TECHNOLOGY

Should You Record on iOS or Webcam? Here's What to Consider.

OpenReel empowers creatives to film remotely on iOS or Webcam. But which is the right method for your recording Session? Your specific use case, desired video quality, and ease of use will all impact your decision. We’ve broken down the major factors for each below.

iOS Recordings

OpenReel operates on iPads and iPhones through the Remote Capture iOS app, which can be downloaded in Apple’s App Store. OpenReel’s two patents allow a Director to establish a secure connection between their own computer and the remote iOS device, enabling the Director to tap into dynamic camera controls and film locally on the device. This informs many of the incredible benefits described below.
Resolution, Frames-per-Second & Bitrate

The OpenReel app allows the Director to select the highest possible resolution on the recording device. For iPhones 8 or higher, you can capture footage in 4K at 60 frames-per-second and corresponding bitrate.

 

Camera Controls

Choosing to record on an iOS device will give you, as a Director, the most power in terms of controlling the Subject’s iPhone or iPad. You will be able to adjust the white balance, exposure, frame rate, resolution, and focus, as well as turn on framing guides to help establish the shot and flip the camera between back- and front-facing.

 

Flexibility

Because our patent allows us to capture recordings locally on the iOS device, internet does not impact the video quality. Even if your Subject has a poor connection or even loses internet, the video will still be clear and clean and the clip will be saved within the OR Capture app. This will provide you and your Subject with better peace of mind while filming, as well as flexibility to record on-the-go or in remote areas with poor internet.

 
Comfort Level

For your Subject, OpenReel will look very similar to a horizontal Facetime call, ensuring high familiarity. However, while apps are a familiar part of using a smartphone, verify with your Subject that they are comfortable downloading the app to their phone; while safe, secure, and fast, it is an extra step in the prep process. Additionally, we do recommend that Subjects use tripods to get the perfect framing when filming. As with downloading an app, setting up a tripod is easy, but it is an extra step that you need to coordinate.

Webcam Recordings

OpenReel can also film through webcam-enabled browsers. This includes DSLR-cameras that can be connected to your computer, a traditional external webcam, or the camera built into your computer. Like iOS, the quality of the footage is dependent on the camera, but there is a great deal more variability in webcam capabilities that you should consider.
Resolution, Frames-per-Second & Bitrate

Webcam recordings have the ability to film up to 1080p with corresponding frames-per-second and bitrate. 1080p is excellent quality footage, but it is important to note that most webcams, especially built in ones, max out at 720p. If your Subject’s webcam does not have 1080p capabilities you will not be able to record in 1080p.

 

Camera Controls

On a webcam, the Director has the power to adjust white balance, frame rate, resolution, and focus. While you lose a few of the camera controls that iOS filming has, you gain the ability to film your Subject’s screen in 1080p, a feature most convenient for capturing presentations and product demos. While you cannot execute this on an iOS device, it is often used in tandem with iOS recordings. For example, you can capture the Subject’s face via an iPhone and simultaneously capture their presentation screen recording on a webcam.

 

Flexibility

Webcam recording Sessions do not feature local recording, which makes them more dependent on having a reliable, stable internet connection. Additionally Subjects are tied to their desk or other space where their computer or external webcam is positioned. However, Subjects may gain flexibility when they are establishing their shot; given that most built-in webcams are positioned in the middle of the computer and external webcams typically come with tripods, it’s generally a very simple process to frame or re-frame a shot.

 

Comfort Level

Webcam recordings are pretty much identical to any video conference call, so the familiarity aspect can help Subjects feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Filming on the larger screen also allows the Subject to see in larger feeds their Director and any Collaborators or other Subjects, which can further add to that comfort level. These two features, alone, often sway Subjects to choose a webcam recording Session.

Still unsure which remote recording option is right for you? Just reach out! You can also read more about how to prep for your first remote recording session.

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