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Photography

5 Best Apps for Windows Phone Video Makers

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Smartphones have changed the way videographers and photographers work, and not only because of the use of the smartphone to take photographs or create videos. Suddenly, multiple tools that where only available on larger computers could be taken anywhere, in your pocket. A videographer in the field can do complex timecode calculations, verify depth of field, know exactly at what time the sun sets for a specific shot and even use a digital slate to write information and sync sound and image. In this article, we’ve collected the best tools for the Windows Phone 8 video maker.

1. Mobile Slate

Videographers need a slate to sync sound with the moving image, and nothing can be better than to have a Mobile Slate, a real digital clapper in your hand! Developed by Clinton Rocksmith and sold with a meagre price of $0.99, the Mobile Slate is the ideal tool for DSLR film makers who needs a clapper.

When you open the app you'll find an image of a regular slate. Arm the clapper and then touch anywhere on the screen to get an audible beep or clap sound to sync your film with your audio. It’s as simple as that. 

The Mobile Slate does more than just clapping, though. By simply tapping on the take or scene number you can change them quickly. You can write the name of  the film director and the camera used. The app gets the date from the phone, lets users select the number of frames per second, and also change the colour of EXT/INT and DAY/NITE. Also offered are timecode options, which include Time Of Day and User Definable Free Run. Tap Settings to access the complete menu for this app.

The Mobile Slate, which is now in version 3.0, is available as a free trial. The author suggests future improvements are planned for version 5.0, which will cost more.

Free Alternative: ClapBoard

While the Mobile Slate app will cost you $0.99, ClapBoard is completely free. And it also claps for sync! In appearance the two apps are very similar: they both try to look like a  movie clapboard or slate.

The clapping sound is present and you can change the number of roll, scene and take. Here, for simplicity sake, you change the roll number simply tapping on the correspondent space on the screen. For the date the app counts on the smartphone, and you can also adjust fps number, DAY/NIGHT, INT/EXT and MOS/SYNC, to indicate if an associated film segment has no synchronous audio track (motor only sync or motor only shot) or is in sync. It will not, however, let you set the name of the director.

Created by Future Warp, the ClapBoard App for Windows Phone 8 is a decent slate to have close by for your own productions. It not only allows to easily get some information about shots in your camera, it also offers a simple way to sync everything in your videos.

2. Depth of Field 7

This is another interesting photographers-helper app. The Depth of Field 7 app does exactly what the name suggests: calculates depth of field.

Although there are multiple depth of field calculator apps available, even for Windows Phone 8, none, at least for WP8, offers information for the use of cine cameras, from 16mm to 75mm, including Super 16 and 35mm. Furthermore, the app has information for cameras from different brands: Canon, Fuji, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma and Sony.

The interface, based on smart visual sliders for f/stop, distance and focal length, makes the app very easy to use. Being able to sync hyperfocal or infinity focus with one touch, adjust the f/stop scales to show full, half and thirds of f/stop and show information about circle of confusion (how much out-of-focus something will appear) makes the tool a valuable asset both for photography and video.

The Depth of Field 7 can be downloaded from the Windows Phone 8 store online. Unfortunately the creator, Leonardo Sobrado, is not contactable and there is no way to know if the camera’s list will be updated with new models. But, even as it is, the app is a valuable tool that is completely free at the moment.

3. TimeFrame

TimeFrame is a professional film and video timecode calculator, and another tool video enthusiasts may want to have in their Windows Phone 8. Created by Chris Sparrows, it costs $2.99 and has a trial mode which is nearly fully functional.

TimeFrame can be used to calculate positions for aligning audio with video (dialog, slate markers, etc.), calculate the duration of a slow-motion (high-framerate) clip when converted to normal speed, easily convert timecode from one frame rate to another (keeping duration or frame count) and quickly see how many frames a clip contains.

TimeFrame delivers and is the best option available if you need a timecode calculator.

4. Golden Hour

Although there are multiple apps for GoldenHour/Blue Hour and a lot of others with daylight and night exposure data, Golden Hour is an interesting program because it offers a simple interface showing both golden and blue hours, and time left before they happen.

Created by IIXn and completely free now, although initially it was sold, the app shows start time and duration of golden and blue hours. The user can modify sun altitudes that determine start times and duration for different places, and also set alarms before these events, so to be prepared in time and not miss the desired light. If you opt for using the app in a LiveTile, both hours are displayed. Furthermore, for blue hour shooters the current phase of the moon is provided, what is a good indicator for those wanting to photograph or create a video of the moon.


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