Shoot Better Video With Your Phone

Yahoo’s Becky Worley does a nice job in this piece explaining some quick and easy ways to improve your cell phone video.  Including:

Some Basics
Buy a tripod attachment, like the gorillamobile or the PhoneBoat. One note of caution here: there are no tripod mounts on cell phones the way there are on cameras, so many of these tripods snap on. It’s important to figure out if you’re buying a universal tripod or a snap on case that is made specifically for your phone.

Launch Fast

To launch the camera quickly from an iPhone, double click the home key, and then tap the camera icon that shows up only when you do this special double click. With Android phones, use an app like Lockmenu, and put your camera on one of the quick-launch spots on the lock screen. When you slide the camera icon to unlock, it takes you directly there.

Image Controls
All camera phones automatically adjust for factors like focus and exposure, but sometimes you want manual control. On an iPhone, double tap the where you want the camera to focus. You can have a soft focus on something in the foreground while focusing on a person in the back. Tapping the screen also resets the exposure — bright or dim — and the color balance, meaning: do skin tones look natural. If the light shifts while you’re shooting (the sun goes behind a cloud, for example), a quick tap should tell the camera to rebalance.

On Android phones, tap the menu and you’ll see a bunch of video and audio controls, including brightness, or exposure.  Slide right to make dark scenes brighter.  Left to darken.

Add-on Lenses
You can get everything from fish-eye and macro lenses like the olloclip to telephoto lenses like this one for the iPhone. These lenses are just OK. If it’s really important to get high quality video, you’d be much better off using a camcorder with a more sophisticated lens. The Kogeto Dot records 360 video, but I was a bit disappointed in the image quality.

Two pieces of advice: First, edit in the camera. Another option is to use an automatic editor like Magisto. You upload all your raw footage to their site, and they automatically make a highlight reel.

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