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.
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.
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.