13 Replies Latest reply on Dec 5, 2014 5:06 PM by R Neil Haugen

    iPhone video to .mov HELP!


      I have uploaded, edited and exported a bunch of videos shot from iPhones. They were told to use the cameras in landscape position so all of the video would be the same size. I'm new to this and when I exported the video to .mov the video images are distorted (they have tracers). Everything gets blurred with the tracers. How can I fix this?

        • 1. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Use the right tool for the job:


          • Use a phone to make calls
          • Use a video camera to shoot video
          • Use a hammer to drive nails into wood
          • Use a boat to cross a lake
          • etc.


          You don't use a boat or a hammer to shoot video, do you?

          • 2. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Do the MOV files use variable Frame Rates?


            That can be highly problematic in PrPro, as it needs to work with fixed Frame Rates. Many have found that if they run their variable Frame Rate iPhone footage through Apple's QT Pro (do not know if QT Player - non-Pro can do this), and then Export, the Frame Rate will be fixed.


            The variable Frame Rate works OK for playing the files on the iPhone, or iPad.


            Good luck,



            • 3. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
              Steven L. Gotz Level 5

              I shoot video with an Android phone so I can't offer an opinion on how to convert the video. However, if you are willing to post a sample I would be happy to take a look at it and likely provide a solution. I am a pretty good technician and can often find a way to do things. I have to ask why you are converting? What is it that you need to convert it? Isn't it H.264 or MP4, meaning you should just leave it that way for editing in Premiere Pro. Why convert to MOV in the first place?


              In any case,


              I respect my friend Harm, but I thought I was reading a post from Jim Simon - whom I also respect but often disagree with. I can't remember ever disagreeing with Harm before. I guess there is always a first time.


              Use the tools you have available. The right tool is often the only tool you have available.


              Use a phone to take pictures and shoot video. Use it as an alarm clock and an email appliance. Use it as a flashlight, a music player, to keep track of the sunrise and sunset to know when the golden hours are. A phone that is capable of shooting video like the iPhone is, can often be the only way to capture the video unless you are in the habit of carrying a movie camera around all day and all night, 24/7/365 the way we carry our cell phones.


              Even my new movie camera isn't a movie camera. It is a Mirrorless Camera with Interchangeable lenses that can store All I-Frame video or AVCHD at a few different frame rates. Should I thow it away and get an inferior camera that is shaped like a movie camera? Not likely.


              While hammers are great for hammering in nails, sometimes a pipe wrench is all you have and it seems like a good idea to pound in the nail that would otherwise be a problem. And sometimes a raft or a canoe or even a water-bike is the right way to cross the lake. And maybe a Ski-doo if the lake is frozen over.


              Sorry Harm, but I could not disagree with you more. With all due respect. There was a car commercial recently released that was shot completely with cell phones. It was a great commercial.

              • 4. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                JShelley85 Level 1

                That's a great answer but the problem, ya *******, is that you don't have all the facts. This was a youth group project and they were doing group activities and filming them. Not everyone has a video camera so you use what tools you have. Have you ever had to use your hand to swat a fly? Why not use a fly swatter? Probably because not everyone has a fly swatter...


                Sent from my iPhone

                • 5. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                  Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                  We'll just assume Harm was having an off day. He is a great guy. Really.


                  As I suggested, if you sent me some of the original footage, I could take a look. But my first guess is that you should not convert it to MOV.

                  • 6. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                    Maybe I had a bad day, but that does diminish the fact that iPhone is a lousy way to shoot video, just as it is to use it as a hammer. Have you tried to use an iPhone as a hammer, even if it is the only tool available?


                    You can't shoot steady shots, they can't be mounted on a tripod, you can't set the white balance correctly, they use variable frame rates, you can't use external mics, you can't adjust for DOF, shutter speed and lighting, and so on, they cripple the 64 bit nature of PR to 32 bit with QuiRcktime and limit memory use to maximum 3.3 GB, even on a 64 GB equipped machine, reduce performance significantly, etc. They have lousy low light capability. In short, they stink as a video camera.


                    You know of course the law of GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. When you start with garbage, you will never get a good product. At most you can hope for is garbage, no matter what things PR can do to your stuff. I know, most youngsters do not care about steady shots, they are content with (IMO) highly unsteady shots with a maximum duration of 24 frames per clip, but that only makes matters worse. I don't like YouTube because of that, there is way too much garbage out there that make me dizzy, not a single steady shot, ill lit, way too loud and unfitting noise (some call that music...) and far too unrestful for the eyes.


                    You can tell I'm an old guy, but that is my feeling.


                    What I like is movies / series like the Danish Borgen, The Government, or The King's Speech. Superbly shot, steady, good story line, not the crap on YouTube. Admitted, I can't reach that level of professionalism, but there is always hope, isn't there...

                    • 7. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                      Steven L. Gotz Level 5



                      Please understand I admire you greatly. This is merely a technical and social conversation about the concept of shooting with a cell phone. If it makes any sense. You say it doesn't. I say it can. And has. And does.


                      I have to admit I have never shot video with an iPhone but the video specs don't look all that different from my Android (Samsung Galaxy SII).


                      My phone is much larger than an iPhone. In fact, so much larger that I had to modify the iPhone holder that sits on the tripod to handle how much bigger my phone is.  So the odd stuff you see is the results of Gorilla Glue that I didn't wipe off in time.




                      Now, I don't know anything about variable frame rates. Never shot them, never edited them, never saw anything shot with them to my knowledge. That said, let's discuss the tripod. I was too lazy to dig out the quick release plate for my Bogen Manfrotto sticks so please just accept that the fact that the cell phone holder will fit on the quick release plate. Therefore, I can use big heavy sticks with a decent head on them, just to shoot cell phone footage. Crazy huh? (Trust me when I say if I have my sticks I have my good camera!)


                      I am not saying that anybody but me would do something that silly, but before I got my new camera, I had a cell phone and I didn't want to carry my big huge, out of date, HDV camera around much anymore (Sony HDR-FX1). Heck, the camera shoots 1440X1080 with rectangular pixels and the cell phone shoots full HD. HDV camera is 1080i, cell phone is 1080p.


                      Anyway, that takes care of the tripod issue. By the way, there are other ways to steady an iPhone shot. Check out these pictures.


                      As far as white balance goes, I have Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Incandescent and Fluorescent. Not great, but generally adequate for anything I might shoot in with a cell phone.


                      I can adjust the exposure value, the ISO, set up guidelines to help with the rule of thirds, shoot in Sepia, grayscale, all manner of other things.


                      Of course the video is not professional grade. Certainly not. But sometimes the quality of the picture is not the most important thing. Sometimes capturing the event is the main goal. You use a cell phone to make telephone calls, right? Does it sound as good as that old phone that used to be hard wired into the hole in the wall? You know, the big heavy phone that had a cord just long enough to reach the little shelf they used to build into houses for the phone to sit on. No. The cell phone quality is not anywhere near as good. (I can tell you exactly why but believe me when I say you really don't care to hear the reasons.)


                      But you use the cell phone. Why? Because you have it in your pocket. Well, it is also a camera. And almost everyone has one. Our President is credited for giving them away along with the free service to poor people in America.


                      As for audio... use an external recorder just like you would for almost any decent movie. Why would you expect the audio on a cell phone to be any better than the audio on a good camera. But recording the audio with the video makes it a LOT easier to sync it up.


                      As for YouTube, I use it to learn things. I also use it to listen to my favorite music. There is an appeal to seeing the lyrics scroll by. My ears are not what they used to be and I hate wearing my hearing aids. There are lots of good videos on YouTube. Way more bad ones, but you have to learn to pick your channels properly.


                      I loved the movie The King's Speech. I like high quality photography and film that allows me to fall into the story instead of jarring me out of the story with short jerky camera shots. But I'll bet I could make a terrible movie with the finest of cameras. And a great movie with a cell phone. Well, if I hired a great director, and lighting guys, and had a story to tell - you know what I mean.


                      I'll bet Lucas, or Spielberg, or Kurosowa (if he were still alive) could make a great film with a cell phone camera if they wanted to. Or, at least a short for proof of concept. I have never seen iPhone footage properly color graded. Or have I? Would I know for sure?


                      In any case, the OP has iPhone footage and probably needs to edit it with Premiere Pro and may or may not even need to transcode it and therefore would not have the original problem if we were concentrating on the problem rather than the philosophy held by people who have decent video cameras. And yes, I consider my Panasonic DMC-GH3 a decent video camera.


                      For all we know, the OP normally shoots with a Red Epic but is doing someone a favor at the youth group.




                      • 8. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!

                        Learn to embrace crowd-sourcing... I have been shooting my wife's 3rd-grade Thanksgiving play for the past four years. Due to the miracle of smartphones, I have myriad angles and close-ups shots to choose from that I would normally have. I have even started setting up two phones of my own to record wide shots, both left and right. Certainly not ideal, but phones have come a long way - and this project has zero budget. I use my HMC150 as the main.


                        As a result, I have quite a bit of experience dealing with this audio-sync issue, caused by variable frame rates. They all play fine in Quicktime, but when imported to Premiere the audio is out of sync. It seems to be way off at the beginning and closer to sync'd as it gets near the end of the clip...


                        The solution:
                        If you are lucky, the simple fix is to rename the file from .MP4 to .MOV and re-import to Premiere. This resolves the issue about half of the time.


                        But some files are not fixed by this. In those cases, I have found that exporting from Quicktime Pro as an .MOV file, with constant bit-rate and AAC audio fixes it 100% of the time. Exporting from Quicktime Pro is VERY slow however - so if anyone has a faster solution, I am all ears!

                        • 9. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                          R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I think there's a program called "handbrake" or something like that which has been referenced in other threads involving converting VFR footage to CFR ... might be faster but no knowledge.


                          LOVE you comments about how you've embraced modern technology ... and the parents with all their phone-cams shooting "My Deisha!" ... 



                          • 10. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                            BChilcher Level 1

                            I actually posted this to the wrong thread! But I didn't have access to delete the message. Oh well, it may help someone shooting with phones though- especially androids. It was very frustrating at first.


                            I will post it to the correct thread now as well. ha!



                            • 11. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                              R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              But it can't be the wrong thread if I saw it and learned something from it!





                              • 12. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                                BChilcher Level 1

                                Ok, then I have one more comment as long as we are learning here!


                                This year, the footage from a Droid RAZR M was unresponsive to the .MOV renaming trick, and could be be fixed by Quicktime Pro, unless I had the settings wrong. I had to use Windows Movie Maker of all things! I set it at 15K bitrate, constant frame rate and it was supposed be a 1.2 GB file but it came out about half of that and took forever! Several hours for a 20-min clip. Oh well, the quality didn't seem to suffer much - and this is a 3rd-grade Thanksgiving play shot inside a small classroom, so it will be just fine...


                                • 13. Re: iPhone video to .mov HELP!
                                  R Neil Haugen Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  The things we get through by "live & learn" ... sometime it would be nice if VFR could simply be used within the Adobe DVA's.