Along with ProRes and macro photography, Cinematic Mode is the biggest highlight of the all-new iPhone 13 Series. What makes Cinematic Mode so impressive is the ability to shoot videos with a shallow depth of field and real-time focus transitions for a cinema-grade output.
Considering the rave reviews, would you like to get Cinematic Mode on your older iPhone? Is there a way to make it happen? Turns out, you are not completely out of luck. Thanks to a third-party app called “Focus Live”, you can activate Cinematic Mode on your iPhone 12, iPhone 11, or even older iPhones to more than just satiate your thirst for vlogging. Moreover, you don’t have to spend any money to use the app. Cool, isn’t it?
While Focus Live can’t match Apple’s Cinematic Mode, you can shoot videos with a pretty good bokeh effect. As for requirements, ensure that you have an iPhone with either a dual or triple-camera module. Now that the requirements are out of the way, it’s time to get down to business.
How to Get Cinematic Mode on iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone XS
Step 1: First and foremost, head into the App Store and then download Focus Live on your iPhone running iOS 12 or later.
Step 2: Launch the Focus Live app on your iPhone.
Step 3: Tap the Take Video option.
Step 4: Right above the shutter button, you should see multiple video recording options:
- Capture selfie video with portrait effect: Located on the far left-hand side, this option lets you shoot selfie videos with a shallow depth of field.
- .5: Select this option to shoot a video with a bokeh effect using the ultra-wide-angle lens.
- 1x: Choose it to shoot video with the blur effect using the wide-angle lens.
- 3x: Select it to record video with a bokeh effect using the telephoto lens (only available on iPhones with a triple-camera setup (i.e iPhone 12 Pro and newer models)
Select the desired mode and then shoot videos to your heart’s liking.
Edit Cinematic Videos with Focus Live on iPhone
Focus Live also comes with a solid library of tools to let you edit cinematic videos on your iPhone. So, if you want to tweak the background, use different effects or even add a funny voice-over, the app can live up to your expectation.
Step 1: Open the Focus Live app on your iPhone.
Step 2: Tap the Edit Video option located at the top right-hand side corner of the screen.
Step 3: Next, tap the Cinematic tab that appears at the bottom right corner of the screen.
Step 4: You should see all of your cinematic videos. Select the one that you wish to edit and then tap Edit in the upper right-hand side corner of the screen.
Step 5: Up next, it’s time to use a plethora of editing tools on offer. From letting you change the background to use eye-catching effects, and to using different sound effects, it’s got you fully covered. So, do not fail to experiment with several tools until you are satisfied.
Bear in mind that while Focus Live is available for free, you will need to upgrade to the premium version ($1.99/month or $15 for lifetime access) if you wish to unlock all the functions and effects.
Step 6: Once you have perfectly edited your cinematic video, tap the tiny arrow at the top right-hand side and then select Export Video in the popup menu. You can find the edited video in the stock Photos app.
There you have it! So, that’s how you can use the Focus Live app to record cinematic videos on your older iPhone. As I said above, the app can’t go head to head against iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode in terms of precision. However, if all you need is a pretty neat tool to let you shoot decent-looking videos with a shallow depth of field on your iPhone 12 or older iPhone model, this one can more than just live up to your wish.
Since the app is available for free, you can give it a shot right away to figure out whether or not it’s worth your time. For me, it ticked all the essential boxes. The only thing that I would love to see in it is the real-time focus transitions. Hopefully, Xiaodong Wang (the app developer) checks off this box as well sometime soon.