A good smartphone can record beautiful videos that remind you of important moments or immortalize funny skits. In addition to honing your skills as a videographer, you also have to prime your phone to record the way you want. Utilize patience and practice to capture professional-looking recordings in no time.

The Phone Makes All the Difference

Image via Flickr by freestocks.org

You can’t capture quality video on a sub-par phone. When selecting a smartphone, you have to choose between saving money or taking sharp videos and photos. There’s simply no way to skimp on your phone and still somehow stumble over a great camera. It’s necessary to bite the bullet and upgrade.

Research first. Figure out which phones have the perfect amount of megapixels and which ones offer features such as image stabilization. The iPhone 8 Plus through T-Mobile, for example, gets you the benefits of the phone’s 12-megapixel sensors and clear HDR imagining. You’re also able to send your videos quickly on the carrier’s 4G LTE network, crowned the world’s fastest network by OpenSignal, which is its own reward.

Change Your Settings

Changing the photo and video settings on your phone is as effortless as simply going into settings. There, you can change how your phone records video. Typically, you can pick the pixels and frames per second that your smartphone uses. Those settings completely change the quality of the images you capture.

For instance, 1080 pixels at 30 frames per second is the standard. You basically record the way you see things with your naked eye. Going to 24 frames per second creates a more fluid movie, while 60 frames per second results in a magically cinematic video. Depending on the phone, you can also capture video at 4K or switch over to slow motion. In some instances, you may need an app to use the frames per second you want.

Stabilize Yourself

A shaky hand ruins a video. Betraying the slightest tremble wreaks havoc on any images you try to capture after zooming in for a close-up. The video blurs, jerks, and jumps, making the viewers feel motion sickness and sometimes rendering it almost impossible to tell what you recorded. If you’re even a little serious about smartphone videography, then you need to invest in a tripod — perhaps with an adapter and a remote so that you can plug in your phone and engage the shutter from anywhere.

A tripod is the most helpful course of action because it doesn’t move. It’s also possible to prop your phone against something or place it in a stand. Tucking in your elbows while using both hands will hold the camera steadier as well. For a level video, however, it’s best to prop or set your phone somewhere.

Let There Be Light

The lighting is essential. Recording a video in a darkened or poorly-lit area results in a blurry, smudged clip. It’s impossible to decipher shadows from what’s real, and the quality of the images decreases significantly. However, too much light or light that’s pointed in the wrong direction is just as bad. Smartphone cameras are compact, so their lenses and image sensors are small. You have to compensate for that by illuminating your set with bright lights.

The trick is to point them in the right direction. The camera cannot directly face the lights, or else you end up with lens flares. You also run the risk of overexposure. Play around with backlighting before you record. Spend time experimenting with the white balance levels on your phone as well. You should never just point and shoot when you’re attempting to capture a high-quality recording.

Keep Quiet

The microphone on your phone is sensitive. Think about how much people hear as you talk to them on the phone or through video messaging. Phones can pick up the whir of blades from a ceiling fan and the barking of the dogs from next door. Set up your camera in a space that’s as quiet as possible before you shoot. Garbled, unintelligible sounds are just as distracting as grainy footage.

Your phone is capable of capturing stellar video. Try following these professional tips to capture the best results.

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