How to shoot great video with your phone
Just by following a few simple steps you can change shaky, grainy shots into something worth sharing.
Smartphones are truly awesome, and one of the best things about them is that they can replace your music player, camera, video recorder and watch all in one small device.
But just because they’re easy and convenient, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat them with respect. Video captured on smartphones can end up in prime time news bulletins, or instead it can be grainy, out of focus and look awful.
So here are our top 5 tips on how to avoid the latter.
1. Shoot widescreen, not tallscreen
Photos look great when the camera is held in landscape (with the longest side on the bottom) or portrait (with the shortest side on the bottom) mode, but for videos you should always hold the phone in the landscape position.
Tall, thin videos aren’t just alien to the human field of vision, they mean big black borders if you upload them to YouTube.
2. Keep it steady
It’s far easier for a viewer to make sense of your video if the camera is still – and phones are harder to keep steady than larger cameras. Handheld shake might look artistic or ‘newsy’, but it can also make viewers feel sick.
Try and steady your phone by resting it on something – or use a small tripod – otherwise, at least support your own elbows while filming.
3. Don’t zoom
Unless the director is trying to achieve a special effect, you’ll never see a zoom shot in the movies. Eyes don’t zoom, so neither should cameras. Set your zoom length before you start shooting, and then leave it fixed until the end of the shot.
4. Edit well
Internet videos work best when they’re quick and to the point. No-one is going to sit through three minutes of quiet waiting for something to happen. If your phone doesn’t offer video editing then there are tons of apps for cropping out dull bits of video, use one before you upload, as well as free editing software like Windows Live Movie Maker or VirtualDub.
5. Watch your fingers
Hopefully you’ll notice if you’ve accidentally put your finger over the camera lens, because you won’t see anything on screen. But what about the mic? Make sure your hands are clear of the tiny holes for audio, or you’ll find yourself making a silent movie.
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- IFA 2012: Samsung Galaxy Camera
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- Photo and video editing is heading to your PlayStation 3