Halide’s Kino App Aims to Revolutionize Shooting iPhone Video

A smartphone with a video editing app displayed on the screen. The app interface includes various video controls and a timeline. The video being edited shows a scene with a DJ performing on stage under blue lighting. The background is black.

To celebrate the seventh anniversary of its award-winning photography app, Halide, the team announced Kino, a pro video camera app for iPhone.

While the Halide developers have dabbled with other imaging apps, like Orion and Spectre, Kino represents the team’s first attempt to create a true peer to the original Halide. The pro-oriented app offers high-end features and functions for capturing, editing, and grading videos.

The team says its mission with Kino is to “make great, cinematic video easy — while still delivering an app that’s powerful enough for real pros.” In that spirit, Kino sports a simple user interface but complete manual control.

A screenshot of a video camera app interface named "Kino – Pro Video Camera." The interface includes various icons and controls for AutoMotion, exposure compensation, a USB-C port, RGB waveform, recording, screen lock, manual focus, audio levels, and importing LUTs, among other advanced features.

However, while seasoned vets can override automatic tools to dial in their desired settings, Kino promises very sophisticated features to help beginners get cinematic footage. Kino includes “AutoMotion,” for example, which enables users to get a 180-degree shutter angle on footage without tweaking settings. This is achieved through auto control over exposure values.

Two smartphones display the Kino app. The left phone shows a setup screen with options for "Starter" and "Custom" setups, plus a "Continue" button. The right phone shows the app's main settings page, with options like "Grades" and "Video.”.

Of course, sometimes it’s too bright for the app to manage this shutter angle. In this case, the app will alert users, and they can pop a neutral density filter on their phone to bring the exposure into the optimal range. When the iPhone can shoot at the perfect shutter angle, the “Auto” label goes green, and users are good to go.

Another novice-friendly feature is “Instant Grade,” which allows users to press record and create cinematic-looking footage with an automatic color preset applied.

A smartphone screen displays a photo editing app with a picture of a canal and buildings at dusk. Various filter options are visible below the image, including Kodinek, Fadeo, Chroma Noir, Glostrup, Lektar, and Mellowed. An "Instant Grade" toggle switch and "Apply" button are on the right.

“This is a real game changer with Apple Log: it lets you capture video with a lot less processing,” the developers promise. “Some natural grain, beautiful highlight rolloff, it just looks gorgeously cinematic. Apple’s camera can shoot Log, but you have to edit it, and it is encoded in ProRes which results in giant files. In Instant Grade, Kino shoots in HEVC for an everyday video file size, and your chosen color preset is applied right to your recording.”

A smartphone displaying a video editing app on its screen lies against a black background. The phone is connected to a cable. The app shows a video clip of a sunset over the ocean, with various editing tools and interface icons visible around the display.

“That all sounds pretty novice-friendly, but there’s no compromise on powerful features,” Halide says. Kino can record directly into Photos or Files, includes composition guidelines, video and audio levels for monitoring, device notifications, compatibility with USB-C storage (which is required for the highest-quality video on iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max), recording format presets, an RGB waveform, manual focus with focus peaking, WB/AE lock, exposure compensation, lockable user interface elements, and more.

“If you know Halide, you know we pack in some really advanced stuff — Kino is no different on day one. It’s an ambitious v1,” Halide explains.

A smartphone screen displaying a camera application interface. The screen shows rocky mountains and a landscape. The top menu shows settings including resolution (1080P), frame rate (24 FPS), color space (LOG), encoding (ProRes 422HQ), and data rate (42 MB/s).

To ensure that the app is manageable to everyone, as soon as a new user opens it, they can choose their experience level. This selection will determine which settings are available by default. The app also includes free lessons on the basics of creating videos.

Halide recommends that users pair Kino with the iPhone 15 Pro series to fully take advantage of the app’s features, but it works on older iPhones, too, of course. Further, presets are automatically separated based on the video encoding options, so users won’t accidentally pick one that won’t work with their device.

Pricing and Availability

To celebrate launch, Kino is currently available for half off at $9.99. In a few days, the price will increase to $19.99. This is not a subscription cost, either, as Kino comes with a lifetime license right off the bat.

Image credits: Halide