5 Tips To Shoot Better Smartphone Videos

Image Credit Grant Wickes|https://www.flickr.com/photos/grantwickes/8529822536/
Like Dislike Save
Tired of boring and shaky videos? Let us show you how to properly tell your story and improve quality with our top tips.

• Technology: How-To • Technology: Tips & Tricks • Technology: Video

How many times has a friend asked you to watch a video they made only to find it boring, shaky, and practically unwatchable. So many videos posted on YouTube are short videos of simple everyday things. But if you want to produce a short video that’s that looks better and tells a story, then these simple tips will greatly improve the quality of your cellphone production.

The cameras on today’s cellphones can shoot at resolution once unthinkable to video cinematographers just a few years ago. A camera that shot 1080P cost as much as $100,000 in the early days of HD. Today’s cellphones are very capable of producing extremely high quality footage. So why not make the effort to make the best of your camera’s horsepower and improve your cinematography game.

1. Hold the camera sideways (landscape) not tall. This happens all the time with people excited to shoot some action that’s unfolding before them. We are all accustomed to holding the phone the way we speak into it, but it’s definitely a no-no to shoot video holding it that way. Get in the habit of shooting videos (and photos) wide, not tall.

2. Lean against a solid object. Shaky camera footage softens the image and is distracting us away from the subject. By finding an object to lean against such as a street sign or a tree, you’ll be able to eliminate jittery footage. If you are sitting, lean against a table with your elbows as and hold the camera as still as possible. Better yet, use a small mounting device such as the Gorillapod tripod, which can be adjust to nearly any angle. It's small enough to fit in a small backpack, and attaches to nearly all cellphone devices. A selfie stick is perfect for capturing footage above a crowd or from a high angle so long as you keep your shot steady.

3. Don’t pan or tilt. This is hard for many people because there may be action happening from every direction. If you’re at a party or your kid’s soccer game, you’ll be tempted to pan the camera with the action. Resist! Panning causes instability, and can be off putting to the viewer. If you must pan, lean against an object to keep you steady, then SLOWLY pan the camera on an even plane. If the camera is slightly sideways, it will look amateurish and goof up your awesome video.

4. Never shoot for less than 10 seconds. It’s not uncommon for many people to want to grab snippets of a shot, almost as if it was a photograph. When you later edit the video, it’s always a good idea to shoot at least 10 seconds of footage so that you have adequate content to work with when editing. Often the first second or 2 will be shake as you stabilize your shot, and the last couple seconds will be shaky when turning off the camera. Give yourself a little bit of breathing room by shooting enough footage for your edit.

5. Don’t overshoot. The opposite problem of undershooting is grabbing an endless amount of footage that will bore your audience to tears. Capturing too much footage is also time consuming in. Of course this varies depending upon what you are shooting, but try to get the footage you need to tell your story – nothing more, nothing less.

These tips will elevate quality of your YouTube videos and with a little extra effort you can a make a video worth watching.