Take higher movies in your iPhone or Android cellphone with these 8 methods

Take better videos on your iPhone or Android phone with these 8 tricks

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It is by no means been simpler to shoot professional-level video at house. Smartphone digital camera expertise and enhancing software program simply retains getting higher, between Apple’s ProRaw mode on iPhone 12, Google’s computational pictures tech on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 5 and Samsung’s unbelievable zoom capabilities on the Galaxy S21. And we’re solely anticipating additional digital camera innovation on the forthcoming Pixel 6 and rumored iPhone 13 and Galaxy S22.

However nonetheless, it takes greater than a great digital camera to take good movies. You additionally need to know methods to use your cellphone’s digital camera methods to the perfect of their talents. Right here, then, are my high ideas it’s best to take into accout when making your individual video at house this yr, whether or not you are taking part in a TikTok pattern, upping your influencer recreation on Instagram or simply capturing recollections with your loved ones.

1. Think about what you need your video to be 

Earlier than you begin, it’s best to give a little bit of thought to what you need your video to incorporate. It may simply be a full movie of every little thing that occurs over your kid’s upcoming birthday however contemplate making it a bit extra particular. Maybe a video all in regards to the video games you play collectively, or them opening their presents. 

Having a particular story to inform — even a primary one — will provide help to contemplate what pictures you will must get, and it will provide help to shoot and edit solely what you want, fairly than having countless hours of footage to sift by. 


For my video, I made an inventory of pictures I knew I wanted, and in addition made a tough storyboard to assist develop my concepts for angles.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

For my very own festive video (embedded above), I made a decision to point out how I make my very own sizzling mulled cider. By retaining it to a particular matter I used to be capable of decide precisely the pictures I wanted and in what order, and even sketched out a storyboard of pictures forward of time. You do not have to go that far, however having a tough thought in thoughts will assist a terrific deal.

2. Set your cellphone up correctly 

Virtually all latest smartphones can take nice video, nevertheless it’s value testing the settings to ensure you’re able to go. Your decision settings are as much as you, however full HD (1080p) might be a great start line, because it’ll look good however will not replenish your cellphone’s storage too shortly. You’ll be able to ramp it as much as 4K in case your cellphone permits, and even drop it to 720p when you’re on an older system that will not deal with enhancing as nicely.

3. Hold your video clips quick and candy

Whereas it is simple to face and movie a five-minute clip of somebody peeling potatoes for dinner, the fact is that once you watch that again, you will understand it is manner too lengthy to stay fascinating. As a substitute, contemplate retaining every clip to round 15-20 seconds in size. You could be stunned at how lengthy 15 seconds of video truly looks like once you watch it again, and having a lot of shorter clips minimize collectively will give the video a extra participating, extra skilled really feel.


Do not overshoot — I solely wanted about 5 seconds of this overhead shot within the completed video, so capturing a minute or extra of footage would have been pointless and time-consuming.

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4. Stabilize your cellphone

There’s nothing that may break a video fairly as simply as shaky hand-held footage. In case your cellphone has a stabilized video mode, ensure it is turned on. If not, think about using a small tripod to maintain your cellphone regular. This after all additionally permits you, the filmmaker, to be concerned within the motion as nicely, which is nice when you’re the one doing the cooking, or handing out presents. 

5. Get inventive with angles

A good way to enhance the cinematic qualities in your movie is to experiment with completely different angles. Say you are capturing the second your youngster takes a gift from below the tree at Christmas — do not simply movie them out of your standing place close by, however as a substitute contemplate how one can seize that second in a extra thrilling manner. Even perhaps put the cellphone contained in the tree, among the many presents, so that you see your youngster reaching towards the digital camera to retrieve their reward.

There is not any finish to the methods you may play along with your angles, so have a take into consideration how one can shake issues up. You’ll be able to at all times attempt to reshoot sure issues from a number of angles (or arrange a spare cellphone or digital camera for an additional angle) after which minimize them collectively in your video editor afterwards. In my video, for instance, I wished to point out the cinnamon and ginger being thrown into the pot, so I used two angles: one from a first-person perspective trying into the pot, and one other the place I might positioned my cellphone behind the pot to point out me throwing the elements in. It is little parts like this that may make a giant distinction general.


I used a tripod to get this overhead shot, and used a small LED mild to brighten up the cider within the pan. It is not a sublime setup — the sunshine is simply balanced on a roll of paper towel!

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

6. Enhance the audio

In case your video will embrace folks speaking to the digital camera — maybe your youngster thanking Grandma for the current — you will wish to ensure your cellphone can seize that audio clearly. For the perfect outcomes, contemplate shopping for a small exterior microphone just like the Rode VideoMicro, which plugs into your cellphone’s headphone jack (or the facility port, through an adapter) and can dramatically enhance the sound high quality.

When you do not wish to spend money on additional gear there’s nonetheless rather a lot you are able to do to assist. Turning off or at the very least reducing background music or closing the doorways to drown out kitchen home equipment will make an enormous distinction in how clear these voices could be captured.

7. Experiment with gradual movement and time lapses

Most up-to-date telephones have modes for taking gradual movement video and for time lapses and each could be nice instruments in your video. After all, it must make sense to make use of them — gradual movement to decelerate fast-paced motion, and time lapse to hurry up an extended sequence.

In my mulled cider video, I used gradual movement when lighting the range to offer a cinematic high quality to the flames erupting, and I additionally slowed down the footage of me throwing ginger into the pot to get a terrific slow-mo impact on the cider splashing up. As it is a quick sequence it did not make quite a lot of sense to do a time lapse, however if you wish to seize the entire course of of constructing dinner, for instance, a time lapse from excessive up in your kitchen, videoing you transferring round over possibly a few hours can be a neat addition to a vacation movie.


I arrange a stage for the ultimate shot: some festive orange pine cone decorations in entrance of my Christmas tree. Just a little additional effort like this on the filming stage makes an enormous distinction within the completed video.

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8. Edit your video

Upon getting your video clips it is time to piece them collectively. This may be essentially the most difficult half, particularly for these of you who’re completely new to video manufacturing. Fortunately, there are simple methods of doing issues. 

Some telephones, just like the iPhones ($499 at Apple), in addition to latest Samsung Galaxy telephones, have built-in auto video makers that help you choose some clips and robotically minimize them collectively into a movie, full with background music and transitions between clips. They are not at all times essentially the most elegant of productions, however they’re value retaining in thoughts when you’re a complete newbie. 

Alternatively, look in direction of apps like Quik by GoPro. It is free and in addition helps you to drop a number of video clips right into a challenge for the app to robotically flip right into a completed movie. iPhone customers may also have the ability to use Apple’s iMovie at no cost, which is an especially easy-to-use video editor, with quite a lot of presets and types obtainable. Adobe Premiere Rush has all kinds of enhancing instruments and is constructed to be cell pleasant. It is a terrific app, nevertheless it does price $10 (£9, AU$15) a month, so it is solely value contemplating when you assume you will wish to do extra video manufacturing.

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