April 7, 2023
Quick Start 1: Preparing for and recording a shot
Let's go through the steps for setting up a great shot

Welcome to the first installment of our Quick Start series. In this series, we let you get an immediate result with Kino and help you learn a few bits about the app and filmmaking as you go.

We're going to start by looking at the typical prep for a more deliberate shot. You could be taking a video of yourself cooking, or talking, or just wanting to record the best possible clip of a moment.

Preparing for the shot

Let’s walk through a few good steps to take before you record a shot.

When I am shooting, I like to get my format down right first. I usually shoot in my favorite preset: 4K, 24 frames per second, Apple Log.

Let's break these down.


Resolution is, simply, how many pixels are in your video. I like higher resolutions, but they eat up storage space. Smaller resolutions might also allow for more frame rates.


How many frames the camera captures per second. Frames being essentially photos. These blend together to make a video. Traditionally, movies are 24fps, giving shooting in it a cinematic look when done right. 30 fps is standard for TV broadcasts and online videos, including YouTube. Suitable for most types of video content. Going further up, you find 60 fps — great for very smooth motion, which makes it very suitable for sports, action scenes, and any fast-moving subjects and the likes. I also like to shoot it if I want to slow down footage later.


Color or color space is the space your video color occupies. You might not think of color occupying any space - it's just color after all. Think of color space as a rainbow: a large color space would be a longer and wider rainbow, where there is more space between say, yellow and green for nuanced shades of color.

Color is tricky. Here you'll find some serious alphabet soup. I shoot in Apple Log, which enables the best color editing (and grade presets for Instant Grade!). It achieves this by looking very grey - which seems odd if you take the previous description into account, but it essentially does this to squeeze more color into the same space. Because it compresses all the colors, you can get more information out of it when you edit it later. It just doesn't look very good without editing. But don't worry - Kino can take that step away and make it look great even when filming.


Lastly, we get a bit technical. Most days, I'll be shooting in 'HEVC' — which stands for 'High Efficiency Video Codec'. A codec is a way to encode your video — the thing that turns all those images (24 in my case) in a video taken per second into something manageable in terms of size. HEVC is, as the name suggests, highly efficient. That is to say it makes for a smaller video.

If I am sure I will be editing it more later or want the best possible quality, I'll opt for ProRes 422. This is Apple's format for the highest quality video, but be aware: this will eat up storage fast. Kino will helpfully show you how much time you have left to record in the corner of the screen, so you won't be surprised. And if you are using Instant Grade, we'll always shoot in an efficient format. More on that later.

So here we are — settings picked.


For most people in video, color grading is a step after the shot. But I might pick a grade to get a nice idea for what color preset can bring out what I am capturing well. Neutral is a good place to start. This preset, made by friend and extremely talented video pro Stu Maschwitz, makes my compressed Log colors look natural. Sometimes I'll pick something moodier: a warm film-like preset like Kodiak or a vivid one like Anjin for colorful scenes. If I am thinking about editing the shot later, I’ll disable Instant Grade. I can always apply a grade later, right inside Kino.

I can fine-tune the look of my grade by adjusting exposure as well. Kino has a quick gesture for that: I just swipe down on the viewfinder to reveal my exposure controls. I'll go a little dark here.

I’ll take a quick look at my time left for recording at these settings. I don’t want to run out of space. Kino will take a conservative approach to this. It's possible that you actually have a bit more space than e show, but we risk crashing or not saving your video if we cut it too close.

Kino can keep exposure and white balance locked for you if you so desire. I keep those both to locked for this shot, so my color and exposure stays nice and consistent.

Lastly, I’ll turn on my layout grid to get my shot level and well composed, and I'll sometimes use our RGB waveform to see if my exposure is good.

Getting the shot

I’ve got the shot set up! Tapping the record button, Kino will start recording. The large red telltale ring here will show me I am recording even if I can’t see my entire viewfinder. Once done, I’ll tap the smaller recording stop button to finish up. Kino will save my recording in my Photos library or in a folder in Files if I have set it for that. And that's it! 

Check out our other Quick Start guides for more. For instance, here's more about Instant Grade, presets and LUT files in Kino.

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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