Life was definitely simpler back when we didn't have to struggle with aspect ratios and dimensions. Yet, the days of Handycam and film-cameras are far behind us, and we're into a modern (albeit strange!) generation of smartphones. And while more often than not, smartphones are considered a boon, there are times when we can't seem to get around some common shortcomings.
Yes, you probably already know where we're getting at! Filming with your 48-MP Quad camera is great until you realise you've accidentally recorded some of it vertically. Despite having a considerable about of technology at our disposal, it was surprising how we still hadn't found an easier way to get it done.
Which is why when we heard of the Horizon Camera app, we were more than eager to give it a shot. Because let's face it, finding an app that can convert our poorly shot vertical videos to horizontal was, indeed, long due!
Beyond the horizon
Setting up the app was pretty fuss-free, much to our surprise. On logging in, you will find general instructions that you can swipe your way through. Minimalistic and neat, the colour scheme made it easy to read. In fact, we didn't even encounter ads during the review. The app has both paid and unpaid versions -- both of which are equally effective. However, if the logo of the app bothers you, then we suggest getting a paid version for yourself. There are barely any inclusions in the paid version, but the app promises a more inclusive support system if you opt for a subscription instead.
Keeping it horizontal
The app has a handful of controls once you activate it. The top-left icon allows you to lock the screen. You have a flip camera icon next to it, along with a flash and settings button on the top. On clicking settings, we found a host of functions that allows you to customise your videos. Although a little complicated, you can work your way around fixing a customised orientation, zoom speed, motion sensor and sensor calibration settings amongst other functions. What we love the most is how there are only two no-fuss icons at the bottom of the page: a record and a click button.
On clicking the record button, the video begins recording like your usual camera. However, on tilting your screen, you will find the dimensions staying the same, which means that your exported product will not change its aspect ratio.
Yes, the app does solve our filming blunders, and no, it isn't magic that helps it function this way. It uses the gyroscope function that ensures that the transition between landscape to portrait is steady. And while it promises to solve our worst lapses, there are some shortcomings that cannot be ignored. There's a significant loss of quality once you tilt your screen to get the video in your desired ratio. Also, if you can remember to shoot on Horizon, you may as well remember to hold your camera straight! But we're ready to give it the long rope because it is quite a solution to problems that otherwise went unresolved. And we can't deny that it is unquestionably more comfortable to shoot a quick video in a portrait mode. Apart from the fact that it is more stable, it is also easily achievable using one hand.
In conclusion, we think that the Horizon Camera app works almost wondrously. Of course, there are a few drawbacks, but we are ready to forgive them. There's no real reason to get a paid version unless you're planning to shoot videos for commercial use. But the next time you're watching your favourite artist live, this app will undoubtedly make sure you get your videos ready for the 'gram.
iOS rating: 3.9/5
Android rating: 3.7/5
TBC rating: 4/5