April 7, 2023
Quick Start 3: Pulling focus
Here's how you get started with manual focus in iPhone video with Kino

We're jumping into the finer points of focus in the third in our Quick Start series.

Let's check out one feature Kino has that helps get around a (sometimes frustrating) limitation of your built-in iPhone camera app: focus.

Manual focus

Your iPhone typically tracks subjects and focuses on them automatically. This goes especially for people; when faces are detected, the iPhone camera (including in Kino) will keep them in focus. But perhaps you don't want that to be in focus, or you want to transition between two things in your shot. Time to go manual.

Tapping the yellow control labeled AF will disable autofocus and enter manual focus.

The slightly curved focus dial that appears gives you slightly more travel than a straight one, giving you extra precision to dial in the shot. Note that the dial has been tweaked so you can easily go from the far end of your phone's focus reach to the other, so you can pull off a full 'pull' of focus in one swipe.

The numbers on the gauge indicate the distance your iPhone is focusing on: 0 being the closest, and 1.0 the furthest. Note: most iPhones top out at 0.8, meaning that is the furthest your camera can focus.

Edges in focus when recording in HDR or SDR will be highlighted in green with a feature called Focus Peaking, letting you know you got sharp focus.

Tapping the “MF” button will drop you right back into autofocus, even during a recording.

I want to tap to focus!

We hear you. One of the main reasons Kino launched without tap-to-focus is to prevent accidental taps that can ruin a recording. We wanted Kino to be a comfortable, secure camera for video with fewer chances to throw off the recording and no risk of accidental touches.

That being said, we've gotten a lot of requests for tap to focus, so it will be added in a future update. Stay tuned! 

More helpful lessons:

Check out some more lessons from the Kino team:

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