Playing with iPhone 3GS Video

Yes, I had a new iPhone waiting for me when I got home from Florida (among other things). I upgraded to the new iPhone 3GS … which takes video! Here’s what I’m finding out so far about the video quality:

One of my first videos, uploaded to

The video quality is about the same as you’d find on a Flip camera, so not too shabby! It films in QuickTime .mov format, using AAC for audio and H.264 for the video codec. It makes a standard-sized video of 640X480 when held in landscape mode.

Here’s a video I uploaded directly to YouTube (the new iPhone allows you to do that):

So – I like having a video camera ALWAYS with me, in my pocket. What I’m not quite used to yet is how the iPhone decides when it’s going to be in landscape or vertical modes. For example, this video

… was filmed and sent to YouTube in landscape mode … but it came out vertical (fyi – this shows off the iPhone’s macro video mode, too). This isn’t the first time that’s happened to me. Out of the four videos I’ve posted to YouTube so far, two are in landscape mode and two are vertical.

And that’s not the only place I’ve discovered quirks. Look what happened in iPhoto!

Uploaded to iPhoto - it's vertical!

Even weirder in iMovie – check out the thumbnails iMovie generated – the thumbnails are sideways are squished for some strange reason, but the actual video is in landscape mode!

iMovie - vertical & Horizontal

It’s quite possible I just haven’t figured out something yet, but this is a bit irksome. Otherwise, uploading to a variety of places seems to work fine. So far, I have been able to upload my videos to:

  • my computer, to iPhoto and iMovie for editing (haven’t tried importing to Final Cut Express, but I’m sure that will work fine, too)
  • YouTube
  • Flickr, through Flickr’s uploading tool and via email
  • via blip’s uploading tool (the first video in this post). I have also tried blip’s mobile email uploader, but haven’t seen any video show up in my blip account yet. We’ll see what happens with that!

And one more thing – editing. Yes, you can do some extremely basic editing of your iPhone video – right on the iPhone. Here’s how it looks:

Editing video on the iphone!

See the timeline at the top of the video? You can click the beginning and ending points and trim the video’s beginning and ending. And that’s all. But that’s ok – I’ll probably end up dumping video to my Mac anyway for editing later. For some people, this will be pretty useful stuff.

So – my iPhone video report so far… will david figure out how to succeed in landscape mode? Will Apple usher in a new era of vertical video? Don’t hold your breath to find out!