Tips to Create Better Smartphone Videos

Thanks to smartphones, video recording has never been so simple or effortless. Everyone has a powerful video camera right in their pocket! With a little practice and access to a few key pointers, it’s easy to start recording great footage. Here are a few basic, but essential, ways to make the most of your phone’s video camera.

Horizontal, Please!
Make sure to use landscape orientation and not portrait orientation while recording. You’ll capture more of the scene this way, and it will also make it more enjoyable to watch on a widescreen or television. Nothing ruins great footage like having two black vertical bars along both sides of your video, which is how a video shot in portrait orientation will appear.

Keep It Steady.
Unless you’re filming on a roller coaster ride, you don’t want your video to make the viewer feel like they’re on one! A steady hand is necessary to capture great video. The key thing is to use both hands, and lock your elbows into your body for extra stability. Better yet, use a stand or tripod if possible, or even try propping the phone on a table. In addition, many devices now offer an optical image stabilization (OIS) setting. Keep this turned on so your videos don’t look so jumpy.

Try Slo-Mo.
One of the terrific new features offered on most smartphone cameras is the ability to film in slow motion. To shoot in slow motion on an iPhone, open the camera app and swipe right on the modes listed above the shutter button until you get to “Slo-mo.” With most Android phones, these settings can also be easily changed inside the camera app.

Put It in the Best Light.
If you want to shoot better video, you need to know how to work with the available light and use it to your advantage. Shooting outdoors is generally best, but even then, try and find a position where the sun is evenly lighting the scene you want to record. If possible, try to film during “golden hour” just before sunset, when daylight is redder and softer than when the sun is higher in the sky.

Get Up Close.
In order to zoom in while recording without losing the crisp, vivid quality you desire in videos, you’ll have to get closer to your subject. In general, you should always get as close as you can, especially for tight shots on faces. Most smartphones feature digital zooms, but using these often results in your image appearing pixilated and distorted.

Don’t Forget About Sound.
Bad audio can ruin a great piece of video. Make sure to turn off background music, TV, etc. for better sound capture. No doubt you’ve heard the horrible sound wind noise makes on video clips, so when you’re outdoors, try to shield your microphone from the wind.

Above all else, don’t be afraid to experiment! Smartphone video cameras offer abundant features, so jump in and try a few. You’ll not only capture some great memories, you’ll have a lot of fun while you’re doing it.

19 Thoughts on "Tips to Create Better Smartphone Videos"

  1. Candace Price says

    Thanks for this information. It is very helpful and informative.

    reply to Candace

  2. Susan says

    Our coverage is not what we expected…we have many dropped calls.
    We travel around Wisconsin, I know that certain areas don’t look like there is good coverage, but these aren’t the areas. We live in populated area..I’m not happy..

    reply to Susan

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that, Susan. We offer service on two of the nation’s largest networks, so we can take a look at your coverage and see if a better option is available. Please give us a call at 888-345-5509, and we will be happy to investigate this further. Thanks for posting, and we look forward to assisting you!

      reply to Ashley

  3. Ralph Meyer says

    Why is my phone stating emergency calls only?!
    Visiting in La Cresenta.

    reply to Ralph

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that you’re experiencing that issue, Ralph. If you’ve recently traveled to a new area, please try turning your phone off, then back on again. This will allow it to reconnect to a tower with a strong signal in the area. Thank you for taking the time to post your comment, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  4. jerry patrick says

    Phone states no sim card.

    reply to jerry

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that, Jerry. I was able to review your account, and I see that our account advisors walked you through powering the phone off, then back on again to allow it to reset. If that did not resolve the issue, please give us a call at 888-345-5509 at your convenience, and we will be happy to troubleshoot further. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  5. sheila Kelly-Wiegand says

    Interested in changing from Verizon to your plan. Can I keep current I phone and number with your $25.00/month plan?

    reply to sheila

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Sheila! It’s easy to switch your phone number to our service. We can help you with that during the setup process, so you’ll want to make sure to keep your old account open until we can confirm the switch has been made. As for your iPhone, you may be able to use it with our SIM card. In most cases, unlocked phones that use GSM technology can be used with our service. You can learn more about that option here. We recommend testing your phone with our service to see if it’s a good fit, so please give us a call at 888-345-5509 so we can help you get started. We appreciate you posting, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Bettie J Helm says

    How do I get my computer to recognize my 1 phone?

    reply to Bettie

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Bettie. I was able to take a look at your account, and I see that you’re using the iPhone SE. Your computer should be able to recognize your device when you connect it via the cord that came with your phone. You may need to make sure that you have iTunes available if you’re hoping to download any data. If you continue to experience any issues, please feel free to give us a call at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to comment, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  7. Gerard says

    I live in Lewes Delaware a well developed area near Herring Creek
    My service is spotty at best
    How can it be improved short of switching to Verizon which works well here as does other carriers?

    reply to Gerard

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      There are a few things we can try, Gerard. First, we can see if any updates can be sent to your device that can help improve your connection. In addition, we can see if a new SIM card is in order. We offer service on two of the nation’s largest networks, and we’ll make sure you’re using the best option for quality coverage in your area. Please feel free to give us a call at 888-345-5509 at your convenience, and we hope to speak with you soon!

      reply to Ashley

  8. Kathe Schorken says

    Our coverage is not what we expected…we have many dropped calls and crackling lines. I know that certain areas don’t look like there is good coverage, but these aren’t the areas. I live in populated area and called into a populated area..I’m not happy with the service.
    My first cell phone was build into the car 23 yrs ego. Never any dropped calls or static on the line.

    reply to Kathe

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      We’re sorry to hear that, Kathe! I was able to review your account, and I see that we are sending you a new SIM card to try so that these issues will be resolved. If any issues continue, or if we can answer any other questions you may have, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for reaching out to us, and we hope you have a lovely day!

      reply to Ashley

  9. gay zarcone says

    Can I use any smart phone with this service?

    reply to gay

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Gay! We have many customers who use a smartphone they already own with our service. For best results, your phone will need to be fully unlocked and use GSM technology. You’ll then need our SIM card, which you can find here on our site, or at your local Target store. If you’re ready to get started, please give us a call at 888-345-5509 and we’ll answer any additional questions you may have. Thank you for posting!

      reply to Ashley

  10. Sheila says

    Our phones are not working and I can’t get on the CC website. What’s up?

    reply to Sheila

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for reaching out to us, Sheila. We want to extend a sincere apology for any inconvenience caused by disruption of our service this morning. Due to network errors, some of our customers were unable to make and receive calls. We’re pleased to say that the issues that caused this outage have now been resolved, and service is expected to return to normal very quickly. Our website also experienced issues, and we’re pleased to say it is working properly now. If your phones are still experiencing issues, please power cycle them, which should resolve the issue. We apologize once again, and we appreciate your patience.

      reply to Ashley

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