What It Is
Artemis Director’s Viewfinder/Artemis HD
What It Does
Compose shots for any kind of lens using your mobile device.
Where to Buy It
What It Costs
Even if you’re shooting simple footage for a basic web project, you want all your shots to look perfect, right? Your name, and possibly your career, could be on the line, after all. Unfortunately, no one ever said that being a perfectionist is easy or inexpensive, but for trying to line up the ideal shot, it’s possible for it could be a bit more convenient. So you’ll probably want to suck up the hefty price you need to pay to download the Artemis app.
There’s no getting around it: $29.99 is a lot to pay for any app, let alone one that has the (relatively) limited functionality of this one. Artemis essentially turns your mobile device into a traditional director’s viewfinder. But keep in mind that professionals of all stripes know that good-looking results are worth paying for, and both Artemis Director’s Viewfinder and Artemis HD (the latter designed specifically for iPads) help ensure those are exactly what you’ll get.
The app provides minimum fuss, too. When you’re scouting locations, setting up storyboards, or rehearsing, you don’t need to carry around your camera—just use the phone or tablet you already have. All you have to do is select your camera (dozens of film and digital formats are supported), aspect ratio, lens type, and then start scoping out your shot.
While you’re using Artemis, you can compare what your prospective scene will look like on a number of lenses at once, or zoom in on the view that matches one specific lens. Once you’ve snapped your test shot, you can save the picture with full metadata (including focal length, compass heading, tilt and roll, date and time, and even geolocation information) to your local photo library so you can refer back to it when you’re making your final decisions.
Though you’ll get the most feature-rich experience using the Apple version, which supports AirPlay streaming, Artemis is also available for Android and even BlackBerry phones. There are a couple of compatibility concerns you may want to keep in mind. The app adds padding if a lens you select is wider than your camera’s field of view, and some users have reported compatibility issues with the Apple version and iOS 7. So if you use an Apple device you may want to wait until the app is upgraded.
But considering Artemis’s utility at replacing a collection of cameras and lenses and saving you a ton of preproduction time, don’t be surprised if through setting up your shots the old-fashioned way you think you’ve already waited long enough.