in on the sensor and you’ll still have HD
resolution, but you can also push past that
point and end up with a lower-resolution
digital zoom. With my 4K iPhone SE, I seem
to get to about 2x before I don’t really want
to zoom in any further, so I use a set of wide
and telephoto lenses with my iPhones.
Switcher Studio’s other strength is the
ability to use software to ingest the screens
from Windows or Mac computers as well as
iOS devices. This is very handy for bringing
in a Skype call, slide presentation, or screen
tutorial with no additional hardware cost or
complexity. If it’s on your network, Switcher
Studio can grab it. Users have leveraged this
ability to have other apps on computers or iPhones do what Switcher Studio can’t do, and
then shared the screen with Switcher Studio.
Also, Switcher Studio has hooks for other devices, like an Osmo gimbal that can
hold a phone. When the phone is paired
with the gimbal, you can remotely pan and
tilt the gimbal from inside the Switcher Studio mixing app. This is a great feature that
lets you change the shot on a remote camera without adding a camera operator. This
is especially handy for panning a camera
around for different audience shots.
In the mixer, Live:Air Action caps the
number of still image files that you can
store in the app at 16; my iPad Pro topped
out at 11. This was less than I needed for all
of the sessions at a conference before noon,
so I used the breaks to swap out the stills
that I was using at the head and tail of each
Switcher Studio seemingly has no limit. I’ve added and added stills until it was
nearly impossible to find what I wanted because I had a couple dozen images loaded.
To make it easier to find your files, Switcher
Studio lets you drag and drop to reorganize
items in the bin.
Unfortunately, you can’t label stored files
in either app. If you have a bunch of video
clips that start with a black screen, you will
have a hard time knowing which is which,
as you’ll have a dozen black rectangles to
choose from. Both apps need to provide a
way to manually select a keyframe or a way
to label the clips/images.
Titles and Effects
Switcher Studio wins the titling and effects category. The app has several built-in,
full-screen graphics that you can customize,
as well as six fully animated and custom-izable lower-third graphics (Figure 8). You
can change the location and even the colors
on those graphics that offer color. These titles add some nice polish with the way they
animate on and off. Several also offer some
transparency, letting the background continue to be partially visible.
Live:Air Action has three lower-third designs. You can change the text and reposition the titles on the screen,
but I’ve needed them to be
longer, or shorter, depending on a person’s name,
and there’s no way to adjust
that. You also can’t change
the colors. Live:Air Action’s lower-thirds need an
update. There’s also full-screen text, but it’s not as
useful as it could be.
Switcher Studio also
has more polished effects.
Live:Air Action has a dissolve, zoom dissolve, a slide
from left, and a rotate
zoom dissolve. For those
so inclined, Switcher Studio also offers a wipe, a
basic cube, and a “twist”