One thing great thing about the iPhone and other iDevices is the ever-improving video recording feature. More and more, smaller design teams and other individual artists are shooting video with iPhones. Of course, shooting on an iPhone or iPad does mean having to shell out extra for accessories to help stabilize your device while shooting. Having witnessed a couple of iPad video shoots myself, I know it can be a process just getting accessory pieces on for a smooth one-take shot. The Horizon app ($1.99) may be a solution to all of that hassle.
Horizon is essentially an app that lets you record video horizontally without having to place the phone in a horizontal position. Ever. This alone is monumental. It relies on the iPhone's gyroscope, so you can go back and forth between having your phone be vertical or in landscape mode while shooting, and even at various angles in between. The steadiness of shooting is assured even in hectic situations; I gave it a test run at a live show in the midst of an animated crowd, and the resulting video was smooth.
You can also switch between this free-flowing shooting mode and a locked horizontal mode. For those who have concerns about video resolution quality, you can shoot up to 1280 x 720 and 640 x 480 on your rear and front-facing cameras respectively. Another neat feature the app has is the ability to not only choose from eight different filters but to see in real-time how those filters would look applied to your video. And of course, you can choose whether to use flash or not. Evil Window Dog P.C., the makers of Horizon, have gotten quite a bit of buzz since the app's release this January. And they show no signs of stopping when it comes to pushing the envelope on the app's possibilities, as you can see in this video featuring Horizon running on an iPhone 5 while strapped to the spinning wheel of a car:
There's one or two cons about Horizon that users may find. The first is the preview orientation once you open the app. Some may not be comfortable with a preview window not taking up the entire screen. The other problem is that enabling the constant stabilization does reduce the video frame slightly. These points are minor though when you consider just how revolutionary Horizon is.
It's an app that could not only help to advance the usage of iDevices as video camera and DSLR alternatives with further updates, but it could encourage smartphone makers to think outside the box when developing the video recording features people want right now.
iPhone Life Rating: 4 stars out of 5