Capturing, trimming, and sharing video with the new iPhone 3G S is literally a snap. After a bit of testing, the easiest way to share is directly from the device itself. So if you're tempted to transfer the video to your computer and monkey around with it, you might want to resist. See my examples below for more on that.
The iPhone 3G S records SD video (640x480) and saves it in the H.264 format. The frame rate when I was playing it back on my MacBook was an odd 17 fps (but as some readers pointed out, that was probably because I was recording in low light. Outside I should get a full 30 fps). One minute of video will create an approximate 26 MB file size. The audio is captured with the onboard iPhone mic and saved AAC mono at 44.100 kHz.
Once you capture the video, you can trim it right there on the iPhone by dragging the handles on the timeline, then hitting the Trim button. I recommend that you watch the area you have selected before hitting Trim. I haven't found an "Undo" command yet for hasty edits. But trimming is very easy and fun on the device. And after some testing, I think it's the best place to make these edits.
You can share the video by emailing it from the iPhone, sending to MobileMe, or uploading it directly to YouTube. The YouTube function is great for on-the-fly publishing, and it works well. If you want to save it to you Mac's hard drive, connect the iPhone 3G S and launch Image Capture (in your Applications Folder). Click on the "Download Some" button to reveal the movies and pictures on your iPhone. Movies will have the .Mov extension, and still photos will be .Jpg. Then, if you want, you can further edit or enhance your video using QuickTime or iMovie.
Here's a sample that I captured at "arm's length." I instinctively held the camera horizontally when I recorded the video. But since I was recording a vertical subject (me), I got this video:
The video plays fine, but it's oriented the wrong way. [What one of our readers pointed out, Alan, is that I confused the sensors on the iPhone by not fully rotating the camera. I hit the record button while the camera was in the vertical position, but then didn't do a clean rotate to the horizontal position.] In an attempt to fix the problem, I downloaded it to my MacBook, rotated it in QuickTime, and got this, but now it's out of sync. So even the simple edit in QuickTime compromised the movie (when publishing on YouTube, on my Mac it plays fine).
So next, I recorded the video holding the iPhone in the vertical position and not rotating it after I initiated the recording. When I did that, and uploaded directly to YouTube from the iPhone, it looks like this:
As Alan pointed out when he commented on this article, you have to be careful not to confuse the sensors. So make sure you're explicit in your movements when holding the iPhone to get the orientation the way you want it. I found the easiest way to do this is simply not rotate the camera once you start recording. If you want a horizontal movie, start that way.
Also, I think the video on YouTube actually looks better when you let the iPhone 3G S compress it and upload it directly. When I edited on the computer, just doing a simple rotation command, then uploading to YouTube, things got out of sync.
In other words, just let the iPhone do the work, don't confuse its sensors, and you'll be fine. All my monkeying around simply compromised the output. If I just record, trim and upload directly from the device, things work perfectly.