Want to upgrade your iPhone 5s camera to 2k video? All you need is this app …

If you like to use your iPhone to shoot video and Apple offered to upgrade your iPhone 5s from 1080p HD to 2k video for just $7, the decision wouldn’t require much thought. That’s exactly the trick Ultrakam has pulled off with its new iPhone app.

If you’re wondering how a mere app can convert your camera to a higher resolution, it doesn’t: it simply allows the software to use more of the hardware capabilities of your camera. Apple may say that your iPhone 5s has a 1080p HD videocamera, but that’s not quite true: the camera hardware itself is capable of anything up to 3264×2448, it’s just that the software can’t process that many pixels at a sensible frame-rate … 

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With the built-in camera app able to capture HD video at up to 120fps, Ultrakam takes the opposite route, limiting the frame-rate to 30fps and using a more efficient codec to in order to capture 2k video: 2240×1672. The app also allows you to shoot at 24fps for a more film-like look.

Don’t expect to be shooting any blockbuster movies on your iPhone, however: 2k video consumes 3GB of storage per minute, so you’ll get less than 20 minutes’ footage even on a 64GB model with almost nothing else stored on it. The app is also limited to 20fps when run on the older iPhone 5.

But if you want to shoot high-quality short videos, the Ultrakam Professional Camera App is available for $6.99 from the iTunes store. If you have a second iPhone available to act as a remote, there’s also a separate remote-control app for $2.99.

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  1. 007pandas - 9 years ago

    This so amazing, It is time for me to up grade my iPhone5 to the 5S. A definite need for the outdoor action photographer!

    • liquidwolverine1 - 9 years ago

      May as we’ll wait till the fall and get the 6.

      • aronvdherik - 9 years ago

        I hope that this comes as a default feature on iPhone 6, that would be a great reason for me to upgrade from my iPhone 5! They might aswel add a 128 GB iPhone to the line, making it possible to make decent video and still be able to save it! (I am still having a hard time with ‘just’ 64GB)

  2. Martin Novosad - 9 years ago

    What is the name of the song in the video?

  3. Jorge Reis (@Jorg3) - 9 years ago

    Song name please

  4. NQZ (@surgesoda) - 9 years ago

    “Using a more efficient codec” — what is it? x264?

  5. thejuanald - 9 years ago

    This is a move in the right direction as others can already record video in 4K!

  6. thebilly (@thebilly) - 9 years ago

    Seriously people… lets not get bogged down by the 2K thing… 1080p is 2K… 1080p is: 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels and thus qualifies and is essentially 2K. The more important thing to worry about is the dynamic range of the sensor and quality of the glass in the lens…

  7. The biggest problem with allowing for such high-resolution video capture on a mobile device is that you’re going to power your way through the available storage.

  8. Taylor Martyn - 9 years ago

    heads up wanna be film makers: 1080p is NOT 2k. Did you know when you go see a film in the theater it is in the formal 2k format? It’s actually just over 2000 pixels wide. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2K_(resolution) So the app is actually shooting WAY over 2k video and not anywhere near the right ratio, but really nice for post work if shooting serious stuff on your phone. PS. at 3gb a minute, this is not H264 unless it’s just a REALLY high bit rate version of it, which doesn’t make much sense, but better than low bit rate H264.

  9. Taylor Martyn - 9 years ago

    It can do H264, but the high bit rate version is in M-JPEG codec (basically uncompressed). User can choose between the two. That’s handy.

  10. On an iPhone 5s – So far, the app crashes on me if I shoot anywhere above 80% quality in H.264 more. Using the lesser quality M-JPEG codec I don’t get crashes even at 100% quality. But I’d like to be able to shoot at the best quality it offers without crashing.

    It also records audio to a separate file, a “.caf” file. No idea why we don’t have an option to record a single file that contains both audio and video.

    Exports lightning fast when dragging out of the “File Sharing” area of the “App” tab in the iPhone while connected to iTunes.


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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