iPhone rear camera w/QuickTime records my iPhone screen, not me
February 23, 2021 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Please help - this is a nightmare. I want to use QuickTime on my MacBook Pro to record some video sessions using my iPhone rear-facing camera instead of the crappy laptop camera. QuickTime is recording *what's showing on my iPhone screen*. Pic inside.

I want QuickTime to video record me and my backdrop by using the rear camera on my iPhone. It does, but it also includes everything that's on my iPhone screen, meaning all the camera options and icons.

This is a still from my attempt to film. Sorry about my fail at removing my face. Note that QuickTime doesn't seem to be using the rear-facing camera on the iPhone so much as using whatever is on the iPhone's screen. I KNOW there is a way to do this where the phone just records what it sees on QuickTime but I cannot figure it out.
posted by tzikeh to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Apparently the native camera app on iphone doesn't support this. Haven't tested it but there seem to be free third party apps that allow you to get a clean feed without overlays. Camra seems to be one.
posted by multivalent at 8:19 AM on February 23


Best answer: Hi,

You need an app that will send just the camera video to the Mac. Usually it is an app that runs on the iPhone, plus a companion app or system driver that runs on the mac.

There are a lot of these apps cropping up. Full disclosure, I have not tried them.

Camo seems to be the leader in the field in terms of features. - $40 for a year it is not cheap.
posted by sol at 8:21 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


If you wanted to just record on your phone, then quickly get the recording onto your laptop, many people don't know that you can login to icloud.com and download anything from your photo stream. It's pretty useful and my preferred way to get media from my phone to my computer.
posted by bbqturtle at 8:32 AM on February 23


Response by poster: If you wanted to just record on your phone, then quickly get the recording onto your laptop, many people don't know that you can login to icloud.com and download anything from your photo stream. It's pretty useful and my preferred way to get media from my phone to my computer.

The problem with that is I'm using a free-standing USB mic for audio, not the iPhone's built-in mic. I have the phone and the mic plugged into the laptop via two separate USB-C cables. QT allows me to have the phone as my video input and my mic as my audio input, but I can see this won't work the way I want it to, and now I don't know what to do.
posted by tzikeh at 8:34 AM on February 23 [1 favorite]


Best answer: Well, there's lots of solutions still. You could find out a way to connect your usb microphone to your phone. You could learn to edit the video to put an audio track over the video from your phone (Relatively easy). You could just use your phone's microphone. It all depends on how much work you want to do for these videos.
posted by bbqturtle at 9:35 AM on February 23


Friends have recommended Elgato EpocCam running on the phone as a video source.
posted by k3ninho at 10:35 AM on February 23


You could film with iPhone Camera app, place the camera on a tripod/stand, and connect the external usb microphone to your MacBook. Edit the video and audio together in iMovie. I don’t edit professionally but Apple’s free iMovie App has been good enough for my simple needs in the past. Here’s an Apple Support article. I suggest reading the part titled “add a sound clip.” YouTube is a nice way to learn basic video editing. Here’s one video.

If this seems a little too involved and you’re short on time, filming with your iPhone rear camera (without any external usb microphone) would still look better than your webcam.
posted by mundo at 12:45 PM on February 23


Best answer: I swear to dog I've successfully done this before. In fact, I recorded videos for my classes doing this last year when quarantine began. Now, not so much, and I have no idea why. I wonder if it's an issue with iOS, since the same thing happens on both Mojave and Big Sur? Or maybe I'm imagining I did it? No idea.

You can accomplish the same thing using Reincubate Camo, an app that allows you to use your iPhone camera as a webcam.

Install the Camo App on your iPhone and Mac, then open Quicktime Player and go through the same steps to set the iPhone as the video source, then select "Reincubate [iPhone Name]" as the video source.

I did this and confirmed it works by recording a video of myself with my iPhone camera using Quicktime. The iPhone app is a free download, and the MacOS app has a free tier with limitations, including 1080p max. I think you get 4k and a bunch of other stuff if you upgrade to Camo Pro, but that's beyond my needs, so can't speak to its utility.

Hope this helps and good luck!
posted by malthusan at 4:20 PM on February 23


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