Useful Cinematography iPhone Apps

Useful Cinematography Smartphone Apps

Over 1.4 million different apps have been downloaded more than 100 billion times in Apple’s iPhone/iPad App Store. Those numbers are mind blowing and prove that iOS devices – and smart devices in general – are being put to use around the world as serious tools.

Filmmakers are no different. If you have an iPhone sitting in your pocket right now, you have access to one of the most versatile tools you could ever find on a film set. It can do everything from calculate depth-of-field to help you level a camera. The possibilities are endless.

The only problem is, how do you find the most useful apps out of hundreds of thousands? Well, I went ahead and did some of the legwork for you. Below are the best and most useful cinematography apps to put on your smartphone or tablet to make life on set easier for you:

Apple iOS Cinematography Apps

3D ST Cinematography App

3D ST (Stereo Tools)

Price: $19.99

3D ST (Stereo Tools) provides depth of field, parallax and convergence calculations for stereoscopic 3D and a glossary of 3D terms. It’s a simple app perfect for quick input and easy data retrieving.

  • Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later
AJA DataCalc Cinematography iOS App Icon

AJA DataCalc

Price: Free

Calculate storage needs based on FPS, compression, resolution and more. Compatible with ProRes, ARRIRAW, REDCODE, DNxHD as well as NTSC, PAL, 720p, 1080i/p, 2K and 4K standards.

  • Requires iOS 7.0 or later
Artemis Director's Viewfinder App

Artemis Director’s Viewfinder

Price: $29.99

Artemis allows you to use your iPhone to take a picture and overlay an estimated field-of-view for different lens sizes. It’s essentially a quick Director’s Finder that allows you to “see” with different lenses all at once.

  • Requires iOS 6.0 or later
Artemis Director's Viewfinder App

Artemis HD

Price: $29.99

Just like the iPhone version of the app, Artemis HD is a quick Director’s Finder that allows you to “see” with different lenses all at once. This version is exclusive to the iPad and requires a separate purchase.

  • Requires iOS 6.0 or later
cine Timelapse Cinematography App Icon

cine Timelapse

Price: $1.99

Cine TimeLapse is helps calculate how long you need to run the camera for your desired length of footage. This is the perfect app for when you’re on set and unsure of what the best timelapse settings are.

  • Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later
Cine3D Stereographer Cinematography App Icon

Cine3D Stereographer

Price: $44.99

An app to help with expected stereography calculations. It has some unique features like real-time depth simulation which supposedly helps you “see the consequences of your choices for the viewer.”

  • Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later
Cinema Forms Cinematography App Icon

Cinema Forms

Price: Free ($9.99 Pro Upgrade)

Log talent releases, shotlists, crew contracts, and other film production paperwork with this app. Various in-app purchases help turn an iPhone or iPad into a digital archive for film docs.

  • Requires iOS 5.1 or later
Clinometer Cinematography App Icon

Clinometer

Price: $1.99

You’ll find that Clinometer pulls no punches on its specificity and usefulness. It strives to be the ONLY level/clinometer app that you want to use. It calibrates seamlessly, launches quickly and works effectively.

  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later
Drylab Camera Report Cinematography App Icon

Drylab Camera Report

Price: $14.99

Designed with AC’s in mind to replace traditional paper camera reports. The app boasts some features over pen + paper with geolocation and using the iPhone’s gyroscope to measure angle and orientation.

  • Requires iOS 6.1 or later
DSLR Filmmaker Toolkit Cinematography App Icon

DSLR Filmmaker Toolkit

Price: $5.99

Though the name implies only DSLR shooters can utilize the app, the DSLR Filmmaker Toolkit is actually a large collection of cinematography tools including a slate, shot log, and DoF calculator.

  • Requires iOS 6.0 or later
F65Remote Cinematography App Icon

F65Remote

Price: Free

One of the cooler features of the Sony F65 is the ability to control the camera wirelessly via iPad with this app. You’re given access to nearly everything from the main settings to the nitty gritty menus and sub-menus.

  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later
FilmCalc Cinematography App Icon

FilmCalc

Price: $24.99

Among some of the highlights, FilmCalc can calculate split focus, sunrise, sunset and sun position, HMI flicker, and lens matching along with traditional depth-of-field, field-of-view, and film footage/data storage.

  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
FilmSlate Cinematography App

FilmSlate

Price: $4.99

The app is it’s own timecode slate, letting you set the timecode to time of day or manual jam-sync it. Flick your wrist or simply tap them to slap the sticks. You can also email log notes with timecode notation.

  • Requires iOS 3.0 or later
Gobo Cinematography App Icon

Gobo Filmmaker’s Dictionary

Price: Free

The Filmmaker’s Dictionary, renamed to “Gobo,” is an app that organizes production slang into an easy-to-read glossary. Perfect if you’re new to the industry and don’t want to be caught not knowing the lingo.

  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Green Screener Cinematography App Icon

Green Screener

Price: $9.99

Using your tablet’s camera, this app strips an image of color variables and shows you the bands in the image that correlate to different levels of light. All of this to help light a green screen evenly. Innovative and useful.

  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
IOD Calc Cinematography App Icon

IOD Calc

Price: $49.99

A 3D calculator for inter-ocular distance, “roundness” factor, and foreground + background divergences. Can be used with film and digital cameras, still or motion picture work, making it more versatile.

  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later
KeeMe Cinematography App Icon

KeeMe

Price: Free

KeeMe displays a chosen color on an iPhone alongside tracking markers to later overlay whatever you want onto the phone’s screen. Worth downloading to make your After Effects session a bit shorter.

  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Kodak Cinema Tools iOS App

Kodak Cinema Tools

Price: Free

Kodak’s app may leave digital out of the equation, but this app is essential for those working on film. Beyond simple DoF, the app also is a film footage calculator with a highly comprehensive glossary of terms.

  • Requires iOS 7.0 or later
Light Source Pro Cinematography App Icon

Light Source Pro

Price: $29.99

If lighting is your weakness, this app could be a nice crutch until you grow your legs. Or if you’re a new gaffer still feeling your way around setups, you could benefit from having this as backup in your pocket.

  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Lighting Designer Cinematography App Icon

Lighting Designer

Price: $24.99

Many cinematographers (and gaffers) like to make lighting diagrams — maps of a location with characters loosely blocked and equipment labeled on it. Lighting Designer enables that in the digital age.

  • Requires iOS 7.0 or later
LVRUSA Cinematography App Icon

LVRUSA

Price: Free

The biggest feature in this app is its gathering of digital camera manuals. From RED to Alexa to 7D, the app puts the PDF’s into your hands without having to load them manually.

  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later
MatchLens Cinematography App Icon

MatchLens

Price: $9.99

MatchLens assists you in matching the same field of view between two different camera systems and lenses. The app covers pro cameras from IMAX to Super 16 to digital cinema like RED and Alexa.

  • Requires iOS 5.1 or later
Motion Tracking Markers Cinematography App Icon

Motion Tracking Markers

Price: $0.99

A simple app with one purpose: turn your iPhone into a tracking marker. The menu is spartan: one button, “Select a Marker,” and the choice of 9 different tracking marks. Selecting one expands the image fullscreen.

  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later
OnSet Cinematography App Icon

OnSet

Price: Free

What OnSet does is allow you to compile, review, and aggregate clips, camera data, and script data into a digestible form. In plain English: watch dailies with all the important information about them at your fingertips.

  • Requires iOS 5.0 or later
Panascout App

Panascout

Price: $9.99

Panascout snaps pictures of locations with a “Panaframe” that of different aspect ratios, geotags the picture, and records metadata for sun position and sunrise/sunset. This is the full-featured paid version.

  • Requires iOS 7.0 or later
Panascout App

Panascout Lite

Price: Free

Panascout snaps pictures of locations with a “Panaframe” that of different aspect ratios, geotags the picture, and records metadata for sun position and sunrise/sunset. The lite version, however, is limited in features.

  • Requires iOS 4.0 or later
pCam Film+Digital Calculator App

pCam Film+Digital Calculator

Price: $29.99

pCam isn’t simply a DoF calculator. It does much more including field of view, exposure, HMI safe speeds, and helps with filters and lighting illumination. In terms of versatility and usefulness, nothing compares.

  • Requires iOS 6.0 or later
Moviola Pro Camera Guide Cinematography App Icon

Pro Camera Guide

Price: $3.99

Moviola’s Pro Camera Guide is standard faire: an app that offers technical information on a variety of cameras. That stuff is useful, but its territory already covered by other apps that cost less or nothing at all.

  • Requires iOS 4.2 or later
RealD Stereo3D Calculator App Icon

RealD Stereo3D Calculator

Price: $39.99

Solve issues of parallax, lens choice, camera setup, and 3D workflows. Most useful is the “Stereo Rig Solver mode,” a walkthrough that “gives you the exact settings needed to accomplish any shot.”

  • Requires iOS 3.1 or later
SD3D Cinematography App Icon

SD 3D

Price: $24.99

Created by Affonso Beato, ASC, BSC, this 3D stereography calculator has a robust set of options. Self-described as an app that helps produce “stereo 3D images that don’t cause visual stress when presented.”

  • Requires iOS 7.1 or later
set Lighting Cinematography App Icon

Set Lighting

Price: $7.99

The best reference for electricians, best boys, and gaffers. It provides tons of info on types of lights, bulbs, scrims, as well as diagrams of common setups, power equations, and other reference material.

  • Requires iOS 5.1 or later
Shot Designer Cinematography App Icon

Shot Designer

Price: Free ($19.99 for Pro Upgrade)

Shot Designer might be the only app you need to build lighting, camera, and blocking diagrams. It features a fluid, no-nonsense interface and, while it looks simple, is incredibly powerful.

  • Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Shot Lister Cinematography App Icon

Shot Lister

Price: $13.99

As AD Reza Lackey says, “There is no doubt that Shot Lister will help film crews of all sizes and experience levels make the most of their days on set.” Described as the “only professional shot listing app.”

  • Requires iOS 6.0 or later
Shotlist Cinematography App Icon

Shotlist

Price: $11.99

An app for scheduling on the production end, but contains one feature that DP’s and AC’s would enjoy having: the ability to cross off shots and storyboards as you go with a red “X” on shots that are long done.

  • Requires iOS 6.1 or later
Cinemek Storyboard Composer HD Cinematography App Icon

Storyboard Composer HD

Price: $29.99

You can do about as much with Storyboard Composer as you can with physical boards — even the ability to hone your pace and audio pitch and export it as a movie file to send to investors.

  • Requires iOS 7.0 or later
theGripApp Cinematography App Icon

theGripApp

Price: $7.99

With pictures, diagrams, and specs, this app teaches you what things are and how they’re used in the grip department. The list of equipment is divided into four categories: dollies, cranes, hardware, and rigs.

  • Requires iOS 5.1 or later
Toland ASC Digital Assistant App

Toland ASC Digital Assistant

Price: $39.99

This app goes much further than a simple DoF calculator. It can calculate stops you lose to filters, varispeed and shutter angles and even takes into account lenses, film stock and format.

  • Requires iOS 5.1 or later
VisualDOF Cinematography App Icon

VisualDOF

Price: $4.99

See the effect your exposure has on depth of field in a highly visual format. You input format, distance, focal length and see a rundown of depth of field at various stops of exposure from f/1.0 to f/22.

  • Requires iOS 3.2 or later
Wrap Time Cinematography App Icon

Wrap Time

Price: $1.99

Making money and getting paid are all results of working in this industry. Keeping track of that can get confusing, but with this app, it makes calculating your day rate and the amount of work hours a lot easier.

  • Requires iOS 6.0 or later

Android Cinematography Apps

Kodak Cinema Tools Android Cinematography App Icon

Kodak Cinema Tools

Price: Free

Like the iOS version, Kodak Cinema Tools is really sleek. It helps calculate film running time, depth-of-field and has a comprehensive list of terms in an included glossary. Limited to film cameras.

  • Requires Android 1.6 or later
SL Digislate Cinematography App

SL DigiSlate

Price: $9.99

It’s nice that SL DigiSlate includes timecode, but there is no way to jam sync it. Despite that, it may be worth purchasing for the camera assistant who has no traditional slate or wants to have a quick insert slate.

  • Requires Android 1.6 or later
SL Director's Finder Cinematography App

SL Director’s Viewfinder

Price: $9.99

SL Director’s Viewfinder is certainly a better option than the pretentious thumb/index finger trick that the icon displays. All of the major camera formats are supported from 35mm to RED to 4/3′s.

  • Requires Android 2.3.3 or later

For more details, screenshots, and thoughts on these apps, check out these posts about the best filmmaking and cinematography apps for your smartphone: