10 Tips to Improve Your Smartphone Videos
Videos are an essential marketing tool that more brands are turning to more frequently. Videos offer an excellent way for companies to engage with their customers while building trust emotionally. Videos can help your SEO ranking, essential for any marketing strategy that relies on the internet. For many online content creators, finances are a huge issue.
A camera that costs thousands of dollars is out of the question, and however, that doesn’t mean that you can’t produce quality content with a low budget. All it takes is a few clever video production tricks and some basic filmmaking knowledge.
This guide will share 10 Tips to Improve Your Smartphone Videos.
1) Make sure you have enough light
Many people may not know this, but the light is the most crucial part of getting a good photo or video. Make sure to record your videos near a window or outside in the daytime for best results. Add lights directed at the subject for better lighting indoors. For a proper lighting setup of videos for YouTube, you can follow the well-known three-point lighting setup for Talking Head Videos. A key light to light up the subject, a light from the side to light up the shadow area on the face, a light directed at the background to separate the subject from it. Click here to watch my simple setup video on YouTube.
2) Shoot at eye level for the audience to connect with the subject
“Eye-level shots” is the term for camera angles that relate to human eyes. Eye-level shots are exactly what you might guess – they’re shots where the camera is around the height of human eyes. When shooting a video, it’s important to shoot at eye level. Doing so will provide your audience with the opportunity to connect with the subject- that is You. Videos taken at eye level are more emotional and show a natural connection.
3) Keep your video background simple
Backgrounds are the first thing viewers notice in a video. If you have a busy background, it can be challenging for your viewers to focus on the content of your video. Your background must be free of distractions.
One quick way to create a professional-looking video is to use a solid-coloured background. This could be anything from a wall to hay, as long as it isn’t too busy or a large sheet of backdrop paper are both good options. Your subject should stand several feet away from the background to avoid casting shadows.
You can also use some budget RGB Lights like the Weeylite RB08 or Simpex RGB Light to project colours to the background to make it dramatic as well.
4) Use Manual Controls
Before you start shooting, make sure to take a few minutes to set up your camera. Use manual controls in your camera settings if available.
If your camera has manual controls, use the feature to fine-tune the video settings. You can also use third-party apps like Filmic Pro, Manual Camera Pro, MCPro24FPS or Open Camera to get more granular controls over your video recording.
5) Avoid distortion by using proper settings in your smartphone camera
Taking videos with your smartphone can be frustrating at times. You’ll find that your videos are defocused or blurry, you can’t take a video of something too close to the lens, the flash is too bright, or you can’t focus on your subject. So, make sure your settings are correct in terms of focus and white balance. If your camera app allows locking focus on the eye or face, you can use that feature to keep focus pinpointed. The Open Camera App has the nifty feature for locking focus on the face which can be beneficial in case you fo some talking head videos or speak in front of the camera.
6) Avoid too many cuts in the editing
Editing is an essential part of the writing process. It can be tedious, but it will make your videos more concise and professional. Start by watching over your work and identifying areas that need to be edited. Delete the unnecessary parts; remove parts with sounds like “um” s and “uh” s. Most importantly, sync the audio with the video properly. You can use software like Descript to automatically remove unwanted sounds from your video.
7) Try not to zoom in or out too much during filming
How do you feel when a video zooms in and out? Does it make you dizzy? Most people will say yes, and that’s because it makes it difficult to understand what’s going on. Sometimes, it is necessary to zoom in for a closer look or to keep the viewer’s attention, But doing it too much can negatively affect the viewer’s attention.
8) Use an external microphone, if possible, to get better audio from your smartphone footage
Using an external microphone for your smartphone footage can make a massive difference in the quality of your audio. The best way to avoid background noise is to use a directional microphone to pick up sound from one direction and minimize unwanted sounds. However, if you are on a budget, you can still produce high-quality sound with a lavalier mic like the Boya BY-M1. The BY-M1 offers an omnidirectional pickup pattern that will capture sound in all directions, making it perfect for interviews, lectures, and more. If you create more talking head videos, then you can also consider condenser mics like the Rode NT USB-Mini or Blue Yeti.
In editing, try to minimize the background noise for a better audio experience. You can use software like Audacity to remove noise in post-processing. If you edit your smartphone videos using the phone itself, you can use an app like PowerDirector which has a noise removal tool built in. Lexis Audio Editor is an android app that allows simple audio editing like noise removal in your smartphone as well. You can also use software like Krisp if you use a PC to record the audio or record your Smartphone as a Webcam using OBS.
Having the best quality audio for your video is vital to ensuring success. It is said that Audio is half of the video! So, to improve your smartphone videos, you can try to improve the audio first.
9) Create a plan before filming to cover all the essential points in the video project
Planning a video project can seem daunting but following these tips will make it more manageable. First, you should identify the primary goal of your video and what you want viewers to take away from it. Next, you should plan out all of the steps in the production process and how long each one will take. Once you have a timeline for your video down pat, create a script or bullet points before you start recording. Also, do not forget to take a test shot of around half a minute to see whether everything from sound and lighting is okay.
You can use Notion to plan your video projects on any device. Planning for a video creation process can also let you implement the tips to improve your smartphone videos so that you can also keep track of the points that you require to improve upon.
10) Clean the lenses before you start recording with your smartphone camera
Cleaning your lenses is one of the most critical steps before recording with your smartphone camera. Dirt and grime on your lens can affect the quality of your video and photos, and you may also have fingerprints on the smartphone lens. Just take a minute to wipe the lens with a microfiber cloth to get clear video. This simple step can save you time from re-recording a video afterwards.
Bonus tip: Find your Style
Take time to think about what you want the focus of your video to be. Not only should you consider what you would like to talk about, but you should also consider the style of video that works best for you. Maybe it’s vlogging, or it’s building up your brand, or perhaps it’s just making content that entertains people. Whatever your style is, find it!
I hope these 10 Tips to Improve Your Smartphone Videos will help you create amazing videos using your smartphone and grow as a creator.
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