Every year our smartphones get smarter, faster and feature more technology than you can poke the proverbial a stick at! Seriously, the average user will never need all that tech in their pocket, or will they?

Mobile camera technology has predominantly been the key feature for smartphones thanks to better technology. Features including low-light functionality, time-lapse, faster shutter speeds, and higher quality audio means that nearly everyone can take professional quality videos with their smartphone.

This is one of the main reasons Shootsta developed the Mini Kit. The Mini Kit comes standard with an iPhone 7+, Osmo Gimbal for stabilizing, mini tripod and accessories to get your footage uploaded to the Shootsta Hub (our Video Management Platform) ready to be edited faster than you can say “once our editor’s get your video, it will be edited, color-graded, motion graphics added, top and tailed and back to you in 24-hours”! Well, almost as fast.

Here are my 3 tips to get you making pro-quality videos with your smartphone today.

#1 // Get Good Lighting

Natural lighting works best. If shooting a person, always try to position the subject near a window as this allows for a more natural look with softer lighting. When you’re not shooting people try and make sure the scene you’re shooting is bright with constant light (not flickering). Don’t try to get too much light or your footage will be overexposed and little can be done about this in post-production. If you hold your finger down on the screen of an iPhone you can achieve AE/AF Lock in yellow letters. This will lock in the focus on a person’s face and keep the light from flickering.

#2 // Use a Stabilizer.

There’s nothing worse than ruining a great video than having a shaky hand or whilst you’re walking the camera is bobbing up and down like a bouncing ball. Most iPhones have built-in stabilization to keep a handheld interview looking good but not a walking motion smooth.

Here are two items to make your videos look more pro than amateur. The Osmo Gimbal. This tool allows you to capture moments with cinematic movement all smooth and stable. It can also pair with your device for even more control options. The second option to stabilize your videos is to just use a tripod that comes with a phone holder. If you don’t have either of these, try and hold the phone as close to your body as possible, This will limit the amount of shaking thanks to your center of gravity and save your arms from getting sore.

#3 // Did you say Audio?

Yes, audio is super important, especially for smartphones. In most quiet environments, with minimal activity going on, the audio from the smartphone should be adequate. If you want to get clear audio, simply make sure your environment is quiet, unless you’re at a rock concert and then I guess that may just add to the ambience — but you won’t get a good interview.

If you’re shooting an interview or testimonial, for example, the best thing would be to position the smartphone as close to the subject as you can. Remember to make sure that the subject is still composed properly on screen. If you’re struggling to get a great audio you may want to consider using the Voice (memo) recorder function on another phone so that you can overlay the audio in the editing process.

For even better audio consider getting an external microphone such as the Rode SmartLav+.

In summary, to get pro-quality video with your smartphone remember:

  1. Get Good Lighting
  2. Use a Stabilizer
  3. Make sure your Audio is adequate.

This article was specifically written to support our attendance at the PRSA Conference in Seattle Monday, 23rd to Tuesday, 24th April 2018.

If you enjoyed this article, we’d love for you to share it with your peers. Whilst you’re here why not join our community and stay abreast of all things video.

Leave a Reply