Apple’s iPhone 14 series has four models (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max) and comes with some serious feature upgrades.
One of the many features that stole the limelight was the camera upgrade to a 48MP main camera with 2x optical zoom that allows for some serious and high-quality still photography and videography.
Among the many changes that Apple made to its iPhone camera is the introduction of the Action Mode.
In a nutshell, Action Mode is a video stabilization feature. It is needless to say that the feature attracted a lot of attention and praise – so much so that some people went on to say that the iPhone 14 series can now potentially kill Insta360 and GoPro.
So, what is this Action Mode all about? How do you enable this feature? How do you use it? Which models of the iPhone 14 series have this feature?
Let’s answer all these questions quickly.
What is Action Mode?
Action Mode is one of the various camera modes you find in the iPhone 14 series. Some of the well-known modes are Slo-Mo, Cinematic, Portrait, Time Lapse, and Pano. The latest addition is the Action Mode.
This mode is specifically for videography. It is a video stabilization feature that intends to correct shakes, vibrations, and unexpected motions during a video recording.
Action Mode will allow you to shoot incredibly smooth videos even when you are running, walking, or traveling in a car.
Shooting such smooth videos was previously possible only with stabilized action cameras like Insta360 or GoPro. However, with this new feature enabled, you don’t need to purchase additional gear for your action videos.
Interestingly, Action Mode will not only allow you to stabilize your videos, but also provide a crisp video quality by letting you use Dolby Vision and HDR.
Which Models of iPhone 14 Series Support Action Mode?
The good thing is that unlike the Dynamic Island feature that is available only on iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the Action Mode is available on all four iPhone models in the iPhone 14 series.
However, expect iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max to provide better results because of the new A16 Bionic chips. iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus are still stuck with A15 Bionic chips.
Nonetheless, the feature still works great for 14 and 14 Plus models.
How Does the Action Mode Work?
A lot happens when you use Action Mode. According to Apple, this mode enables the full camera sensor and uses more advanced roll-on corrections and sampling.
While that may be difficult to understand, in layman’s terms, it simply means that with this mode, your iPhone will default to its Ultrawide camera.
This allows the camera to capture as much footage as possible. The phone then takes the ultrawide footage and crops out the video edges to eliminate the areas where there is maximum shakiness and vibrations.
Then a series of advanced algorithms kick in to stabilize the footage digitally resulting in gimbal-like stabilized video footage.
How to Enable & Use Action Mode on iPhone 14
The Action Mode is included in the camera app. However, it is not enabled by default. You must enable it before capturing videos.
Here are the steps that you must follow to enable this mode:
- Tap on the camera app to open it.
- Switch the camera to video mode.
- On the top left corner of the screen, you will see two icons. One is a flash icon and the other is the Action Mode icon.
- Tap on the Action Mode icon. Once active, the icon will become Yellow.
- The screen will also display the words Action Mode.
That’s it! You have now activated Action Mode on your iPhone 14 series.
However, remember that when you are using Action Mode, there must be sufficient light. If you are in a low-light environment, the app will display ‘More Light Required.’
If you don’t see any such message, you are in a well-lit environment and the camera is ready to shoot some incredible professional-looking videos.
Action Mode is perfect for outdoor conditions.
What Are the Advantages of Using Action Mode?
Action Mode in iPhone 14 series has various advantages. Some of them are:
- It eliminates the need for a smartphone gimbal.
- It kills the need to buy an action camera such as GoPro. This reduces the cost for content creators who can now use their iPhones to shoot jitter-free and high-quality action videos.
- Action Mode will allow you to record videos in HDR and Dolby Vision.
- If you have the iPhone 14 Pro or the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Action Mode will allow you to record action videos in ProRes format.
This YouTube video gives a great side-by-side comparison of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro (Action Mode). Of course, this Action Mode gives far better results!
What Are the Disadvantages of Using Action Mode?
While the Action Mode does a great job at stabilizing action videos, there are some disadvantages you must be aware of. Here is a quick list of cons of using Action Mode:
- Video quality drops to 2.8K at 60fps with Action Mode on as compared to 4K at 60fps without Action Mode. Thus, you will notice a visible drop in video resolution and quality.
- Action Mode uses the Ultrawide camera, which means there is a drop in the sharpness. This happens because instead of using the new 48MP camera, the phone will use the Ultrawide camera and then crop the video.
- This mode will require you to be in a well-lit environment. This means bright sunny days are preferable for recording action videos using your iPhone 14 series.
Yes, Apple has a feature called Action Mode Lower Light feature that you can enable by navigating to Settings » Camera » Record Video » Action Mode Lower Light. Despite turning on the lower light feature, your iPhone 14/14 Plus/14 Pro/14 Pro Max will still struggle in low-light conditions while using the Action Mode.