Finally, an iOS Desqueeze App!

For years I have bemoaned the fact that I could not use an iOS device to desqueeze a photo or video shot with an anamorphic lens.

Moment Anamorphic Lens and Case iPhone X

You see, when you take a photo with an anamorphic lens attached to the iPhone, and you don’t use an app like Moment, FiLMiC Pro, and others like them, you get the standard iPhone aspect ratios we are all familiar with: 16:9, 4:3, square, etc. This means the larger width of the image captured by the anamorphic lens gets squeezed into a smaller image size. And I couldn’t find a way to stretch the image back to its proper size unless I stretched the photo or video on a desktop computer.

So, why not just FiLMiC Pro or the Moment apps and have those apps automatically desqueeze the photo or video file for you when it saves it to your phone? Good question. The consensus seems to be that while those apps do a superb job with recording quality video (with a super high bitrate), their image stabilization is less silky smooth than the default iOS Camera app on the iPhone 11. Go figure. Maybe that will change in time? Who knows.

Examples

I had been out hiking around Muir Beach Overlook and shooting video with the anamorphic lens on my phone. To me, the lens helps create a more cinematic look. When I went to Fort Baker and shot some photos, I kept the lens on my phone. I just really like that look as a nice change from the traditional 4:3 aspect ration of iPhone photos.

Shot with iPhone Default Camera App and Squeezed by the Moment Anamorphic Lens
Desqueezed to appear the way it actually looked

When we got to the hotel that night, I shot this photo of the hotel front entrance. I still had the Moment anamorphic lens on my phone.

Shot with iPhone Default Camera App and Squeezed by the Moment Anamorphic Lens
Desqueezed to appear the way it actually looked

Below you can see an example of what the room really looks like and what the room looks like through the iPhone when the anamorphic lens is on the camera. Compare the actual shape of the TV under the first arrow compared to its shape through the viewfinder of the phone under the second arrow.

Closeup of the Moment Anamorphic Lens

Others have asked the same question in forums: how do I desqueeze a photo or video on an iOS device? Until recently, I couldn’t do it. You couldn’t desqueeze the image if your camera app did not do it for you when it saved the file.

Cropping vs Desqueeing

You can crop an image on an iOS device in any number of apps, but cropping is not the same thing at all. When you crop an image, you lose parts of the image. When you desqueeze an image, you stretch it to a different aspect ratio and lose nothing.

The Solution

Desqueeze

This morning I finally found the iOS app of my dreams: Desqueeze! And it works so logically! It easily desqueezes both photos and videos. And the “pro” version lets you create and edit your own presets.

I’m not going to go into how to use the app, but I will highlight several of the apps features.

  • You can batch edit a group of photos or videos rather than having to do one at a time.
  • In the pro version you can create your own templates as well as edit them.
  • You can resize based on specific dimensions, specific aspect ratios, or specific percentages (50% x 50% or 133% x 100%, and the like)
  • When selecting media from your photo library, the dimensions of each piece of media is displayed. Try finding that in the iOS Photos app!
  • You can save your work in PNG, JPEG, TIFF, or HEIC formats.
  • You can desqueeze in portrait or landscape.
  • You can ratio clip, ratio fit, or stretch the media.
  • When working with video, you can set the bit rate.
  • When working with photos, you have the traditional controls over file compression based on file output format.

You can learn more about the app and see some quick overviews of how to use it from their YouTube channel.

I love this app. I mean, I LOVE it! The tedious headache of desqueezing media is over! I do have one suggestion for the app developer: let the user also import and export to Apple’s Files app locations. Puleeze!