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11 August, 2017

Should I upgrade to iPhone 8 and iOS 11 for video production?

A note to my #MoJO followers to upgrade with caution.

One of the biggest temptations is to upgrade you smartphone every time it appears that you will be gaining a better camera for mobile reporting.
Upgrades come with real risks for reporters who rely on their phones every day to capture, edit and share video stories.

There is no compelling reason yet to jump to iPhone 7 (or 8) or iOS 11.

A few thoughts on this . . .

When Apple released the iPhone 7 without a headphone port it tempted many to upgrade and then live to regret the choice.

The loss of that jack meant that they couldn't use a low cost gimbal and a microphone any more.

If you don't want to lose this important functionality - stick with the iPhone 6S+

The iPhone 6S+ mounted to an Osmo Mobile gimbal captures smooth 4K video and includes a headphone jack allowing low-cost mics to be attached. See more gear options here.

This same gimbal rig can also be used to make a low-cost LIVE video studio. An iPhone 6+ is main camera. You can livestream at 1080p HD video with the iPhone 6 models, use the headphone jack for a microphone and keep constant power supplied with the lightning connector.

Here is more information on that solution.

If you don't have money for a gimbal,
then this mini-tripod configuration will do the job just fine.

While you can use this rig with the newer iPhones there are limited solutions to being able to monitor the audio with headphones while using the lightning connector for the mic in.

The lack of a headphone jack means a loss of function and versatility for a field reporter.

There are a couple of new digital mic input solutions with headphone monitoring that are coming to the market.

We'll be testing these and updating Smart Film School students once more is known about how they work for live streaming and longer video recordings.  

I have 10,000 students in Smart Film School courses and advise clients about workflows, training and technology packages for video storytelling.

Sometimes waiting for the latest phone models and software updates is the best advice. It can take some time for manufacturers and app developers to deliver tested solutions that best serve professional journalists.

Because these folks need reliable solutions that their reporters can depend upon, it is my habit to advise them to proceed cautiously with OS upgrades and new models of phones until robust working solutions have been vetted under demanding field conditions.