Shooting video with your smartphone? In today’s blog, I’m going to give you five tips that will improve the quality.
Hi there internet fans, Ryan Perry, and today I’m going to give you five tips to get better quality out of your smartphone videos.
Tip number one may seem kind of simple, but it’s really, really important and that is making sure that your lens is not dirty. These devices are out and about, they’re collecting dust. I’ve got the LG 6, which has the fingerprint right on the back, and I can’t tell you how many times I smudge the lens on the camera. So simply cleaning this off first is really going to help improve the video quality especially fingerprints. If you ever have taken a picture or shot video and it looks like it’s got this dreamy effect, it just looks diffused and soft, more than likely you had some fingerprints on there. So clean the screen, just get in the habit of it you’ll really appreciate the sharp, clean quality video that you get when you do. Tip number two has to do with audio.
While these are great devices for making phone calls, the audio is not always the best and so, I recommend getting an external microphone. This is the VideoMic ME and it’s designed to plug right into the headphone jack, and now I can go ahead and start recording directly into it and the quality of the audio is going to be much, much better. If you’re outdoors, I recommend getting one of these fuzzy devices. Rode has one that goes right over top, and this is going to take care of any wind noise that you might be experiencing. If you want to take your audio to the next level, I recommend getting something like this, a wired microphone. This is a lapel mic and this will plug directly in and you’ve got 25 feet of cord. This is the Audio-Technica ATR-3550. And I believe it’s around $25 or $30 on Amazon, and it’s a great idea if you’re not having to move around a lot such as this. That’s actually what I’m shooting on right now.
Tip number three has to do with stabilization. I’m sure most people when they take a selfie video think it looks as still as this, but then you watch it on YouTube and it really looks like this. A tripod is an easy, easy way to stabilize your video. To mount your phone to the tripod, I guess you could use duct tape or something else, but instead spend a couple of dollars, get this little gadget here. And essentially what it does is it clamps over your smartphone and then it’s got a threaded bottom here that’ll adapt to your tripod. Place it on the tripod, set everything up, and you’ll be ready to rock and roll. If having your smartphone stuck on a tripod in a static location doesn’t work for you because you need to be mobile, I recommend getting a 3-axis gimbal like this one from DJI. What’s really cool about this is when I turn it on is it automatically centers the camera and I can go and move and be active without the jarring effect of holding the camera.
This is going to minimize that, smooth it out. I’ve actually taken this device out on a boat across the lake and it looks like you’re riding on glass when in reality, you’re bouncing. 3-axis gimbal, a little bit more expensive, a couple hundred dollars, but definitely worth it in production value. Tips number four and five have to do with how you actually use the device itself. Number four is going to be use manual settings. This is going to help you in a number of different ways. One, it’s going to lock the focus in on you so that it’s not going back and forth on other objects and the last thing you want is to shoot a video and then for it to not be in focus. Then you gotta go back and shoot it again. It will also lock features such as ISO and shutter speed which can affect how bright or dark the image becomes. All of this you want to be able to lock down using manual mode. Most modern smartphones have a manual feature available in them. If yours doesn’t, look for something out on Google Play or on the iTunes Store.
Last but not least, number five. Do I use the back-facing camera or the forward-facing camera? Ideally, you always want to use the back-facing camera. And the reason being is that this is going to be better quality. Even though your front-facing camera may shoot in high definition, the overall quality of the product is always going to be better with the back-facing camera. Now, there are some situations where you may need to do the front-facing cameras, especially if you’re in a situation where you actually need to see yourself on the screen or you’re in a position where you’re really not able to get the camera very far away, the front lens typically has a much wider angle so you can capture more of a subject closer than the back one does. Now, okay Ryan, I want to use the best quality, I’m going to use the back, I put it on a tripod, I set it up, but I don’t know exactly where I’m shooting.
That’s okay. Go ahead, set it up on your tripod, hit record and come in, do a test, one, two, three, go back, hit stop and then play it. See where you’re standing… Do I need to move forward? Do I need to move backwards? Reposition the tripod or reposition yourself until you get the setting just right. Then when you go back and you have to shoot video again in the future, just remember where you set the tripod up, where you stood, run a quick test, make sure that everything’s working. And by the way, if you’re going to use a microphone, especially if it’s a battery-powered microphone, always double check that the audio’s working.
These are my five tips for getting the best quality out of your smartphone video. Is there something you’d like to add? Make sure you leave a comment below.
If you like the video, make sure you give it a thumbs up (on YouTube). And if you didn’t like the video for some reason, go ahead, give it a thumbs down (on YouTube), I won’t take it personally. Looking forward to reading your comments below and responding to you. Love to know which tip you think is going to help you most.