iPhones have pretty much the best video capabilities of any smartphone. That’s why, even though I don’t often use my iPhone to click pictures, I use it a lot to shoot videos. However, while iPhones support frame rates like 24, 30, and 60 FPS for videos, none of these are good for shooting in countries like India under artificial lighting. Luckily, you can now record videos in PAL format on iPhones, which solves exactly this problem. So, here is how to record video in PAL format with iOS 14.3.

Record Video in PAL Format in iOS 14.3 on iPhone

In this article, we will first discuss the PAL format. We will tell you what it is and why you would want to use this format. If you already know these things, you can use the table of contents below to jump straight to the tutorial.

What is PAL format in videos?

First of all, you might be wondering what PAL format means. Well, PAL stands for Phase Alternating Line, and it’s a broadcast standard used in many countries in Europe and Asia, including India. On the other hand, there are other formats as well, such as NTSC which is used in countries like the United States, and SECAM which is also used in a bunch of countries.

Why would you want to film in PAL?

Without going into too much detail about frame rates and power grids, let me explain the basic reason for wanting to shoot PAL video. If you’re in the US shooting video on your iPhone, you’ll probably be shooting at 30 or 60 fps. It works perfectly because the power grid in the United States has a frequency of 60 Hz. You probably read about it in school too, remember?

In India, however, the power grid has a frequency of 50Hz. This means that if you shoot video in artificial light at 60fps or even 30fps, you will notice flickering around light sources. This is because the video records 60 frames per second, while the alternating current in the light source alternates at 50 times per second. It doesn’t match and it leads to weird flickering issues.

With support for PAL formats on iPhone, you have access to recording videos at 25 fps. When shooting video at 25fps, you won’t notice any flickering with 50Hz light sources. So you can shoot better video with artificial lighting.

If you can’t figure out what I’m talking about, take a look at the videos below showing the same light source recorded at 1080p60 and 1080p25 on my iPhone XR.

How to Record Videos in PAL Format on iPhone

  • Go to Settings -> Camera -> Record Video
  • Enable the “Show PAL formats” toggle. You will now see two new recording options on your iPhone as shown below.
  • Just activate one of them and head to the camera to shoot PAL format on your iPhone.
  • Of course, you can also switch on the fly by tapping the frame rate counter in the camera app to switch resolutions and frame rates when you need them.

Easily save PAL videos to your iPhone

The addition of PAL format support is great for anyone who lives in countries with 50Hz grids. Plus, it’s also useful for everyone, when going on vacation to a country with the PAL standard. With PAL support on iPhone, your vacation videos will no longer have flickering lights, which is obviously an improvement. So, are you going to start using PAL formats on your iPhone to record videos? Let us know in the comments.