Thursday , January 21 2021

Today I learned your Apple Watch can double as a vlogging viewfinder

The Apple Watch’s ability to act as a camera remote for your phone got a mention in its announcement keynote, so it’s been around a while, but I’ve only ever used it once or twice to take group pictures. Twitter user @PeterSciretta, however, has pointed out that you can also use it as a vlogging aid.

Doing this is simple: On your watch, go to the Camera Remote app. This will open the camera app on your iPhone, and you can switch it to video mode, set it up, and record. You don’t even have to strap your watch to your phone like he does in the tweet; the remote camera will totally work while your watch is on your wrist.

This is the best self-recording hack ever and even works with @FiLMiCPro. Thanks to @PeterSciretta for this tip.

I’ve shot videos on my phone before, and it was often an exercise in frustration trying to get the framing right. There was a lot of running back and forth, recording short clips to make sure the focus and framing were correct. I could’ve definitely saved myself the hassle if I had remembered that my watch could do this, though I guess I would’ve gotten fewer steps in. It’s a sacrifice I’ll just have to make.

Using your Apple Watch as an iPhone viewfinder: surprisingly latency-free and useful

Android users don’t need to feel left out either, as Wear OS devices can also act as a camera viewfinder when connected to Pixel phones. The Apple Watch trick will also work with the popular video camera app FiLMiC Pro, as Jeff mentions in his tweet. That way, you can get all the benefits the third-party app offers, plus the remote viewing on your watch.

Of course, if you’re setting out to create a new vlogging setup, this is probably not the best way to go, especially if you don’t already have an Apple Watch. For less than the price of Apple’s least expensive Watch (the Series 3), you could instead get Apple’s Lightning to HDMI adapter (which would also let you power your phone so it doesn’t run out of battery), and a small camera monitor. Or, you could just position your phone in front of a mirror. But if you already have an Apple Watch, and want to film yourself using your iPhone, this tip may just make that easier.

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