The "Film-Look" with a Smartphone

anamorphic lens iphone anamorphic lens smartphone filming with cell phone filmlook smartphone iphone filmmaking professional smartphone video widescreen iphone video Jan 23, 2022

Can you achieve a proper film-look with a smartphone? 

First of all, we need to clarify what a "film-look" is, because I think most people define a professional film look differently. Usually, most people think that widescreen videos/films are professional because thats what they see in the movies, so we associate it somehow with it being professional. 

With "normal" cameras getting a widescreen image is either super simple, or extremely hard depending on how you achieve the look. First way is just adding cinemascopes to your 16:9 image in the post production. Here you basically just add black bars to the top and at the bottom of the image. The problem with that way is that you don't use the pixels you capture at the top and at the bottom and overall you loose some quality. The better, but much much more expensive way of getting that look is by using anamorphic lenses. These lenses squeeze the image as a whole, and in the post production you desqueeze it, and by doing that you get a widescreen image. The big advantage of this way, is that you are still using the entire sensor of your camera. For "normal" cameras anamorphic lenses are super expensive. 

The huge advantage when filming with a smartphone is that anamorphic lenses for smartphones only cost like $150 and for that you do get a proper anamorphic image. Now you might be thinking like what's the difference between a squeezed image to an image where I just cut off the top and the bottom? The answer is the entire look of the image, an image that was shot with a proper anamorphic lens has a completely different look compared to an image where you just cut off the top and the bottom. 

In this video I show you how an anamorphic lens works and how it looks:

Here you can buy my favorite anamorphic lens for smartphones:


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