This Image above is a beautiful shot, isn’t it?
An experienced photographer probably has taken this picture with a very expensive DSLR camera. Right?
You are wrong!!!
This was a Screenshot that I took from this video. Imagine that. It’s not even a photo; it’s a screenshot of a video.
This is how powerful the iPhone’s camera is. It was announced recently that Apple’s iPhone was the largest selling camera in the world. And their advertisements speak for themselves.
Apple is promoting its camera’s capabilities and why not with beautiful shots like that? So how good is the camera of the iPhone for shooting videos? It’s really good. And for this write-up, we’ll take you through the process of how to shoot good videos using the iPhone.
Why would you need to Record videos on an iPhone?
If you are starting off as a Vlogger or want to ride the wave of being a Video (Youtube, Vine, Periscope) sensation then shooting videos is the way to go for you. If you are someone who wants to make a short introductory video for your startup or you make short films. For skilled people who are on a tight budget and cannot really afford expensive equipment could use the iPhone to shoot videos.
I’ll start off with the beginner’s tips and then take it a step further with advanced tips.
I’ve mentioned the basics of shooting a video in terms of Lighting, Landscape and much more in my earlier post on best tips to record selfie videos.
In this, I will focus more on making videos from your iPhone. These tips can work on almost all the smartphone cameras so even if you have Samsung Galaxy S9 edge or any other fancy smartphone, read on to learn the smartphone video shooting tips.
Clean the Lens before you begin shooting
This is the first step and the most simple of them all. Before you start any shooting work, really give your iPhone lens a good cleaning because your phone tends to be in many places that tend to gather dust. If you are one of those geek kinds who like to open your iPhone, here is a geeky video for cleaning your iPhone lens.
The AE/AF Lock
Focus is key in great video shots and like all phones, the iPhone tries to re-focus all the time. This means that there is no steady focus and the camera might start focusing on some other object. The best way to focus on an object is to use the AE/AF lock which stands for Auto Exposure/Auto Focus. When you are in the Video mode and long-press on the particular object you want to focus on, a box with a yellow outline appears.
Basic iPhone video shooting Equipment
To shoot even a decent quality video, a tripod is a must. A tripod or a selfie stick gives stability to your iPhone that your hands can never give. A piece of Audio equipment can also be an addition, but make sure you invest in a simple tripod or monopod initially.
The front camera on the iPhone is a 720p and the back is a 1080p.
Although the front camera is good enough for taking Youtube videos, if you want, you can use the back camera to take videos because it’s 1080p in the iPhone 5. So if you have to take videos where there is no movement, you can set up the camera, use the auto lock feature and sit in front of the back camera and shoot the videos. Another option is to connect your iPhone to the tripod and also connect your iPhone through
Another option is to connect your iPhone to the tripod and also connect your iPhone through HDMI cable to a large television where with your peripheral vision you can always see if your video is coming our right or not. Another way to use the back camera is by sitting in front of a mirror, where you can see the screen of your phone although this may be a cumbersome process. You need to figure out a way which you find yourself comfortable with.
Sometimes it’s a requirement to shoot videos outside. The sun can be too bright a light and there may not be an appropriate shade all the time to counter the glare from the sun. A simple way to counter the abundant sunlight is to create a simple lens hood. Tripod stands come with an iPhone holder that you can remove separately.
Look at the image below for a reference on the tripod stand. Now to create a lens hood, all you have to do is to stick a piece of paper horizontally on top this. This will block the sunlight from hitting the lens directly and in turn glaring the entire picture.
Additional iPhone video Equipment
An iPhone is ultimately a smartphone. If you want to get professional with your videos, then you’ll need to upgrade. But the best part about using an iPhone is the ancillary products that are created that amplify the experience of an iPhone. From phone cases to lenses and every iPhone user should take advantage of this. When you are transitioning from an amateur to a slightly better-trained person, it would be overkill to go straight for the best product in the business.
And also, if you are able to spend a little bit and get more bang out of your buck with your existing products then it’s advantageous for you. The additional equipment we would suggest is an optical zoom lens for the iPhone that would give wider angle and more zoom-in capabilities. The next one we’ll suggest is a mic that can be used to capture the best audio.
For the Lens – The Ollo Clip is a popular one
Always Edit on your Computer
Although there are video editing apps for the iPhone where you can edit your entire video on your phone, you would probably want to edit on the computer. Editing on the phone is a quick-fix and is not meant for long hours of editing work. It probably takes double or triple the time if you want a quality output. The applications for the desktop are pretty robust and gives you enough options to edit a video very well.
How to edit videos on iPhone: Best apps
If the hardware can be amplified, then so can the software. Apple’s Camera app’s video features are pretty rudimentary for a professional videographer. But, like we mentioned earlier, the Apple ecosystem is filled with App developers who build quality apps that make the iPhone an unbeatable machine. One of these applications is the Movie Pro.
Movie Pro is a $5.99 Video recorder that amplifies the native recorder by 100x. Some of the best features, in my opinion, are the;
- Capturing Images while recording
- You can manually control the Focus and Exposure (Default in the Native App), but also the White Balance, Color Temperature, and Tint.
- Can select the resolutions and aspect ration before shooting
- Ability to choose the frame rate which can affect the quality considerably
- Option to shoot a video for Vine or Instagram etc.
- Video Stabilisation
Other iPhone Applications that add value to your Videos.
- iMovie App – Edit your videos straight from your iPhone for quick videos and on the move post production.
- Filmic Pro – Similar to the Movie Pro, it amplifies the performance of the iOS camera. It’s around $8 and priced more than the Movie Pro app. In a blind audience testing, the Filmic Pro beat out the $5000 Sony FS100 and tied with the $13,000 Canon C300. That is definitely something
- Efexio – For filmmakers, Effexio gives a bunch of CGI effects that can be added to your movies. It has effects that can give your movies an extra dimension. There are dinosaurs, dragons, unicorns, zombies, lightning, fire and more. This is great for simple short films that require CGI to do a job.
- Gravie – It’s a very simple app, that lets you add text on video. So if you are making a music video like Coldplay’s or an Instructional video where you need text, all you need to use is Gravie.
5. Video Crop – Not all portions in a video frame are important and some can even take away the importance of the main subject matter. This one is useful for removing unwanted portions of your video frame. I haven’t tested this one, but it seems useful for this collection of iPhone video editing apps.
6. Adobe Premiere clip: Perfect for every blogger who needs to edit the video on the go. [Must have]
Note: Also check out Adobe voice app.
I would suggest always keep 2-3 video editing apps handy on your Smartphone, as it would be useful when you have to quickly upload a recording.
Well, for now, if you follow above given iPhone video shooting tips & use these recommended editing apps, your video would look a lot different & professional than what it is now. What you should understand here is, getting your iPhone ready for pro video shooting is not tough, all you need to use is the right set of tools & a clear mindset.
In the upcoming days, I will be sharing more tips on video shooting & editing that a blogger can use in their day to day life for creating memorable videos. For now, do share this post with other iPhone users that you know of.