Today, the ability to capture professional looking video is more accessible than ever before. The phones in our pockets now have cameras so sophisticated that entire movies have been shot using them. We are utilizing our phone’s camera more often, and why not – they’re so tiny and convenient!
However, equipment isn’t everything. Here are a few other things you should keep in mind before hitting that record button.
Consider your phone’s specs.
Not all smartphone cameras are created equal and there are a couple items you should be looking for if you plan to shoot more than a few home movies with your phone. The first thing you should look for is whether or not your phone can shoot in 4K. The better the resolution your phone is capable of shooting, the crisper your video will turn out.
NO VERTICAL VIDEO!
I could give you a lengthy sermon on how utterly terrible vertical video looks and how you should avoid it like the plague, but I’ll just let Youtube’s Glove and Boots break it down for you:
Hold your camera steady.
Many phones have some type of optical image stabilizer (OIS) built in to help reduce camera shake, and they typically do a pretty good job at it. However, due to the extremely light weight of our phones, not even the best OIS technology can completely get rid of the shaky hand-held look.
This is why nothing beats the always useful tripod. A tripod, even a cheap one, will be a lifesaver to you and your footage. There are many tripods made for smartphones, and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and price ranges.
That being said, there are plenty of situations you are sure to run into where you may not have your handy-dandy tripod. If shooting hand-held is your best (or only) option, you can still get relatively stable footage using what we call “T. Rex Position”: bring your elbows tightly to your side, and bend those knees. This will give you a little extra stability in your arms since they won’t be stretched out as far, and bending your knees will help you have a more stable base and keep you from swaying. It’s also the same idea as marching in a high school or college marching band.
One final stabilization tip is to find something you can brace yourself against. For example, leaning against a tree, propping your elbows on a table or setting your wrists on a railing can all help arrest your movement and keep your image steady.