Can you imagine that Camila Cabello’s latest shoot for the biggest magazine cover fronting Bill Board was done with an iPhone? Yes it is true that that shoot was done entirely on an iPhone Plus 7 by photographer Miller Mobley where the combination of sultry sunset shots and mermaid-like underwater photos, the shoot is a testament to the powers of the advancing latest technology.
But the race doesn’t stop here. You can also make a video like a pro with your iPhone as this apple smartphone is capable of making some awesome videos as well. Here are the five things you should know if you are interested to make a video like a pro with this smart device.
1. Know the film making basics with iPhone features
You need to explore your iPhone to learn and know some of the basics of film making techniques, including the principles behind camera angles, capturing movement, and lighting. Lighting, in particular, is important for creating mood and emphasising certain details. Your iPhone’s video looks best with ample natural lighting. If your budget allows, you should get and learn to use a good lighting kit. You can buy one or make your own.
2. Know the iPhone video tips to shoot well
- Always shoot in landscape mode. This is the most basic tip, since portrait mode gives you those ugly black borders in your final video clip.
- Also clean your camera lens regularly. Wiping dust or grease away with a microfiber cloth takes literally 10 seconds and doesn’t hurt to do.
- Don’t use the zoom function. The zoom on your iPhone is digital zoom, not optical zoom, which is no good for detail or image quality. Using it will likely make your video look grainy. If you have the iPhone 7 Plus, however, its dual camera lens lets you zoom in a bit more without compromising quality.
- Try to use the exposure lock. The iPhone automatically focuses on the subject in your shot and adjusts to the proper amount of lighting your camera “lets in”, or exposure. If you’re shooting a video with someone talking, the constant automatic adjustments can make the footage choppy. Use your Auto Exposure/Auto Focus (AE/AF) lock feature by tapping on the screen and holding it until AE/AF box appears. Once it does, the focus is locked and you can adjust exposure by dragging your finger up or down. Both of these keep the video looking consistently sharp.
- Also put your phone in Aeroplane mode to avoid getting unnecessary interruptions and sounds from notifications while you’re shooting. You can do that in Settings or by swiping up on your screen to bring up the Control Center and hitting the aeroplane symbol.
- You can mix it up with lens attachments as many third-party companies make lenses that you can physically attach to your iPhone to distort the look of your photo or video. Like you can get a fisheyeor wide-angle lens for added flair. You don’t need these, but they do expand the creative and stylistic possibilities. You could look into something like a multi-lens kit like olloclip.
- Take advantage of time-lapse and slow-motion video features. In addition to normal video, you can take time-lapses and slow-motion sequences, which are built into the iPhone’s Camera app. When you open Camera, scroll to the left to find these options. When you record a time-lapse or slow-motion video, it’s important to hold your camera still on a tripod to avoid choppy-looking sequence.
3. Know how to use Tripod to keep your iPhone steady
You must have seen professional cameramen using rock sophisticated rigs, like steadicams and gimbals, to hold their camera steady and make the footage come out more polished. The latest iPhone features optical image stabilisation, which automatically tries to offset any shakiness, but nothing beats having something like a tripod to hold your phone steady.
Steadicams and gimbals are ideal if you want to shoot video on the move or really want to go the extra mile, but they’re just more expensive than a simple tripod. If you do need to hold your phone, you can make it more steady by holding the phone with both hands, as close to your body as possible, and/or propping your elbows against or on something. You can also make one for yourself temporary stand with many types of options to do it.
4. Know how to give video quality sound with a microphone upgrade
You need to note that the iPhone’s built-in mic alone isn’t great, especially if you’re shooting in noisy environments or want to focus on specific sounds (like your voice, and not the birds chirping or cars passing behind you.) You can invest in either a lavalier microphone or a shotgun microphone to get good, solid, directional sound. If you had to go with one, consider the type of video you want to make.
You’ve likely seen lavalier microphones on TV news shows and in interviews. They’re omnidirectional, and while a wired lav mic is a cheap option, hiding it from viewers is tricky. You can attach a lav mic to your shirt collar and run the wire under the shirt, but if you fidget too much, you pick up annoying noise from your shirt rubbing against the mic. Some people get around this by wrapping the head of the mic with moleskin, but lav mics are best when people sit or stand still.
A shotgun microphone makes your audio sound more natural. It’s a directional mic, and since you point the shotgun mic in the direction of the sound you want to pick up, it’s best for recording whatever is in front of it. It’s also great to block out sounds from the sides, while being invisible on camera. If you’re shooting outdoors, you’ll need some sort of wind blocker to handle the harsh sounds from the slightest of winds.
Ideally, you need to be as close to your audio source as possible. That can get complicated if you want a specific shot, but you also want great-sounding audio. You can get around this by using another iPhone just for your audio, or using external microphone or audio recorder like the Zoom H1, popular among podcasts and field journalists alike.
Make sure to test your mic before you start shooting. Also a pro tip you can clap loudly to establish a reference point when you’re editing your audio tracks later. It will make it easier to sync your multiple audio tracks later.
5. Know how to use a better video app to shoot than the default camera
While you can just press record in the Camera app to start filming, apps like FiLMic Pro available on both iOS ($14.99) and Android give you a finer level of control over how your video looks, from focus to white balance to frame rate, and then some. It also gives you control of some audio options and is compatible with external mics like the RODE VideoMic GO. At $14.99, though, the app is pricey, especially if you’re just starting out, and also note that FiLMic Pro is so full of tweaks and features that it takes time to learn.
Thus you see that it’s easy to start shooting really great-looking videos with your iPhone. When you know the above five things thoroughly you can shoot virtually anywhere. Just make sure you have enough storage for your movie projects, and back up your data regularly. Thus the iPhone serves not only as a beautiful and simple smartphone but has the power to make a good looking video with just mastering few basic things.