, the 5, and the fifth generation iPod touch shoot at a full 1080p high-definition. The controls for shooting video are pretty much identical to shooting still photos. Just start up the Camera app, but be sure to tap the button in the lower right-hand corner to slide the selector to the video camera icon.
The icon in the shutter button also turns into a red dot, reminiscent of the tiny red light on most camcorders to let you know you're recording. All you have to do now is frame up your subject. As with still photos, you can shoot videos in either portrait or landscape mode. The iPhone will know what you're shooting in and keep the video right side up when you play it back later. But bear in mind that most standard videos are wider than they are tall. So while shooting in portrait mode might not seem odd when you're recording, it looks strange to watch a video that's taller than it is wide later on your computer and even more so on a TV.
So unless you have a specific reason for shooting vertically, flip your phone to the horizontal position. Also as with shooting still photos, you can tap on the area of importance in your frame to help the iPhone set the exposure and color balance before you record. Although the iPhone will continue to evaluate the scene as you shoot and move around and attempt to keep things properly exposed. Also, on the iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod touch, the image you see is the entirety of what you're recording. On older devices if the video image is filling your entire screen, this is actually a zoomed in view of what you're recording.
Double-tap the screen so you can see what you're capturing in its actual 16x9 wide-screen aspect ratio. All right, so to shoot a video just tap the Record button to start recording. You hear a tiny ping sound and the red dot on the Shutter button lights up. You also get a time indicator in the lower right-hand corner so you can see how long you've been shooting. When you're done recording just tap the Shutter button again. Your video is moved to your Camera Roll just like a still photo and you can immediately shoot another video again if need be. To review the footage you've shot just tap the thumbnail.
In here, tap the Play button to watch the video. This is also where you can edit or trim your footage, but we'll look at how to do that in an upcoming movie. Now if you're using an iPhone or a fifth-generation iPod touch, you have the option of using the built-in flash as a light, if the scene you're shooting is too dark. If you leave the flash setting to auto, your iPhone will determine if it needs to turn on the light. You can also choose on or off to force the flash to turn on or off while shooting. Also remember you have the front-facing camera as well, which you can choose to record video with by tapping the camera icon to toggle to the front-facing camera.
This is a nice way to shoot videos of yourself without having to worry if you're in the frame or not. On the iPhone 5 and the fifth-generation iPod touch, this is an HD 720p camera, which is a lower quality than the rear camera but it still looks pretty great. And obviously you can't use the flash with the front-facing camera since the flash is on the other side of the phone. But that's the gist of how you shoot video with your iPhone.
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