iPhone 4 video mode gets ‘hacked’, manual controls added!

Footage from the iPhone 4’s HD video mode with Nikon AI lenses has been posted on Vimeo along with an iPhone app which enables new video mode functionality previously unavailable, and can offer manual focus & exposure.


The video above shot with the ‘hack’ and DSLR lenses shows shallow depth of field, with minimal sacrifice in terms of sharpness. In short, it surprises!!

All this is made possible by a new iPhone app (I still prefer to see it as a hack!!) called Almost DSLR which allows more control in video mode, so that focus and exposure can be locked as well as white balance and a new 480p mode which records without a crop. The app can record in the usual 720p with a crop too and even flip the image for compatibility with 35mm lens adapters.

It’s expected that extended manual controls (i.e. manual focus with a slider) may be added in the future and like the GF1 hack, the app exposes a lot of functionality which exists but is disabled in Apple’s default camera app.

A cool feature is that the app is able to turn off continuous focus and exposure changes in video mode, and just have manual control of both by tapping the screen once like in photo mode.

The new 35mm SLR lens adapter by Vid-Atlantic Media meanwhile uses 2 macro filters backing onto the rear of the SLR lens. The focus and exposure of the iPhone 4 is locked using the app once mounted to the back of the adapter and the manual focus ring and aperture ring on the SLR lens takes over.

It is also possible to use the lens adapter for stills photography at the 5MP but since the iPhone 4’s video mode works with a crop and the iPhone’s lens is quite wide, the full 5MP frame has some vignetting with the 35mm lens adapter.

It really is an extraordinary combination of glass which has enabled the microscopic sensor in the iPhone 4 to use lenses designed for full frame 35mm SLRs.

Great work guys!