How to shoot awesome videos on mobile

How to shoot awesome videos on mobile

Smartphones with a good camera and the ability to record high definition video are no longer difficult to find they’re everywhere. Following few simple tips and tricks one can shoot awesome videos on mobile and explore the unlimited possibilities of entrepreneurial filmmaking..

Plan Your Light - Proper Lighting is key to good photography

How to shoot awesome videos in mobile - sensor size comparison
Comparative Diagram of Image Sensors

Smartphone cameras have smaller sensor than conventional DSLR or Camcorders, hence try shooting videos in the brightest possible condition, where plenty of light is available. Shooting in such condition will help avoid unnecessary shadows and grainy areas in the video. It is also to be taken care that   not to point the mobile camera directly at bright light sources, which will cause unusable overexposed footage and lens flare. Lighting should be stable and steady; the image sensors in most smartphones do not react to dramatic changes in lighting very quickly. If the light is still making it tough to shoot your video try working with back-lighting and white balance settings if your phone or app provides them. Most phones also offer “touch focusing” in the event your camera is focusing on the wrong area of your composition. After setting the focus on the most important aspect of the video, the automatic exposure control will have an easier time making small adjustments with any change in lighting condition.

5 Clever Lighting Tricks You Can Do with Your Smartphone

5 very clever and very useful lighting hacks that you can pull off with your smartphone. Check it out below:

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Be Steady While Shooting

If you don’t want your footage to be blurry and shaky – Be Steady.

A number of phones now come with optical image stabilization, where camera uses information from the phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer to precisely move the camera’s optics to compensate for the movement of the phone. So if your hand is shaking a bit, or you’re walking while you’re shooting, the phone can calculate and correct for that movement. iPhones and Samsung Galaxy Phones have built in gyroscope, but if you don’t have them no worries get yourself a Gimbal. 

How to Shoot Amazing Videos with mobile
Zhiyun Smooth 4 (Black) – 3 Axis Gimbal

Gimbals, Stabilizers, tripods and camera Cages allow you to keep your smartphone or mobile device still when taking a video with it; they have perfect handles to accomplish this.

Shooting With A Professional Gimbal


Finding ways to brace yourself while you shoot video is the key to making your video look smooth. There are, of course, a number of ways to do this. One is to simply tuck your elbows into your side as you hold your phone out in front of you. Use two hands. You can also place your phone up against something for support. A clean window or piece of glass is handy, but also, remember that the camera on your phone is typically not right in the center. This means you can lean your phone up against a heavy object on a flat surface without covering up the camera.

DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Handheld Gimbal

Handheld Gimbal For Mobile

DJI Osmo Mobile 2 Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone

The Audio Matters more than video

A good video with poor audio is useless, as viewers will immediately switch to something else, it is seen viewers can stand poor video for a while but not bad audio, which brings us to the point – audio is more important than video. Unfortunately, the built-in microphones in most smartphones are not properly placed or of low quality, for the reason they trend to record wind and other environmental noises which trend to drown the important audios meant for the recording.  

In professional recording i.e. commercial grade videos and feature films audio is always captured in a separate audio recording device, so for great quality audio for your video, you should attach an external recording device that will work with your smartphone. You can use any of one from below, which I personally use.

Rode VideoMic Me Directional Microphone for iPhones and Android phones
Boya 3.5mm Mini Clip on Mic Omnidirectional Lavalier Label Microphone-20ft Audio Cable- for DSLRs Camcorders Video Cameras and Iphone(Iphone 6) Samsung...

It is also recommended to add a completely new audio track “in post” while editing the video, use noise cancellation, parametric equalizer feature to enhance your audio quality.

If you want any guidance on how to use these filters in Adobe, Audacity, Soundtrack Pro, or on Final Cut Pro Studio, write me in the comment section.  

Pro Tip : While testing microphone on your mobile phone, make sure recorded audio is from the microphone only, some phones like LG and Samsung inbuilt microphones do not disconnect even after external microphone is connected. 

Avoid Shooting Vertically

The simplest rule-of-thumb is to ensure you always flip your phone and film in landscape mode. Hold your phone horizontally so that videos played back on other screens (virtually everywhere) will look fine. Videos shot on vertical mode creates black which looks terrible on playback on other devices.

How to shoot awesome videos on mobile
Vertical Video Creates Dreaded Blacks on both sides
How to shoot awesome videos on mobile
Correct Way of Shooting Video On Mobile

Other Important Tips for Shooting

  • Clean Your Lense Before you Start Shooting
  • Check Your Camera Setting, make sure you have chosen right format and right location to save the video. High definition (HD) video files can get large and will drain a battery quickly.In Android KitKat, restrictions were put in place for storing directly to SD cards, this issue can be addressed by using third party apps.
  • Staying physically closer to your subject ensures better image quality, less digital noise, and better focus in your videos

If you have any additional tips on how to shoot awesome videos on mobile let me know by commenting