November 10, 2015 Last Updated 12:16 pm

Tools of the trade: FiLMiC Pro app update; Mac mini video accelerator unveiled

Feature-packed video photography app gets an update to add features and fix series of bugs introduced since its major update in September; Newertech unveils HDMI device to speed up video performance when Mac mini is used as a media server

The iPhone and iPad are used by a many journalists these days, so having a professional video app is important. One of the more popular apps for video shooting is FiLMiC Pro.

FilmicPro-screenThe universal iOS app is full featured – and that is a good thing because, judging by the reviews inside the App Store, buyers are very demanding. In September, the app received a major update to version 5.0, but a series of updates have followed as the developers attempt to work through some bugs.

The latest update to version 5.0.3 is extensive (probably extensive enough that it should have been labeled 5.1):

What’s New in Version 5.0.3
This update contains a comprehensive set of fixes and improvements for the v5.0 codebase:Enhancements:

  • 2k/3k resolution options for iPhone 5s and iPhone 6/6+ devices. These are ‘video only’ modes intended for professional use and to be used in conjunction with an external audio recording device.
  • Selectable audio sampling rates. Support for 44.1 and 48.0 kHz audio sampling rates.
  • Simplified ‘on/off’ auto-selecting image stabilization. Image stabilization will now automatically set the highest level of stabilization possible for the device given its selected configuration. There is no longer a need to cycle between standard stabilization, cinematic stabilization and off positions.
  • Full user manual link via the action slider menu. We have uploaded our first revision of the full user manual for v5.0 including information regarding the action slider, settings menus, tips and more.

Bugfixes and refinements:

  • Throughout the product we have introduced fixes and optimizations to provide for a better overall experience, performance and clip quality.
  • iPhone 6s ‘missing zoom’ bug has been resolved.
  • Refined quality for high frame rate video (60fps and greater frame rates)
  • 4k video quality refinements

**note** Our library functionality had changed in versions 5.0.1 and 5.0.2, if you experience a crash event, we recommend saving all clips to your mac/PC and removing the clips from your device through iTunes file sharing, then re-apply the update.

The app remains priced at $9.99, though they occasionally have half-price sales. I think the app is worth the full price if you are serious about your video work – say, if you are shooting video for a news organization. Yes, the app is complicated, but not overly so, and for the web one can ignore the more complex settings (such as the reference to 2K/3K shooting above).

I now get press releases from Newertech after I recently bought a USB-C cord from the company. That cord is needed in order to hook up a new Apple TV to your Mac so you can install beta software, etc.

This new product, mentioned in the press release below, may come in handy for some who have a newer Mac mini and are using it as a media server.

One problem with used a Mac mini as a media server is that when the Mac does not have a monitor attached it does not use its GPU, and so video performance lags. One needs to trick the Mac into thinking it has a display – and so that is rationale for the new device described below.

I should say, however, that if you were one of those – like me – who waited so long for a new Mac mini to be introduced by Apple I have plenty of sympathy for you. Apple waited a long, long time before updating the headless Mac, and when they did they released a real dog. So bad, in fact, that I finally gave up on my desk set-up.

For many years I used two older Apple displays attached to my mini. I loved the set-up but hated the slow performance of the old Mac. Then Apple released its new model and… well, it really had mini lovers upset. Now it has been one year since the last update and Macrumors says that the model is due for an update. Unfortunately, who knows when, or if, Apple will update the Mac mini. (So, I went and bought an iMac.)

Woodstock, IL — November 10, 2015 — NewerTech, a leading performance upgrades and accessories company for Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and iPods since 1984, announced today the NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Accelerator, a simple adapter that plugs into the Mac mini’s HDMI display port to make display-free “headless” Mac minis used as storage and media servers think that there is a display attached. Using the NewerTech adapter, video drivers are loaded and the GPU (graphics processing unit) is fully activated for 100% full video performance with no more choppy images or mouse lags.

Plug It In & Restore Video Performance

macmini-videoBecause of the Mac mini’s compact size, superior storage, performance, and low cost, they are often used as “headless” networking, storage, production studio media, and home theater servers with no need for a monitor, keyboard or mouse. When the Mac mini is used without a monitor, its GPU isn’t used. As a result, the interface lags, resulting in choppy screens and slow video, animation, cursor movements, menu navigation, and typing. Plugging the NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Accelerator into the HDMI port of the Mac mini solves this problem, engaging the GPU so your remote interface works exactly how you’d expect.

“In the past, when using the Mac mini as a server, the best option was just to grin and bear the slow video performance whenever you needed to remotely access your mini, which is an entirely inadequate experience,” said Larry O’Connor, President, NewerTech. “With the NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Accelerator, the Mac mini thinks there is a display attached, so you’re back to the 100% silky smooth OS X experience you know and love.”

NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Accelerator Specs:

  • Designed to the highest standards.
  • Includes proper shielding to prevent unwanted interference.
  • Works with: Mac mini Mid 2010 (Macmini4,1), Mac mini Mid 2011 (Macmini5,1 / Macmini5,2 / Macmini5,3), Mac mini Late 2012 (Macmini6,1 / Macmini6,2), Mac mini Late 2014 (Macmini7,1).
  • Interface: HDMI.
  • Maximum Resolution: 1080p.
  • Driver: not required.
  • Required Software: OS X 10.6.8 or later.
  • Dimensions when plugged in: .25”(h) x .68”(w) x .58”(l).
  • Weight: .2 oz.
  • Warranty: 3 Year NewerTech Product Limited Warranty.

Availability & Pricing
The NewerTech HDMI Headless Video Accelerator is available immediately priced at $19.50 through Other World Computing at: and major retailers. For more information and purchase, see, website:

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