Smartphone video recorders are now so good professional broadcasters are choosing to shoot videos this way. Here's our top tips for making your own smartphone videos look pro
Who doesn’t love to shoot videos? They’re perfect for sharing special moments and capturing silly ones, and with our tips, tricks and must-follow rules, you can learn how to make Oscar-worthy family videos using your smartphone.
If you’re shooting anything for longer than just a few minutes, turn on your smartphone’s Airplane mode to prevent interruptions from incoming calls and alerts, which will make it harder to control the video modes.
Isn’t taking video clips easy? You just press the red button and point the phone at the action?
True, but there’s a huge difference between 20 seconds of wobbly footage and a video clip you’ll want to keep. Luckily, there are a few simple rules to follow to improve the quality of your videos. Rule No.1 is always record holding the phone horizontally.
Does the phone position really make a difference to the quality?
Absolutely! By turning your smartphone on its side you can grip it with two hands, which avoids wobble, and you won’t have those ugly black bars either side if you play on a TV. Also, don’t use the digital zoom. It just enlarges the picture digitally, which ruins the quality. If you want to get closer, move closer!
How do I prevent the images from shaking, especially if I’m following the subject of the video?
The latest smartphones have image stabilisation to keep the action smooth, but it’s not perfect. If you’re videoing from a fixed position, invest in a simple tripod, but if you’re shooting on the move keep the phone close to your body, tucking your elbows into your sides.
Buy now: Joby Gorillapod, £17, John Lewis
How do you avoid chopping heads off, or missing the action?
First, practise turning on the camera quickly; second, turn on the grid in your settings (it divides screen into nine squares). Keepthe important things on the lines or at the intersections for a more natural and balanced composition.
Unless it’s sunny, my smartphone videos look gloomy – what can I do?
Good lighting makes all the difference and the flash on your smartphone can be too strong. Stick to well-lit areas, making the most of any natural light in the room. Make sure the sun is lighting your scene, not shining into the lens. It’s also worth locking the focus and exposure levels (in your camera settings) so the camera won’t automatically refocus as the light changes or your subject moves.
We have never tried to edit our videos – how tricky is it?
Not tricky all! There are free apps that enable you to do this. Try iMovie for iOS and PowerDirector for Android users. Give it a go! With practice, your videos can be transformed.