Shooting Video with your mobile phone
Updated: May 4, 2020
1. Use a tripod
The newest mobile phones have built in optical image stabilisation, which makes shooting decent handheld footage fairly easy. But no matter how steady your hands are, nothing beats using a good old-fashioned tripod.
One of our favourite mobile tripod adaptor is the Joby GripTight, which is around £25.
If you are stuck shooting handheld, here are some tips to help you stabilise your shot:
Keep the phone close to your body.
Rest your elbows on a nearby object.
Use your body to absorb bounces and shakes.
2. Don’t use the digital zoom
Unless you have the dual lens mobile phone, avoid the temptation to use the built-in camera zoom. Since the lens isn’t zooming optically, you’re just enlarging the picture digitally, which means you will quickly enter the world of unsightly pixelation.
Your phone footage will look best when you shoot with lots of light. If you’re shooting indoors, adding supplemental lighting will go a long way.
The built-in camera flash on a phone will never compare to using off camera lights. You can use video lights in a bunch of different ways.
If you can’t get your hands on any studio lights, but you’re still shooting indoors, position yourself facing a window for a flat light or at 90 degrees to the window for a more dramatic look.
Your phone will automatically focus and expose your shot. This can be a great function for quick photos, but when you’re shooting a video of one person talking to the camera, it can really complicate things. Your phone will keep adjusting and refocusing, which can lead to jittery-looking footage and footage where the light looks as though it's constantly changing.
This is why we recommend using the exposure focus lock. This will help to keep the focus and exposure constant throughout your shot.
A general rule for clear audio is to get your microphone as close to your subject as possible. When you’re shooting video with a phone, it’s best to position a second phone directly above or below the subject’s head to record clean audio. Creating a simple voice memo will do the trick!
Don't take short cuts now. There are some pretty cool editing apps available for your mobile phone, but they still don’t beat editing on your computer. When you finish shooting, plug your phone in, offload your footage, and import your videos into your editor of choice. This is where the real magic happens and you can add all those bits to make your video look the best it possibly can.
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