4 Best FiLMic Pro Alternatives for iOS and Android
With FiLMiC Pro switching to a subscription model, these fourfour apps are the best budget-friendly alternative.
FiLMiC Pro is hands down the best pro camera app on both the iOS and Android stores, and it’s been that way for a long time. However, the recent announcement that the company would begin to charge a monthly subscription has caused a bit of a panic.
Although current users will continue to access the app without a subscription, new features will be locked behind a paywall. To access the latest version of the app, users must pay weekly when the new pricing goes into effect. To rub salt in the wound, the app is being split into separate modules that have their subscriptions. The Cinematographer Kit module, for example, will cost an extra $14 a week.
With an additional $5 per week to access the base app, you’ll be paying nearly $80 monthly to use FiLMiC Pro. Add in the other subscriptions for things like the infrared or charcoal film pack, and you’re looking at the price of a mid-tier cinema camera by the end of the year. So if you don’t want to hand over the equivalent of a new camera, it’s time to look for an alternative.
There are alternatives to FiLMiC Pro that are either free or cost a one-time fee of a few dollars. For iOS users, there are myriad options. Android users have fewer options, though there are a few gems. While these apps may not wholly replace Filimic Pro, they come close to it and for a fraction of the price.
Beast Cam (iOS):
Beast Grip is a company that makes cages, lenses, and other mobile photography accessories. The company also makes Beastcam, a professional video app often recommended by FiLMiC Pro users. A big reason why it’s so popular is that it costs $2, but if that’s not enough to convince you, maybe the features will.
Beastcam has a lot to offer a videographer. The app allows manual control of every setting you need to adjust, from white balance to fps to shutter speed. You also get a good overview of your setup thanks to the histogram and audio level meter.
And to get ahead of incorrectly exposed or blurry footage, Beastcam has features like zebra stripes and focus peaking. I like the anamorphic lens support, which is offered at a much lower price than the other apps on this list.
There’s no particular thing that makes Beastcam special. It also doesn’t help that LOG and flat color profiles are absent. Putting that aside, however, Beastcam still manages to stand out because of its clean, intuitive design and features that streamline your workflow. Features like file management and the ability to create presets for multiple shooting scenarios streamline the process, which can make a difference when you’re on deadline.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Moment has a camera app. The company has been making quality mobile lenses for years, and it’s expanded beyond that to offer other mobile photography and videography accessories. What is a little surprising is that Moment’s camera app is good.
Moment Pro Camera isn’t free; it costs $7. That’s not a bad price, considering you get complete manual control, a waveform monitor, RGB histogram, bitrate adjustment, and framerate control. The audio levels meter is another excellent addition, as is the support for color profiles like flat or LOG. Of course, because Moment manufactures anamorphic lenses, the app supports those lenses. The anamorphic feature stretches, or de-squeezes, the image, so you don’t have to do it in post.
Although it skews toward photography, the Moment Pro Camera app isn’t lacking in the video department. The clean, minimal user interface is another plus in my book. My biggest complaint is that Moment only makes this app for iOS.
This would probably be my go-to if the app were available on Android phones. Another complaint is the separate purchases for time-lapse and slow-shutter modes that, while cheap, seem like they should be included at no extra cost.
Open Camera (Android):
OpenCamera is a free app with many pro features hidden behind a simple user interface that can be customized. The three bottom icons on the left side of the screen (in landscape mode) control resolution, focus mode, ISO, shutter speed, and exposure lock — the slider on the bottom right side is for zoom. You’ll have to go into settings and turn on the Camera2 API to unlock the full suite of features. Sadly, not all phones support the Camera2 API. If yours does, you’re in luck because the API opens the floodgates.
With the Camera2 API, you can change the video format to H.264 or H.265 or pick color profiles, such as LOG, Gamma, SRGB, and Rec. 709. You also get essential monitoring features like zebra stripes, focus peaking, and a histogram display. In addition, you can turn on an audio level meter, adjust bitrate and framerate, and select max video duration.
My only gripe with Open Camera is how frustrating it can be to find and change every setting, but it’s not so bad once you have the app set up. Though the user experience could be better, it’s still a solid professional camera app that doesn’t cost a thing.
I’ve been using Protake over the last two months — I recently shot a video using the Pixel 6 and this app. It’s a handy app that comes with every feature I need. There are features like manual control over ISO, shutter speed, white balance, focus, and zoom.
The app also supports histograms, an audio level meter, focus peaking, zebra lines, and many more features that make monitoring video much less of a hassle. All the features on the screen can look messy, but ProTake uses the space well. Graphical flourishes like the focus/zoom wheel and expandable menus make it look less cluttered. It’s also easy to hide the user interface if you prefer a clean feed.
I bought the app because of the anamorphic support. Without it, I’d have waste time de-squeezing the image in DaVinci Resolve. But that’s not the only thing keeping me on the app. ProTake supports LOG and Alexa 709 color profiles, a pro-level feature for color grading that my mirrorless camera doesn’t have. The flat color profile of LOG makes shots look like they had a run-in with dementors, but it makes a world of difference when color grading. I consider it a necessary feature.
You can download and use Protake for free, though the pro features are paywalled. Unfortunately, unlocking Protake’s full functionality requires paying a subscription. Full access to Protake costs $20 per year. Thankfully, it’s nowhere near as expensive as a FiLMiC Pro subscription.
While I found the four options above to be the best alternatives to FiLMiC Pro, others almost made the cut. These apps were either better for photography or offered similar features and not much else. ProMovie Recorder + for iOS is a great example. The app does essentially everything the Beastcam and Moment Pro Camera do. It’s not bad; it just doesn’t stand out. However, with an asking price of $3, it doesn’t seem to be a better app than Beastcam, which costs $1 less.
ProShot, available for iOS and Android, is another app that falls short of the mark. The app has some features for recording videos, such as support for 240 FPS video, 4K resolution, manual settings, and audio level monitoring. Still, every other app on this list has more features. At $6, you’re better off with the Moment Pro Camera app.
Finally, ProCam X on the Google Play Store is an app that costs $5. Regarding features, it’s almost on par with other options on this list. Again, it’s not a bad app. Its biggest drawback is that OpenShot exists, offering just as many features for the grand sum of zero dollars.
There are countless more apps on the Apple and Google Play Stores, but these are currently the best alternatives to FiLMiC Pro.
Cover image via Cherevko Stock
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