Hands-on with JOBY Frame X Frame
Text, Images and Video by Allison Gibson
The recently introduced JOBY Frame X Frame camera app for iPhone is a fun and easy tool for capturing stop motion video—and it’s free, to boot. JOBY calls the capture process “one button,” which is true if you go with the default options, but there are a few additional steps in the menu before shooting if you’d like to customize your animation. Still, the app is very intuitive and produces great results. The app also offers geotagging (by automatically attaching exif data to your pictures), and allows you to instantly share your creations on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
How it Works
600 shots/1 second/10 fps
Frame X Frame stitches together captured frames to create the illusion of movement in a stop motion video. The app allows you to choose different interval times (from one second all the way to one day), number of shots (1 – 2,000) and frames per second (20 – .5) in order to customize your video. It also automatically tells you how long the resultant video will end up being when it’s complete. You can also choose between continuous or manual shutter, but as you might imagine, the continuous option offers consistent results with a lot less work.
600 shots/1 second/10 fps
The two issues that you need to consider before you capture your stop motion video are: time and camera shake. In regards to time, I am referring to the fact that in order to capture a decent length video you need to have several spare minutes to wait while the timed shots are taken. In the JOBY Frame X Frame promo video, they recommend reading, dancing and finger-tapping as helpful ways to pass time.
Even the most steady-handed among us will likely incur a little camera shake when shooting hand-held, especially given that you will need to hold the camera steady for a good chunk of time to get the most of the effect. To combat camera shake, JOBY recommends using a GorillaPod—which is not very surprising considering that they manufacture the product, but it is in fact a useful tool. With that said, all of the test videos that I made were shot during impromptu moments—walking at the beach, riding on a boat out on the lake, or hanging out in Downtown LA—and as much as JOBY would probably prefer that I keep my GorillaPod on my person at all times, I do not. So, all of my videos were shot hand-held. In some cases the camera shake is pretty obvious and in others not so much. The biggest disadvantage of shooting hand-held was that I was unable to capture longer videos because, frankly, I became uncomfortable and impatient. These issues cannot be blamed on the app, however.
The app offers a one-touch Anti-Shake option, which is what accounted for the relative stillness of my sample videos, but you’re better off using a tripod of some kind to get a steady, long shot.
Get Frame X Frame for free in the iTunes app store.