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A Beautiful Visual Diary of Asia Shot on an iPhone 5s

Whether it's photography or videography, we're always of the belief that we need that extra piece of gear to produce high quality and professional looking content. Be it a high-resolution camera to showcase detail, a rig for steady frames, or filters to deal with challenging light conditions, we're convinced that our vision can't be conveyed without a bag full of gear. While that may sometimes be true, this touching slow motion video shows just how much can be achieved with only a phone and a strong vision.

Shot and edited by Markus Kontiainen, Moments in Asia is a short visual diary of his visit to 11 cities in Japan, China and Southeast Asia during the Spring of 2014. While timelapses and hyperlapses have been all the rage lately, Markus forgoes their appeal and decides to go in the opposite direction by filming it using the iPhone 5s' 120fps mode. The resulting slow motion film allows us to better absorb the nuances that make the culture and landscape both beautiful and intriguing. We get a deeper sense of the people that inhabit these incredible lands, what their daily lives look like, and are given a chance to immerse ourselves in that world. Markus does a great job with the cinematography and editing which flows well and feels consistent from scene to scene. His choice of music augments the story of the film perfectly and enhances the overall mood. In short, it's the sort of vacation film that we all have the means to make but lack the skill and vision to bring to life. 

Next time you think about taking cases of video gear with you on vacation, consider whether the phone in your pocket and a creative mind will suffice instead. 

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9 Comments

Jason Hudson's picture

I've seen these videos popping up on Vimeo - I was impressed before I knew it was filmed on an iphone. Great stuff!

Sabine Metz's picture

Amazing! I'm travelling through Japan myself this fall and was thinking about video options. Might think again. :)

Brett Martin's picture

This was a solid video. I'd like to know if their was other gear involved, I don't recall my 120fps video being that shake-free. Shooting 120fps means you only need a second or two of anything to have a 4-8 second clip of slow-mo video, this gets rid of the jello effect nicely. It also solves the audio problems. The 5s is perfect for shooting this style of video.

Major W. Latimer's picture

Markus responded to a comment asking the same thing on vimeo and he said:

"All shots were shot handheld using iPhone's own slow motion feature, then imported to computer and edited in Premiere CC. So no any additional stabilization was used. IPhone 5s makes really really smooth video 120fps, but it helps to have a steady hand. :)"

Pretty impressive, it's all in the technique.

Brett Martin's picture

I have a Joby tripod mount smartphone clamp and a small telescoping handle that I use so when I handhold the phone one hand is below and one is to the side and the wobble is not so jello like. It's always interesting to see someone use a simple accessory to enhance their footage.

Jonas Karlsson's picture

very nice! whats the best rig to stabilize a cell phone? preferably something small, cheap, lightweight/foldable? :)

James Lewis's picture

This is great... inspiring; it's not about the gear... it's the vision. Thanks Michael.

David Stephen Kalonick's picture

Wow. Very Impressive.

Video Slow Down's picture

Great Video! Good thing I have my software called Video Surgeon that allows me to view the frame rate and slow down the video to see a better view of the video.