Action Cameras

Easy methods to use iPhone Motion mode

In our review of the iPhone 14, we noted how little had changed for the latest Apple blower. The iPhone 13 gave us a much improved battery life and display brightness, while the iPhone 12 underwent a major facelift.

The basic iPhone 14 didn’t stray too far from past iPhone models, though. The Pro and Pro Max may have replaced the iPhone notch with something called the Dynamic Island (which we talk all about here), but there was little extra to justify the near £850 asking price of the base 14. That is, aside from perhaps a new feature called the iPhone Action mode.

Ever had a video ruined by a shaky hand? Action mode can help fix that as it designed to replicate image stabilization. That means those blurred frames from Saturday night will be crisper and cleaner…which may not be a good thing. But to attain smoother shots, take a look at our handy guide to going Action mode.

How to activate it

Getting ready for action couldn’t be easier. Open the native camera app, switch to video, give the running person icon a press and presto, the iPhone Action mode is initiated baby. Action mode will switch to an ultrawide lens by default, but with a little tinkering the camera can switch to 1080p HD or 2.8K resolution.

Smoother, better, faster, sharper

Apple’s action packed announcement advert would have you believe that Action mode allows you to film that charity skydive without a hitch. There is a marked difference when filming choppy scenes, but that comes with a few caveats. Camera handoff works impressively well for one-shot filming, and 360 shots on a stationary subject works smoothly.

That said, if the camera and a subject are both moving, the camera can sometimes have a tough time focusing on what’s being shot. Action mode also crops your 4K footage down to function, and the feature doesn’t fully replace an external gimbal either. Nobody wants to be carrying one of those around, though, and Action mode is a great feature. It just needs a little getting used to.

Keep it bright

Action mode struggles with light, or a lack thereof. That’s especially true when filming indoors. In dim surroundings, a ‘More Light Required Message’ will pop up on the screen. That doesn’t mean Action mode won’t work indoors, just that the image quality may not exactly be crystal clear.

That can be tweaked, though, by navigating to Settings, tapping Camera > Record Video, and clicking on the ‘Action Mode Lower Light’ option. The feature will slightly polish what will still likely be a very grainy video, but don’t expect Spielberg quality.

If you simply must take the action indoors, try to find a well-lit area. Or, better yet, don’t activate it at all.

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