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MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: July 24, 2020 12:16PM
I figured this would be a hot topic these days since lots of folks are shooting videos at home. I've done some searching but can't find the exact answer to finding a way - or a reasonably-priced app - to do what I want: using my MacBook Pro as a viewfinder for my (original) iPhone SE's rear-facing camera.

I'm familiar with connecting the phone to my MBP with a lightning cable and using Quicktime to mirror my iPhone screen. This is workable but not ideal; I'd rather not have those controls on the right of the picture below - they block some of the image and are unnecessary when shooting like this:



Ideally I would look at my MacBook Pro and see only what the camera sensor is seeing, like this:



OK, I could handle gridlines, and it would be fine to have some small indicator as to when you're "rolling." I've looked in the app store and seen some apps that use airplay; they require you to download an app for the Mac as well, and I think they can only be used in portrait mode (might be wrong there – I know I saw one where the dev commented that QT prevents them from doing landscape). I would actually prefer a wired connection, as I'm simultaneously recording my midi keyboard into a DAW and would like to keep my poor late-2013 MBP's CPU from getting too sweaty. And of course, cost is a factor - I don't do this very regularly, so was hoping to find something free, sw or reasonably priced. Hoping some here have been down this road and might have found a good solution. TIA for any advice!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2020 12:18PM by reezekeys.
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Re: MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: Dennis R
Date: July 24, 2020 12:49PM
If you have an apple tv or if your tv will let you cast, that will work. When we do family photos With a timer for a whole family selfie we send it to the tv and it is amazing. Oops, that would probably give you the same problems.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/24/2020 12:53PM by Dennis R.
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Re: MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: Gareth
Date: July 24, 2020 01:08PM
Those right hand controls do get minimized when you start recording. But if that is still not enough, maybe you should look for a different recording app with further minimized controls. That might be easier to find.
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Re: MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: July 24, 2020 02:13PM
You are correct and it's been a while so I didn't remember that. Or maybe I didn't notice it because once I started recording I wasn't looking at my Mac! :-) I guess it's just a desire to have a cleaner interface while I'm framing the shot. That's a great idea to look for another app to shoot the video. Maybe there's one where I can more clearly see the entire frame, even if it has some UI elements superimposed. Thanks!
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Re: MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 24, 2020 05:59PM
wait, if you connect the iPhone to a Mac via cable, you can record with Quicktime? I didn't know this.
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Re: MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: July 24, 2020 06:08PM
You can record exactly what your iPhone screen is showing.
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Re: MacBook Pro as an iPhone camera viewfinder
Posted by: reezekeys
Date: July 24, 2020 06:23PM
Turns out I have Filmic Pro on my iPhone – I don't remember ever buying a camera app so I might have gotten this during a promo. Anyway the UI is a wee bit cluttered (as one might expect given its extensive feature set) but OTOH you have a decent edge-to-edge view of what you're filming, so this will probably work fine for me. Sorry to come up here, post a Q and answer it myself! At least I got to hip space-time to a feature he didn't know about! :-)

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