7 Tips for filming video content using your smartphone

It has never been easier to film video content for your business or brand. The smartphone in your pocket is not just for calling, texting and checking social media; it can also shoot very high-quality video content.

These are seven tips to get the best quality video out of your smartphone.

  1. Film landscape NOT portrait

Most people hold their phones vertically (portrait) and naturally film vertically. Portrait works for mobile platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram but does not translate well on landscape-oriented displays such as computer monitors, TVs and even websites. This is why you see those big black bars on the sides of videos; they do not look pleasant or professional.

  1. Adequate lighting

Natural light is your best friend when it comes to filming high-quality video content using your smartphone. Face your subject toward the source of natural light such as a window or clear glass door. Avoid using the flashlight on your phone or filming in dark locations. Also, make sure to clean your lens.  

  1. Clear audio recording

Smartphones have inbuilt microphones which can record good audio. Getting an external mic is better but the phone’s mic will suffice as long as you avoid noises such as TV, strong winds, aeroplanes, playing children, etc. Get as close to the sound you are recording as possible for clearer audio.

  1. Check your phone’s video settings

Make sure that you are filming at, at least HD (1080p) quality. Use the front camera for filming yourself and back camera for shooting someone else or your surroundings. It is preferable to use the back camera as there are more options to produce a better quality video.

  1. Avoid using the digital zoom function

It can be tempting and is easier to use the zoom function to see things better while filming. The problem is that this reduces the quality of your finished video. It is much better to bring the camera closer to the subject.

  1. Keep your phone steady

Shaking in a video can be very distracting and comes across as unprofessional. It is always preferable to use a tripod to keep the camera steady. If you do not have a tripod try to set the phone on a stack of books, shelf or table. If you are going to hold it, try using both hands and keep them as still as possible.

  1. Framing

Leave space at the top, bottom and sides of the frame. This comes in handy when editing, especially if someone else is editing the video.  If you are speaking directly to the audience watching the video, look directly at the lens and stay in the centre of the frame or slightly to the side.

Please let us know which tip has been most useful for you in the comments.  

If you haven’t already, check out our last article on the questions to ask before filming video content.

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