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Take better videos on your iPhone or Android phone with these 8 tricks


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It is by no means been simpler to shoot professional-level video at house. Smartphone digicam expertise and modifying software program simply retains getting higher, between Apple’s ProRaw mode on iPhone 12, Google’s computational pictures tech on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 and Samsung’s unimaginable zoom capabilities on the Galaxy S21. And we’re solely anticipating additional digicam innovation on the forthcoming Pixel 6 and rumored iPhone 13 and Galaxy S22.

However nonetheless, it takes greater than a superb digicam to take good movies. You additionally need to know the way to use your telephone’s digicam methods to the very best of their skills. Right here, then, are my prime suggestions you must bear in mind when making your personal video at house this yr, whether or not you are taking part in a TikTok pattern, upping your influencer sport on Instagram or simply capturing recollections with your loved ones.

1. Think about what you need your video to be 

Earlier than you begin, you must give a little bit of thought to what you need your video to incorporate. It may simply be a full movie of all the pieces that occurs over your kid’s upcoming birthday however take into account making it a bit extra particular. Maybe a video all concerning the video games you play collectively, or them opening their presents. 

Having a selected story to inform — even a fundamental one — will show you how to take into account what pictures you may have to get, and it will show you how to shoot and edit solely what you want, quite than having countless hours of footage to sift by way of. 


For my video, I made an inventory of pictures I knew I wanted, and in addition made a tough storyboard to assist develop my concepts for angles.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

For my very own festive video (embedded above), I made a decision to point out how I make my very own scorching mulled cider. By maintaining it to a selected subject I used to be capable of decide precisely the pictures I wanted and in what order, and even sketched out a storyboard of pictures forward of time. You do not have to go that far, however having a tough concept in thoughts will assist an amazing deal.

2. Set your telephone up correctly 

Virtually all latest smartphones can take nice video, nevertheless it’s price trying out the settings to be sure you’re able to go. Your decision settings are as much as you, however full HD (1080p) might be a superb place to begin, because it’ll look good however will not refill your telephone’s storage too rapidly. You possibly can ramp it as much as 4K in case your telephone permits, and even drop it to 720p should you’re on an older system that will not deal with modifying as nicely.

3. Hold your video clips brief and candy

Whereas it is simple to face and movie a five-minute clip of somebody peeling potatoes for dinner, the truth is that while you watch that again, you may notice it is method too lengthy to stay fascinating. As an alternative, take into account maintaining every clip to round 15-20 seconds in size. You could be shocked at how lengthy 15 seconds of video really looks as if while you watch it again, and having numerous shorter clips lower collectively will give the video a extra participating, extra skilled really feel.


Do not overshoot — I solely wanted about 5 seconds of this overhead shot within the completed video, so capturing a minute or extra of footage would have been pointless and time-consuming.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

4. Stabilize your telephone

There’s nothing that may smash a video fairly as simply as shaky hand-held footage. In case your telephone has a stabilized video mode, be certain that it is turned on. If not, think about using a small tripod to maintain your telephone regular. This after all additionally permits you, the filmmaker, to be concerned within the motion as nicely, which is nice should you’re the one doing the cooking, or handing out presents. 

5. Get artistic with angles

An effective way to enhance the cinematic qualities in your movie is to experiment with completely different angles. Say you are capturing the second your youngster takes a gift from beneath the tree at Christmas — do not simply movie them out of your standing place close by, however as an alternative take into account how one can seize that second in a extra thrilling method. Maybe even put the telephone contained in the tree, among the many presents, so that you see your youngster reaching towards the digicam to retrieve their present.

There isn’t any finish to the methods you’ll be able to play along with your angles, so have a take into consideration how one can shake issues up. You possibly can all the time attempt to reshoot sure issues from a number of angles (or arrange a spare telephone or digicam for one more angle) after which lower them collectively in your video editor afterwards. In my video, for instance, I wished to point out the cinnamon and ginger being thrown into the pot, so I used two angles: one from a first-person perspective wanting into the pot, and one other the place I would positioned my telephone behind the pot to point out me throwing the components in. It is little components like this that may make a giant distinction general.


I used a tripod to get this overhead shot, and used a small LED mild to brighten up the cider within the pan. It isn’t a sublime setup — the sunshine is simply balanced on a roll of paper towel!

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

6. Enhance the audio

In case your video will embrace folks speaking to the digicam — maybe your youngster thanking Grandma for the current — you may wish to be certain that your telephone can seize that audio clearly. For the very best outcomes, take into account shopping for a small exterior microphone just like the Rode VideoMicro, which plugs into your telephone’s headphone jack (or the facility port, by way of an adapter) and can dramatically enhance the sound high quality.

In case you do not wish to spend money on additional gear there’s nonetheless lots you are able to do to assist. Turning off or at the least decreasing background music or closing the doorways to drown out kitchen home equipment will make an enormous distinction in how clear these voices might be captured.

7. Experiment with gradual movement and time lapses

Most up-to-date telephones have modes for taking gradual movement video and for time lapses and each might be nice instruments in your video. After all, it must make sense to make use of them — gradual movement to decelerate fast-paced motion, and time lapse to hurry up an extended sequence.

In my mulled cider video, I used gradual movement when lighting the range to offer a cinematic high quality to the flames erupting, and I additionally slowed down the footage of me throwing ginger into the pot to get an amazing slow-mo impact on the cider splashing up. As it is a brief sequence it did not make numerous sense to do a time lapse, however if you wish to seize the entire course of of creating dinner, for instance, a time lapse from excessive up in your kitchen, videoing you transferring round over perhaps a few hours can be a neat addition to a vacation movie.


I arrange a stage for the ultimate shot: some festive orange pine cone decorations in entrance of my Christmas tree. Just a little additional effort like this on the filming stage makes an enormous distinction within the completed video.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

8. Edit your video

After you have your video clips it is time to piece them collectively. This may be probably the most difficult half, particularly for these of you who’re completely new to video manufacturing. Fortunately, there are simple methods of doing issues. 

Some telephones, just like the iPhones ($599 at Apple), in addition to latest Samsung Galaxy telephones, have built-in auto video makers that let you choose some clips and robotically lower them collectively into a movie, full with background music and transitions between clips. They don’t seem to be all the time probably the most elegant of productions, however they’re price maintaining in thoughts should you’re a complete newbie. 

Alternatively, look in the direction of apps like Quik by GoPro. It is free and in addition permits you to drop a number of video clips right into a mission for the app to robotically flip right into a completed movie. iPhone customers will even be capable to use Apple’s iMovie without spending a dime, which is a particularly easy-to-use video editor, with a wide range of presets and types obtainable. Adobe Premiere Rush has all kinds of modifying instruments and is constructed to be cellular pleasant. It is an amazing app, nevertheless it does value $10 (£9, AU$15) a month, so it is solely price contemplating should you assume you may wish to do extra video manufacturing.

#movies #iPhone #Android #telephone #methods

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