April 7, 2023
The Kino Pro Video Camera Manual
Kino: Pro Video Camera for iPhone — A handy manual

Welcome to the Kino Manual! This post is a comprehensive manual to the Kino interface and features. To see quick tutorials on doing common things in Kino, check out our other Quick Start posts.

Welcoming you to Kino

If you have arrived here, you likely have already opened up Kino. Kino starts with a few simple explanations on its features, followed by a choice:

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll assume you opted for the Starter settings. If you didn’t, no stress — Kino is still very easy to use and we’ll point out things if they deviate from the Starter setup.

From there, you’re all set. Let’s dig in!

Kino Interface Legend

Kino’s main interface, the viewfinder, has a few elements.

Let’s go over them one by one. They are numbered counter-clockwise from the red recording toggle.

1: Recording Toggle. The recording toggle starts or ends a recording in Kino. Note that tapping the toggle will shrink and slighlty move it, to prevent accidental stops and to make extra room for the recording timer.

2: Grade button. This is where a lot of Kino’s magic happens. Tap the Grade button to select and apply a Grade, which is like a color preset. Kino comes with Grades from several top industry pros preinstalled, and you can see various different presets here depending on your recording format.

The Grade button will change depending on your setting: if you have no grade selected, it will appear like in this graphic. If you select a grade, it will automatically be applied to your recording* with Instant Grade, and the grade button will show a colorful cube with a yellow outline.

*Starter setting. For advanced setup, grades will only be viewable in the viewfinder and can be applied to recordings later unless you turn on ‘Instant Grade’. If Instant Grade is on, the Grade button will have a solid yellow outline.

3: Quickbar button. You can access Settings here, as well as many extra Kino features we’ll go into later.

4: Format selector. You can select from 3 capture presets here, or set a custom format to capture video in.

5: Auto/Manual switch: Tap this to change between automatic exposure or manual mode.

6: Recording time: shows estimated time remaining to record video at the current format settings.

7: Audio levels: shows current audio levels.

8: Focus toggle: Toggles between autofocus and manual focus.

9: Last capture: tap this to go to your videos. This will show all videos you have stored on your iPhone, as videos are saved to your Photos library*.

*Starter setting. Advanced users can select at first run where they want videos to be stored and can choose Files as well as Photos.

Be aware that if videos are stored in Files, deleting Kino will also delete any videos you have saved!

Video storage settings can be changed at any time in Kino’s Settings.

Viewfinder gestures

Kino, like its sister app Halide, has a few gestures to quickly perform actions to save you on taps.

Exposure adjustment

Swipe down on the viewfinder to access exposure adjustment: 

From here, you can swipe left or right to push your exposure a bit brighter or darker. Swipe back up to dismiss the exposure adjustment control. This will maintain your exposure adjustment. You can long-press on the 'Exposure' label in the exposure control to reset exposure bias back to 0.

The lock to the right of the exposure label toggles auto exposure during recording — turn this off if you'd like to have Kino automatically adjust exposure when a recording is active, or enable it to lock exposure to what it is set to at the moment you start recording.

Manual mode details

If you are in manual mode, swiping down will instead reveal the manual mode controls:

You can dismiss the controls by swiping back up or tapping 'Done'.

Locking the record button

To lock the record button and prevent accidental taps that might end your recording, you can swipe the record button to the bottom (or left in portrait orientation) instead of simply tapping it.

Swipe the record stop icon in the indicated direction to end your recording.

Quick Bar

Toggling the Quick Bar will show a row of icons of some of Kino’s extra features:

A. Settings: Takes you to the settings. Settings allows you to find tutorials, edit and add Grades, adjust video capture settings and storage settings and read more about the app or get support. You can also follow us on social media from there, which is a great way to get updates. (twitter / instagram / mastodon)

B. Flip Camera: this button switches the camera to the front-facing camera.

C. Layout Grid and Level: Kino’s layout grid works the same clever way as Halide’s: not only does it provide a nice rule-of-thirds grid, it also has a small center frame that shows if you are level. This works for top-down or straight-up shots with two small circles, or on regular shots as a level of getting horizontally aligned shots.

D. Image Stabilization: by default, this is enabled. Kino lets you toggle image stabilization, which prevents camera shake from hand movement. When disabled, a small ‘X’ shows in the center of the icon.

E. RGB Waveform: This is a powerful tool for measuring exposure in your scene. The RGB waveform in Kino lets you see which part of your image is too bright or too dark while capturing, which can be helpful to ensure you are not losing any detail in footage for later editing. As opposed to a standard histogram, the waveform shows you exactly where in your image things are too bright. In this photo, for instance, you can see that the area of the sun (in the middle of the frame) also approaches the top of the waveform in the middle.

You can read more about the RGB waveform and how it works in a follow-up RGB waveform post that's coming soon.

3. Quick Bar Button: this button collapses the quick bar again.

Manual mode

Manual mode can be entered by tapping 'Auto' - or the 'Auto / Manual Switch'. Select 'Manual exposure' and you will be greeted by the manual settings screen:

The settings you see here are determined in part by the Exposure settings you set at Kino's setup step or in the Kino Settings — the top shutter control either being shutter speed or angle. Tap any of these to set a fixed shutter speed or angle for the recording.

Below the viewfinder, you can swipe to set a specific ISO for the recording.

Commit settings by pressing 'Done', which will return the viewfinder to maximum size, or return to Auto mode by tapping D. Automatic mode.


Kino comes with a fantastic set of Grade presets or ‘grades’. Color grading is the process of making your footage look great by adjusting its colors, much like how photographers edit images. Grades are a way to apply a color edit in a single tap — either directly to your footage while recording, or afterwards.

Kino comes with 7 regular grades and on iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, 11 additonal grades for Apple Log. Some of these are made by expert creatives — colorists, videographers and creators:

Neutral (Apple Log to Rec.709) by Prolost (Stu Maschwitz - additional presets)

Sando by Sandwich Video (Adam Lisagor)

Glostrup by Tyler Stalman (additional presets)

Lektar by the LUT Company (additional presets) (Evan Schneider)

Mellowed by Kevin Ong (Kevouthere)

Many of them also have larger packs of their presets available which you can add directly and easily to Kino. Check them out above! Additonally, we release grades with updates and as limited drops on our social media, so follow along.

Using Grades

You can use grades in three ways: with Instant Grade, using a grade preview, or by applying it later to existing footage.

Instant Grade

One of Kino’s most powerful features is applying a color grade right to your shot so you don't have to edit it. It combines great with adjusting exposure to get the look just right. If you set up Kino with Starter settings, Instant Grade is on by default. If you did not, you have to opt into it, either at setup or using the 'Instant Grade' toggle in the Grades view.

In Kino, you can quickly see if Instant Grade is active with the grade button:

If you select a grade without Instant Grade, Kino will let you preview it ('monitor') but record the actual file without it applied. You can then apply it later in Kino or edit it in other apps.

Note that with Instant Grade, your format settings will change from ProRes (if it is active) to HEVC. Once Instant Grade is disabled, your previous setting will be restored. No hassle.

Applying a grade to footage

If you want to apply one of Kino's grades to a recording later, you can tap the Last Capture button. Depending on your settings, this will show all videos on your iPhone in Photos (Starter setting) or might be just the videos Kino saved into its folder in Files. Select a recording here to apply a grade, and press 'Apply' to apply the grade and share it to an app or save it to your library:

Importing a grade

Kino accept most .cube files in dimensions up to 33×33.

To import a grade, there's two options:

• You can tap to open a .cube file one once Kino is installed — this can be one sent via iMessage, downloaded in Safari, transferred through an AirdDrop and more. Tap 'Open in Kino' to open the file and import it, which shows you import settings. For LUT files made for Apple Log, ensure that you select the correct 'Apple Log' input here. Presets will automatically show only for the selected color space, so you only see the right presets for your capture format settings.

•Alternatively, enter Kino Settings, and then tap 'Grade'. Scroll to the bottom and tap 'Import' to browse your Files on iPhone to select your .cube file for importing.

Making your own grades

If you'd like to author your own grades, we recommend using Davinci Resolve. It's a powerful utility for Mac that lets you export your edits as a LUT. To save Resolve color adjustments as a LUT, see this User Guide here.

Kino accepts .cube LUT files from most application at up to 33×33.


Kino can record to your Photos library (Starter setting) or Files — and this setting can be adjusted at any time in the Kino settings. When you tap the Last Capture, Kino will show its library — which are all videos on your iPhone saved in Photos, or just Kino's folder in Files. You can tap 'Libraries' in the top left of the list to switch:

An important notice: If you are saving recordings in Files, iOS will purge Kino's folder when it is uninstalled. That means that if you uninstall Kino, all your saved footage in Files will be deleted. Please be aware of this. For more settings on storage, including disabling iCloud backup of these (often large) files, see our Settings section.


You can access Kino's Settings through the Quickbar. The settings are divided into Grades, Video and Storage:


The Kino Grades settings panel will show a list of all installed Grades. Scroll to the bottom to import a new grade, or tap 'Edit' (if you have additional LUTs installed) to remove or rearrange them.

Video Recording

The Video settings panel allows you to customize video recording settings in Kino.

Shutter Measurement: set shutter measurement to be in shutter speed or shutter angle.This affects the controls in Manual mode.

AutoMotion: toggles AutoMotion, a smart exposure system that biases yor exposure in Auto mode towards 180° shutter angles. When AutoMotion successfully achieves 180° shutter angle, it will light up green. Disabling this will use iPhone's native exposure logic.

White balance lock: locks white balance once recording starts.

Exposure lock: locks exposure once recording starts. Can also be toggled from Exposure Adjustment in the viewfinder.


Storage settings lets you customize and inspect how Kino saves videos.

Storage Preference: lets you set Files or Photos Library as the destination to write videos to. These both have tradeoffs: large video files when written to Photos can take minutes to, in rare situations, hours to show up due to system level processing. Saving videos to Files, however, should be done with care as deleting the Kino app will also delete all recordings stored in the Kino folder in Files.

iCloud Backup: toggles iCloud from backing up recordings stored in Files. These can get very big. Disable this setting to stop backups completely.

Storage Status shows remaining space available to Kino. Kino uses a conservative measure to ensure it does not run out during recording. You can clear more space either in iPhone's Storage Settings panel, or by going to the Camera app (on iPhone 15 Pro and above), tapping 'ProRes Log' if activated, and tapping 'Free Resources'.

Additional things you can explore in settings is a link to our Presets page, to get support, or to read more about the app and the people who made it (that's us!).

Do you love Kino?

Finally, that wraps up our Manual, and the last item in Settings. If you tap this, you can leave a review for Kino. If you love it, it helps us a lot if you leave us a positive review and rating.

Thank you very much for reading. For more help, see our Quick Start posts or visit our Support site for an FAQ and contact information.

More helpful lessons:

Check out some more lessons from the Kino team:

Stay in the loop: new tutorials, grades and news.

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