Interviews,  INTERVIEWS,  News,  Photo App Lounge

Top Five Video Apps – Photo App Lounge with Jennifer Sharpe (odilonvert)

It’s been a while, far too long actually, since we published a new article to this very popular segment, ‘top five photo apps’ – if you have missed the others, please go here. Today, we are publishing a variant on our original theme and in many ways reflects the progress of mobile photography to videography and the development and adamption that we all making by including more mobile videography in our daily lives. It’s easy to see with our very popular Mobile Movies Column, edited by Donna Donato, that we publish here.

This time, Gina Costa, has spoken with a very popular mobile photographer, Jennifer Sharpe about her top 5 videography apps and what it is that appeals to her specifically about these. Both Jennifer and Gina have put together a wonderful article here, enjoy (foreword by Joanne Carter)..

“As a filmmaker who has been working in video since 2009, I didn’t find it too difficult to choose five video apps that I’m most partial to right now. Unlike the photo app market, the video app market is not as developed, and the options are much more restricted. And although photos and videos both have the camera in common, creating a video via a phone app can be a bit more complicated than shooting and editing a photo. This is because unless you shoot like John Cassavetes (hand-held, straight documentary style without any fancy effects), you may want to add visual and auditory elements, and put together clips in a sequence and manner that is unusual. My field is experimental film, so effects and complicated layering, atypical sound, and a storyline evolving through its own brand of montage are really important to me. When I put a film together, I prefer to do it on a BIG screen and with a powerful editor, in other words, on my iMac with Final Cut Pro X. But if I’m going to be using my iPhone (now a 5c) for shooting footage, it’s nice to have the option to add some visual effects in camera, just for fun.

Therefore while keeping in mind how I want to use my iPhone as a tool for creating a longer, more complex video, as I described my preferred process above, I created a list of five favorites using the following criteria:

1) The app must have the ability to upload a video which resides in my camera roll. This should come with the program (unbelievably, one of my old favourites now charges for that function as an “extra,” but does not do so for photos).

2) The app’s effects must be able to be flexibly applied (modifiable), be varied (a decent amount of options), and not scream a certain look (or I, for one, would be rolling my eyes murmuring “Oh it’s another ______ video”).

Really you can do many of the effects that video apps provide with a more robust editing program on a desktop, but I still enjoy shooting a video with a live filter in app from time to time, just to mix up my process a bit. It’s also a nice challenge to have some clips to work with which already come with a certain look and feel by the time I’m starting to gather material for a new film.










‘still from test footage, with “Buldge” lens’

Flickr link

Kitcamera is amazing, it’s capable of shooting both photos and videos with a live filter. Inspired by the former app called KitCam (which I still own as well), it provides many different lenses and films for different combinations. One of my favorite things about Kitcamera however are those lenses that distort in weird ways. I’ve gotten some really wacky results from them.



Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.46.17








‘still from test footage, with WestmanRosa 64T filter on default setting’

Flickr link

This app has a lot of in-app purchases, but to me they are well worth the expense. The filters are beautiful and fully modifiable.



Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.48.13









‘still from test footage, with the “Sakura” film, a light leak “lens,” and using the
Frame Jitter button’

Flickr link

8mm was one of my first iPhone video apps, I had it on my first iPhone, which was a 4. It has stood the test of time, with very retro filters and a reliable and easy to use interface.


Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.51.02








‘still from test footage, using custom adjustments to color, contrast, etc’.

Flickr link

What if you don’t want to add retro looks or weird lens effects to your footage, but you just want to give it a different feel through color? For this type of thing I use VideoGrade, which is excellent, also easy to use, and has a very simple interface.



Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 11.53.02








‘still from test footage, using a number of effects’

Flickr link

Videohance has a number of unique effects and an interface that, despite the number of effects, doesn’t make your eyes cross. I’ve actually made little clips using one selection from every single group of effects, and the program didn’t explode. Seriously though, a nice little program that’s really fun to use, especially when you want to add a little something different that you can’t find in any other app.


‘If you’re interested in seeing more of my work, you can find me at my main website And, a very warm thank you to Gina Costa and Joanne Carter for giving me the opportunity to share some of my video app favourites here’.

‘Jen, the pleasure is all ours, thank you so much for this, Joanne & Gina’ x

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Currently living in Chicago, Gina Costa is a museum curator and lecturer on 20th century art and photography. She has worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC; The Art Institute of Chicago and has taught art history at a variety of universities. Gina is currently working on a publication and exhibition that explores the current discourse on the use of mobile technology and how it has changed the way one defines what a photograph can be.


  • Diana Jeon

    Nice article. Thanks for writing it, Gina, and for sharing, Jennifer. Thanks for publishing it, Joanne.

    I’m going to say that like Jennifer, I have also done video (and taught it, in my case,) since before mobiography. My top video apps (in no particular order other than alpha here) and my friend Jennifer’s are mainly very different. Mine are:
    Filmic Pro
    Movie Looks
    Pinnacle Studio
    Video Toolbox

    Like Jennifer, if doing “heavy lifting”, I’m still turning to other tools – my Macbook Pro, Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects.