- Must-Have Gear for New Videographers
- How to Create Professional-Looking Videos (Without Being a Pro)
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Smartphones have done wonders for photography and made it easily accessible for millions of people the world over.
And though smartphones aren’t quite to the level of “real” cameras yet, they still have solid cameras and features that make them a great starter camera for new photographers.
The same holds true for shooting video...
In fact, you can shoot, edit, and share video using nothing but your smartphone.
In this tutorial, learn three critical mobile videography tips that will help you elevate the quality of the videos you create.
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Mobile Videography Tip: Stabilize Your Phone
Photo by Oliver Schwendener on Unsplash
It’s easy to just pull your phone out of your pocket, hold it at arm's length, and start shooting video.
But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean that’s the best way to do it!
Perhaps the easiest way to avoid shaky footage is to get a better grip on your phone. That is, rather than holding the phone at arm’s length, tuck your elbows into your chest.
This subtle move helps you stabilize your arms, which, in turn, stabilizes the camera.
photo by Creative-Family via iStock
Another option is to use Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), if your phone’s camera has that feature.
If it does not, some newer phones have Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) which can also help minimize the shakiness of videos.
The best option, by far, is to invest in a smartphone gimbal.
Gimbals use motors or sensors to counteract the action of the phone as you move it. The result is gorgeously cinematic footage that has zero shakiness.
If you aren’t familiar with gimbals, check out the video above by Jeven Dovey to get a quick overview and some recommendations for the best smartphone gimbals.
Mobile Videography Tip: Shoot to Edit
photo by tolgart via iStock
When the mood strikes to head out and shoot video with your phone, it’s simple enough to just start shooting.
The problem with that approach is that you end up with a bunch of footage that has no real plan behind it. In other words, you need to shoot to edit, or have a good, solid idea of what you want your final product to be before you ever start shooting.
Shooting to edit means taking a few minutes to storyboard what you want the video to look and feel like.
Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash
This process should obviously include the subject matter, but also think about the story you wish to tell and how each segment of the story will relate to one another.
Consider things like how you will transition from one segment to the next, music you’d like to use, the types of shots you need (i.e., wide, medium, or close-up footage), and so forth
By having all of those details hammered out in your mind beforehand, you’ll be much more successful in getting the appropriate footage to make your dream a reality.
Mobile Videography Tip: Use an Action Camera
I suppose if we're being technical about it, using an action camera isn't exactly a mobile videography tip.
However, if you're on-the-go with your phone, you might as well have a souped-up action cam to go with it. After all, it's just another means of getting epic videos, right?
And for epic video, it's hard to beat the Insta360 One X. This thing is small, lightweight, and completely badass.
With two f/2 200-degree fisheye lenses, you get true 360-degree footage for fantastic-looking video sequences. Heck, this thing even has a "Bullet Time" setting that allows you to swoop around a subject, just like the cameras did in The Matrix when Neo was dodging bullets on the roof. It's extremely cool, to say the least.
But the Insta360 One X isn't just about flashy software. It's got a 1/2.3-inch sensor capable of shooting 14-megapixel RAW images.
On top of that, you can choose between 5.7K video at 30fps or 4K video at 50fps. There's a companion app for controlling the camera, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and tons of accessories like mounts that you can buy to expand the camera's functionality.
The best part, though, is FlowState, the camera's image stabilization system, which is, in a word, amazing.
Honestly, you can strap this thing to your dog as he runs around, and the video will come out super smooth. See what I mean in the video above.
If you're ready to step up your videography game, an Insta360 One X should be in your camera bag!
Mobile Videography Tip: Editing Video is as Important as Shooting Video
Creating awesome videos with your smartphones doesn’t end when you’ve shot all the footage you need.
An equally important step is putting it all together in a finished product with titles, music, transitions, and other finishing touches.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on software to make that happen, either.
In fact, Kizoa has a free iOS app that gets you started with all the features listed above, and much more.
For starters, the app lets you create videos in a variety of formats, including the traditional landscape orientation as well as vertical and square.
Better still, regardless of the format you choose, the Kizoa app gives you the option to add sound effects, 3D effects, slides, different fonts and text effects, and more.
It only take a few minutes to complete a video as well. It’s literally just a few taps of your iPhone screen, and you’re done!
Something else worth noting is that Kizoa also has a cloud-based editor, so if you’d rather edit your videos on your laptop, you can easily do so.
Speaking of easy, Kizoa helps you get the editing process started with a variety of pre-made templates that allow you to plug and play to make quick work of producing videos.
Best of all, unlike many other video editors, the cloud-based version of Kizoa is under $30 - and that’s a one-time fee for lifetime access.
Like I said before, the process of creating epic smartphone videos isn’t complete until you’ve edited the video. Kizoa makes that a fun and creative process whether you use their free app or the cloud-based platform.