The other day I visited Switcher Studio and read the company has released a Switcher Go app. First question that I had was this: I reckon there are a lot of users in the US where people jump on new tech much less questions asked than Europeans. Are there any highly visible examples of European users? And I promptly received an answer from Nick Mattingly, CEO of Switcher Studio.
“Yes, live video and new tech adoption in the U.S. have been great for Switcher, but Switcher has been adopted by content creators everywhere,” he said. “One of our ‘power users’ is a group in Canada that built and entire production company around live streaming events with Switcher Studio. We also have users in Spain, Australia, South America, Indonesia, the list goes on.”
Specifically for Europe, he gave me the El Taller Audio Visual example in Spain. These are all customers of Switcher Studio, which is the company’s “pro” offering. Next week, when the app has been approved by Apple, there will also be Switcher Go.
Switcher Go is for more spontaneous film making while out and about. With Switcher Go the company has made Facebook Live and YouTube very easy to use. Users only have to link their account once, then they can go straight into streaming from there on out. “You can use Switcher Go with just your phone, while Switcher Studio is more geared toward streaming of scheduled productions and events with multiple cameras, overlays and split-screen capabilities,” mr. Mattingly said.
That’s why there isn’t support for Periscope Producer, YouNow, Ustream and other platforms. Those require more steps to setup streaming.
By the look of it, Switcher Go does come with some powerful features despite the simplicity the developers focused on. For example, you can add photos and pre-recorded video while live broadcasting to YouTube Now or Facebook Live. You can even enter “Record Mode” to make quick edits on the fly and upload later.
This sounds like a heavyweight feature to me, but with Switcher Go the company took what they learned from Switcher Studio and reimagined the creation process to make it more accessible. Switcher Go allows users to add up to four photos and video from their phone’s camera-roll before going live so they are just a tap away.
“This makes it easy to go beyond just single camera point and shoot to make your videos more interesting for people to watch,” mr. Mattingly said. “So many people take photos and videos daily and then they sit on their phone. With Switcher Go you can take these important moments in your life and tell a story around them to share with your friends and family on Facebook Live. And if you are a business or social media guru there is room to get creative with these capabilities.”
Switcher Go also improves on the standard pinch to zoom camera gesture, which can appear jerky and unstable during live and recorded broadcasts. Professional-looking slider controls enables you to ease in and out while zooming for a smooth transition. Touching those on your iOS device could introduce vibration and jerkiness by itself.
“Getting your camera on a tripod or leaning it against a book and thinking about audio are two big steps toward improving the end product. With a quick Google search you can find some very affordable iPhone video accessories on Amazon and our friends at iOgrapher are a great one stop shop for mobile media cases, tripods, microphones, etc.,” said Mattingly. Switcher Studio also has a new series “Blueprints for making awesome live content”, where you can find more tips and tricks for mobile video.
Switcher Go comes with advanced camera functions like exposure, white-balance, ISO, shutter speed and more. Switcher Studio claims you really can make it look like you are shooting on a $5,000 camera with just your iPhone.
The focus control and other advanced camera settings like white-balance, exposure etc. will be available on all devices running the latest version of iOS from Apple. While the automatic camera settings on your phone do a good job in most situations, having the ability to control these individual elements can have a big impact on quality.
Finally, there’s one advanced feature that will appeal to those who want to create a true professional look. With Switcher Go you can remotely control another iPhone or iPad while managing the entire production from one device. You can set up a camera across the room or have a friend walk around with their phone while you wirelessly cue up photos and video from your iPhone or iPad.
“Twenty minutes of a single camera up-the-nose shots isn’t very exciting, especially if what the person is saying isn’t good. The Remote Camera feature in Switcher Go makes video a social experience by enabling you to bring your friends camera into the mix. It also allows Switcher Go users to get a taste of what’s possible with Switcher Studio if they start making more video,” according to Mattingly.
The remote camera feature is especially useful for interviews or DIY and how-to videos that might require a different perspective than what the user could get with a handheld phone by letting them use their primary device as a pocket controller for another iPhone or iPad acting as a camera.