A Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Good Videos on Your iPhone

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Shooting good videos on your iPhone is an art. However, like all arts, it can be mastered with education, practice, and perseverance. iPhones are known for their excellent camera hardware. Many movies, such as Unsane by American director Steven Soderbergh, have been entirely shot on an iPhone. It is a testament to the video quality of its camera. Even professional photographers and videographers are extensively using iPhones for their work. If they can shoot high-quality videos, so can you.

All beginners have to start somewhere, and this guide may be your runway to get off the ground. It also includes a few tips, tricks, and pointers that can assist you in shooting good videos on your iPhone.

#1. Familiarize Yourself with The Settings

Before you start shooting good videos on your iPhone, you must be knowledgeable about what all its camera can do. These smartphones have various settings that will affect the quality of the recorded footage. The default video settings include resolution, frame rate (fps), focus, exposure, and zoom. Resolution determines the quality of the clips, while frame rate influences their smoothness. Focus ensures that the subjects of the video appear sharp. Exposure controls the amount of light entering the camera, thereby impacting how bright or dull individuals/objects appear. Try out all the settings and see how each one affects videos. It will familiarize you with them and prepare you better for shooting footage in the future. The number of settings available may differ from one iPhone generation to another, with newer models allowing more adjustments.

#2. Select the Camera – Front or Rear

iPhones come with two cameras, a primary camera at the rear and a secondary camera at the front. The front camera has a lower resolution as compared to the rear camera. Its video quality may be inferior as well. However, it will still capture decent quality footage. The advantage of shooting a video with the front camera is that you can see the recording live on the screen. It can be beneficial if you are making a tutorial or informational video with yourself as the host.

On the contrary, the rear camera of an iPhone shoots videos in superior quality. It is the better option if you are shooting a video of someone or something. Also, more adjustment options may be available for the rear camera of iPhones, giving you greater control over the footage quality. However, it may not be suitable for recording yourself on video as the screen is not visible. You may overcome the same by asking someone else to record the video. Use the rear camera of iPhones wherever feasible.

#3. Choose an Appropriate Location

One of the primary factors that affect the quality of videos is the location. Choosing an appropriate location that is conducive for recording is essential. It must be free from distractions, and uncontrollable environmental variables should be minimum.

When shooting videos indoors, choose a room wherein you won’t be disturbed. There should be curtains or foam for absorbing noise so that the sound doesn’t echo. Empty rooms must be avoided as the voice will reverberate a lot in them. Ensure that the background is suitable for creating the video and doesn’t distract the viewers. If you are shooting videos outdoors, there are many environmental variables beyond your control. A passing vehicle may mess with the camera’s focus, or a honking truck can drown out the audio. Therefore, choose an appropriate location to minimize uncontrollable environmental variables. Remove as many distractions as possible.

#4. Set up Your Shot

After you have chosen the location, it is time to set up your shot. It is important for shooting good videos with your iPhone. There are a few considerations to keep in mind.

The lens of the camera must be below the eye level of the individuals being recorded. Consider a tripod for stabilizing the video and prevent the footage from shaking due to hand movement. An iPhone gimbal may be suitable for recording videos while moving. At the very least, use a selfie stick. The objective is to get your iPhone out of your hands as it is tough to keep them still.

3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizer for iPhone

A secret to shooting good videos on your iPhone is lighting. The video quality will suffer when shooting a video with an iPhone in low light conditions. It is important to ensure that the primary subjects or objects are well illuminated. Beginners don’t necessarily have to invest in professional lights. They can use any light source or lamp available on hand. The purpose is to light up the subject of your video. If artificial sources are not available or when shooting a video outdoor, they may rely on natural light. As the day progresses, the sunlight may also highlight people or objects differently. The shot setup must be adjusted according to sunlight.

#5. Use External Microphones for Audio

If you are recording audio along with the video on your iPhone, consider using an external microphone. The built-in microphones do a decent job but won’t match the quality of a dedicated mic. It is highly recommended for shooting interviews or tutorials. A good-quality lapel microphone can be purchased for as little as twenty bucks and will significantly improve the audio quality. Many aftermarket microphones have built-in noise reduction and filter out background noise effectively. It can be useful when recording videos outdoors. While the latest generations of iPhones don’t have a 3.5mm jack, a lightning to 3.5mm headphone adaptor can be purchased for connecting a microphone.

#6. Make a Test Run

Once everything is set up, it is time to make a test run. It will ensure that everything is working as expected. You don’t want to record a video for a few hours only to find out that something was amiss. Maybe the microphone was switched off, or an object in the background was distracting viewers. Record a clip of a few seconds and play it back to assess if everything is fine. Check the iPhone camera settings before you start capturing footage. Lock them to prevent accidental changes. Avoid using auto mode for the camera’s focus or other parameters.

#7. Record the Video

The final step is to start recording the video on your iPhone. During recording, keep the phone as stable as possible if you are not using a tripod or gimbal. The participants in the video must look at the camera lens and not at the iPhone’s screen. It will ensure that their eyes are on the viewers, and they are perceived as talking and looking at them. Keep an eye out for any changes in environment variables, like noise and light. If required, change the location or make adjustments to the setup as required. You may record the video in multiple clips for additional convenience. And, above all, don’t forget to press the record button!

#8. Additional Tips for Shooting Good Videos on Your iPhone

Here are a few additional tips for shooting good videos on your iPhone.

Clean the Camera Lens

The most obvious yet overlooked step for shooting good videos on your iPhone is to clean its camera lens. The smartphone gathers dirt, grime, and oil continuously. Its lens will get dirty and impact image quality. Therefore, always clean the camera lens before recording footage on an iPhone.

Check Available Storage Space and Battery Levels

High-quality footage takes a lot of disk space. Ensure that there is adequate storage space available on your iPhone before recording a video. Otherwise, the smartphone will stop recording in the middle of the session. The iPhone must also be fully charged to prevent it from shutting down during the video. Video recording drains the iPhone’s battery at an accelerated rate. Have a power bank close by or attach the charger beforehand.

Enable Flight Mode When Recording

An annoying occurrence when shooting videos with your iPhone is interruptions caused by incoming calls or notifications. It may pause the video recording process, mess with the audio, and break your concentration. You may enable the flight mode when recording videos with your iPhone to counter the same.

Consider Aftermarket Apps

While the default camera app of iPhones is adequate for shooting good videos, users requiring more customization options can consider aftermarket video recording apps for Apple smartphones. They allow you to control additional camera settings, such as shutter speed and white balance, that may not be present on the default iPhone camera app. It gives you greater control over how your video feels and looks. FiLMic is one such popular app.

Invest in Accessories and Gear

If you are serious about shooting good videos with your iPhone, then consider investing in accessories and gear. The most popular of these include tripods and gimbals for stability, microphones for audio, and lighting equipment for illumination. You can buy the items as you master the process of shooting videos with your iPhone. It is not necessary to buy them all at once. Users can add them one thing at a time as per their requirements.

These were the main factors that you must be aware of for shooting good videos on your iPhone. They will give first-timers the required kickstart. However, regularly shooting videos and experimenting with settings and setups is essential to improve your skills.

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