Top 20 Smartphone Tricks to Shoot Awesome Videos

October 24, 2019

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Nowadays, shooting videos has never been easier — all thanks to modern technology, and of course, smartphones. Just by simply pulling the smartphone from your pocket, click record, and now you have the footage to edit and distribute to your audience in an instant. But, it takes more than that for your video to look professional.

Here are some tips to help you shoot better videos with your smartphones:


1. Shoot in landscape mode

Always remember that when you view your video on your TV or PC, you view it in landscape mode, so avoid shooting videos in portrait mode.


2. Use maximum resolution

Most video capture apps are easy to use, however, it probably won’t capture your video in a maximum resolution. Use Phone apps that will give you the actual video resolution options in the app’s video settings; for example, 2160p, 1080p or 720p video. Always go for the highest quality available if possible.


3. Deshake

You can remove or reduce the shakings in your videos by using the best but the most complicated method, the old VirtualDub video app. This app already has a Deshaker plugin which is best for de-shaking your videos. Another alternative is YouTube’s own stabilize enhancement option.


4. Use video compression

Videos take up a lot of space, for example, an uncompressed 1080 HD video footage takes up about 10.5 GB of space per minute of the video but can vary with the frame rate. Because videos take up so much space, and bandwidth is limited, video compression is used to reduce the size of the file and involves packing the file’s information into a smaller space.


5. Set Anti-Flicker

Many phones now have a camera settings option for ‘anti-flicker’, which allows you to set a frequency of 50 or 60Hz. If your camera has this option, just simply match your camera’s frequency with the electrical frequency of your environment. Once set, you can safely use any of the frame rates or shutter speeds your camera offers.


6. Use an external microphone

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Some built-in microphones can be noisy, hence, resulting in poor audio. If you’re planning to shoot a video, use a lapel microphone that plugs into the phone’s headphone socket, or try a separate USB sound card.


7. Get a video camera app

To get the best out of your phone’s image sensor, you can look for a decent-grade camera app. Cinema FV-5 Lite gives you control of ISO levels (light sensitivity), EV settings and can monitor live audio through your headphones.


8. Stay away from digital zoom

To maximize video quality, stay away from digital zoom. It’s a poor feature when applied to video because all you’re doing is ditching the outer pixels and magnifying the middle ones, so it might as well to get as close as possible to your subject.


9. Use airplane mode

Airplane mode consumes battery. Another thing is that by turning on airplane mode, you switch off all wireless connections, which means no email, social media, or any notification at all while you’re recording your video.


10. Keep battery charged

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This is pretty obvious. Keep your phone charged up so it doesn’t turn off while you are recording.


11. Sufficient storage

If you’re stuck with internal storage, be aware of the storage you have and budget it carefully.


12. Set exposure manually

Adjusting the exposure manually can help. Positive numbers slow down the shutter speed to increase the brightness and vice versa. If you can shine more light on the subject, the better.


13. Check the audio levels

You don’t want awful audio on your videos. Most smartphones employ a technique called ‘automatic gain control’ (AGC) to keep audio at optimum levels.


14. Follow the guidelines

Many apps will feature a built-in guideline or gridline option that shows you where your horizon is. This will help you straighten up your videos and stop those who are watching suffer from head-tilt.


15. Use a tripod

To capture steady videos, you might want to use a tripod. The tripod will act as a stabilizing weight to smooth out the ‘lumps and bumps’ in your video.


16. Rule of thirds

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The rule of thirds softens the image and creates a spectacular composition, making the frames visually more attractive. By using this technique, it draws your viewer’s eye into the composition, instead of just glancing at the center.


17. Boot your phone

When capturing video, you want your phone processor’s full attention. Reboot the phone to ensure any processor-hungry apps aren’t running and potentially loading down the processor chip.


18. Shoot in good light

You need good lighting to get good results. Try as much as possible to shoot your video in brightly lit areas. This will help avoid unnecessary shadows and grainy areas in your video.


19. Clean the lens

Before you shoot any video with your smartphone, make sure the camera’s view isn’t obstructed, and give it a quick swab. Cleaning wipes are the best for this job, but a quick breath and your shirt will do the trick, too.


20. No Filters

If you’re serious about video quality, then ditch the filters and effects. It’s much better to capture clean and raw video, then use your video editing tools to add filters or effects after the event. A raw video might be boring, but it is the perfect canvas to work with.

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