10 Uses for the Front-Facing iPhone Camera

Everyday App

Photo: Apple

If you’re a lucky owner of the iPhone 4, you know that the upgrade to its camera app includes a front-facing camera feature, which acts like a video cam on your computer.Apple, of course, intends the front-facing feature to be mainly used for the FaceTime application that enables you to hold video phone conferences with other iPhone 4 and Mac users who have FaceTime installed on their device.

This is all well and good, but there several other ways the front-facing camera can be used.

Some of these ideas are taken from a new video app called Videolicious, which is both a video and video editor application for the iPhone. See their website for more information. 

Using the Front-Facing Camera

If you have never used the front-facing camera before, you might not realise that it can be used for both still shots and video recordings. When you want to turn the camera onto yourself, simply click the camera icon in the top-right frame of the screen. 

Secondly, if you’re taking a photo or recording yourself in camera mode (not FaceTime mode), be sure to look at that the camera viewfinder itself –not directly at yourself–into the retina display. If you look at yourself in the display, your eyes will not be looking directly at the camera.

1. Self-Portraits
The front-facing camera is great for self-portraits. If you’re the photographer who is typically behind the camera, then the iPhone 4 makes it easy for you to be in the picture. There’s even an app called Everyday that’s specifically designed for taking self-portraits. And many other iPhone camera apps include the front-facing feature as well.

2. Video Thank You Note
Typically when you attend networking meetings or want to thank someone for something special they did for you, instead of sending the traditional greeting or thank you card, it might be a good idea to shoot a quick “Video Thank You Note” that lasts no longer than 15 to 30 seconds.

A short video can easily be emailed from within the iPhone and to nearly all recipients who use computers that support the iPhone video formats, including MPEG-4 and H.264. Many IM messaging services also support video messages. 

3. Video Resumé
Similar to a video thank you note, you can use the front-facing camera and the Videolicious app to create a Video Resumé for long distance scenarios.

Your resumé could include you talking to directly to your viewers, as well as cutaway shots of samples of your work. 

4. Kids on Video
Kids love seeing themselves on camera. Sure, it’s great when you snap the photos and shoot the video, but in most cases it’s safe and fun to let kids hold the iPhone camera and see themselves as they snap a photo or record their own video.

5. Shopping Tool
The front-facing camera can be very useful as a shopping tool when you’re trying to select clothing, eye glasses, hats, or makeup items you’re choosing for yourself.

You can look back through the shots of the various styles of eye glasses you tried on to see which looks best. You can also snap a “reminder shot” of a tag ot label that you want to look up later online—for a sale, or different size.

6. Video Diary or Podcast
You can use your front-facing camera to keep a personal video diary and/or to post directly on your YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, or Vimeo account.

While the iPhone 4 supports uploading videos to YouTube and MobileMe, the app iVideoCamera supports uploading to all the previously mentioned networking sites.

7. Presentation Preparation Tool
Many of us are very self-conscious about speaking in front of a video camera or large audience. The front-facing camera might be useful a tool for practicing and recording your presentation on the iPhone, and then watching it for areas where you would like to improve.

8. Auction or Sales Video
Again, you could use Videolicious to create a short video of an item you’re wanting to sell.

The recording can start with you talking directly to your viewers, then include cutaway shots of the product you’re selling. Videolicious videos can be up to 50 seconds long, which is typically plenty of time for a short video. But if you need something longer, simply use the Apple’s iMovie app for the iPhone or the iPad 2.

9. Event Video
When you attend an exciting or informative event, use the front-facing camera and Videolicious to capture yourself talking about the event, with cutaway shots of the parts of the event that you took prior to your narration of it.

10. Email Message
Use the front-facing camera to send a quick email message.

You know how slow and difficult it can be to type out messages on the iPhone, and sometimes what you have to say could be said a lot easier in a video than in a long convoluted written email.

Any other ideas? Please post below.

This post originally appeared at Wonderhowto.com.

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