June 6, 2017

Watch: You Only Need 90 Seconds to Improve Your Smartphone Videos

Here are six quick tips that will help you learn better smartphone cinematography .

The best camera is the one you have on you, and if you're like most people, that camera would be the one in your smartphone. We're still a ways away from fully adopting smartphones as viable filmmaking tools, but they are already powerful enough to capture beautiful imagery for other, less cumbersome and demanding projects. In this short video, Zach Ramelan offers up six tips for shooting better footage from your smartphone. Check it out below:

There are countless ways to improve your camera work in general, but when you're using a smartphone—with weight, sensor size, and form factors that create unique shooting challenges—the tips Ramelan suggests will definitely be particularly helpful. Here's a breakdown:

  • Hold your camera horizontally: Because. Just do it. It took me over a year to convince my wife that this was essential and now so many of our most precious moments are trapped in vertical purgatory.
  • Use the slow motion feature: Slow motion shots not only look cool, but they help reduce the amount of observable camera shake.
  • Hold your camera by your hip: This is good for stability, and it provides variety in your shot perspectives.
  • Stabilize your footage: If you've got the money, get a nice handheld stabilizer like the Osmo Mobile. If you don't have the money, find a flat, stable surface to place your phone on.
  • Do dolly moves with your body: Your body is a magnificent tool, even for cinematography. Leaning slightly makes for a great dolly move.
  • Choose your time of day wisely: Smartphone sensors are tiny, so shooting at night may not be the wisest unless you want a specific look. Then again, shooting during the day may not be the most exciting. Try during golden hour!

What are some things you've learned from shooting video with smartphones? Share your tips down in the comments.      

Your Comment

3 Comments

I guess this is the kind of posts that made NFS go from #1 to not even top 5 in my reading list... What's the next one? "This is camera, this you make video".

June 6, 2017 at 11:41AM, Edited June 6, 11:41AM

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Pol
22

Don't be disrespectful, there are film makers at all levels and while this might be a waste of time for you, it might be quite helpful for others.

June 7, 2017 at 1:07AM

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Cool tip. Thanks.

June 13, 2017 at 4:56AM, Edited June 13, 4:56AM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
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