Moving videos from iPhone (6) to Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by camner, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. camner macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    I've been trying to figure out how to best move videos taken from an iPhone to my Mac. I used a variety of methods, and got files of wildly varying file sizes and pixel dimensions, and some of the results don't make a lot of sense to me.

    Perhaps someone here can help make heads or tails out of this info?

    Method 1: Connect iPhone to Mac via lightning cable and use Image Capture to move video to Mac
    Result 1: File size: 98MB / Get Info reports: 1080 x 1920 dimensions

    Method 2: Share video from iPhone via email
    Result 2: File size: 3MB / Get info reports: 320 x 568

    Method 3: Share video from iPhone via text message, receive text on Mac via Messages, save to hard drive
    Result 3: File size 8.7MB (!!) / Get info reports: nothing...dimensions and codec info not preserved via this method

    Method 4: Share video from iPhone via iCloud photo sharing, import to Mac via Photos, export in 1080p format
    Result 4: File size 39MB / Get info reports: 608 x 1080

    Method 5: Share video from iPhone via iCloud photo sharing, import to Mac via Photos, export as "unmodified original"
    Result 5: File size 11MB / Get info reports: 720 x 1280

    FWIW, Get Info also reports in all cases (except Method 3) codecs of H.264 & AAC

    Questions that arise:

    1. Method 1 (Image Capture) seems to be the highest quality since both file size and pixel dimensions are largest. Is there any way to transfer this kind of high quality original from an iPhone to someone else WITHOUT Image Capture or a direct connection?

    2. I was surprised that emailing the video resulted in a smaller file size than when texting it. Does this make sense?

    3. The two methods of exporting from Photos (Method 4 and Method 5) surprised me. What's going on here? Is the 1080p export upsampling? Why are the pixels dimensions larger at the same time the file size is smaller for exporting as "unmodified original"? Which of these two methods results in a "higher quality" original?

    My goal here is to be able to take a video that someone else took on an iPhone in another state to me so I can edit it in iMovie. I presume I want to start with the highest quality version I can get my hands on...what method works best here (and having the iPhone owner use Image Capture on her machine and then sending me the file isn't an option...).
  2. ImBuz macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2014
    I use Photosync---find in ap store
    very good
    very easy no cables no fuss
  3. camner thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2009
    Thanks for the tip!

    How about moving from an iPhone on the other side of the country to my Mac in a high quality mode? Any other reasonable approach beside installing Photosync on that remote iPhone?
  4. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    In those cases where you are getting non-intuitive results, I think you are getting some unexpected help. This is often done to overcome protocol limitations. Mail, for example, can't send attachments reliably over 25MB, and essentially never over 50MB. This is a limitation of the SMTP protocol, though there are work-arounds. You can see this in, when it asks if you want to send small/medium/large versions of photos. Moving audio/video files around is part of a workflow. Dropbox or other cloud storage may help, but check the settings in the apps you've described, such as Photos.
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    I always use AirDrop between my iPhone 6 and rMBP - I've always had 1080 × 1920, H.264/AAC/mebx codecs, and the HD (1-1-1) color profile embedded; I get the same dimensions and color profile but with H.264 & AAC codecs from my iPad Air. Airdrop is often my go-to file transfer for photos and videos - it's done sometimes before I can find the right cable to plug in!

    I use my latest-gen Airport Extreme at the home office, and I bring a first-gen Airport Express for my road trips; my business partner brings a no-name battery-powered wi-fi router when we're in the field and need to make file transfers.
  6. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Great tip! I think AirDrop can be done without a router, though there seems to be lots of requirements:
  7. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Agreed, and that's why we have a couple of portable routers - they're cheaper than the cost of an hour or two of therapy... :D
  8. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    The devices need to be on the same network, so across the country AirDrop will not work unless you sort out some type of VPN...
    I vote DropBox. Use it for photos all the time. Never tried it with video from a phone though.
  9. DCJ001 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2007
    I have used Dropbox for years. When I connect my iPhone to my Mac, all new photos and videos are copied to the Camera Uploads folder in Dropbox.
  10. MarkCollette macrumors 68000


    Mar 6, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Plug the phone into the computer, Photos loads automatically on the Mac, select the videos and import them.

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10 July 2, 2015