Smartphones are packed with tech to help you get the best quality videos, but there are a few things you can do to take your movies to the next level…
When it comes to taking great quality video, a lot of it comes down to the phone you’re using, but there are a few tips for getting the most out of your videos:
1. Shoot your videos in landscape
Unless there’s a very good reason for shooting in portrait mode, you should always use landscape. It might not be an obvious issue when you watch the video back on your phone, because you can rotate it to fill the screen, but try watching it on your TV or computer monitor and you’ll see the problem. The video will only fill the centre part of the screen, leaving two huge black bars on either side.
The other reason to opt for landscape over portrait is simply that you’ll get more of your scene in the shot because landscape mode reflects how our eyes see the world.
2. Turn on image stabilisation
Most of the latest smartphones come with image stabilisation software built-in. Some phones do it better than others but it’s always a good idea to keep it switched on. It works by using some very clever sensors and software which makes tiny adjustments to what you’re shooting in real-time to remove the shakiness from your videos. Some of the latest phones are extremely good at this and can add a real professional quality to your videos.
To see the difference it can make, try turning this setting off, shooting a video then shooting a similar video with it switched on.
3. Keep a steady aim
This one’s fairly obvious but unless you’re recreating a scene from Blair Witch, it’s best to keep your phone as steady as possible. Instead of holding your phone outstretched, try holding it a little closer to your body with your elbows tucked in. This way, you’ll keep any involuntary movement to a minimum.
4. Think about the lighting
This can be tricky when you’re shooting video because you’re likely to be moving around, which can change your lighting conditions. When you’re shooting video outside, the main thing to be aware of is the position of the sun. If it’s a particularly bright day, try to keep the sun behind you.
And if you’re going for the professional look, always be aware of your shadow. If the sun is directly behind you, your shadow creeping into the bottom of the shot can ruin a great scene.
5. Get more footage than you think you need
If you’re planning on editing and uploading your video to YouTube or Facebook, it’s always a good idea to shoot more than you think you need. You’ll always come across bits that can’t be used because the lighting wasn’t great, or someone walked across your scene. So it’s great to have lots of extra footage that you can use to fill any gaps.
6. The audio is just as important as the video
Without sound, most videos are pretty much useless, unless you’re planning on adding your audio when you edit it later. The biggest problem when it comes to audio is often wind noise. Smartphones don’t come with separate microphones, so wind can be a real issue. If you want to capture what people are saying, it’s worth filming those parts indoors unless it’s a particularly calm day.
If you’re filming outside and there’s no way to avoid wind noise, you might want to consider adding a voice-over when you edit it later.
7. Editing your online video
If you’re producing a video that’s going to be posted online, it’s a great idea to edit it before you upload it. This way, you can really get the most out of your video, giving it the best chance of attracting more viewers.
There are plenty of excellent, free editing apps out there like Adobe Premiere Clip for Android or iOS, which comes with loads of clever editing features and even lets you upload your finished video straight to your social network.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a few ideas for your next masterpiece, and who knows, our tips might just help you create the next viral sensation.
If you’re looking for a top-notch phone for shooting incredible videos, take a look at our latest smartphones.