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Top tips for video with a smartphone

I’ve encouraged everyone many times to just get shooting video, and not worry about having expensive equipment. I can’t stress enough that the quality offered by the current generation of smartphones is easily good enough for everyday stuff such as product demonstrations, interviews and ‘how-to’ videos.

I’ve also mentioned that the key to good footage is not the quality of the image anyway, but having great sound (get a separate microphone) and ensuring the lighting is decent (daylight is fine!).

What then are the top tips for actually shooting with a smartphone? I’d list these:

  • Make sure the lens is clean: phones live in some awful places, and a quick wipe of the lens with some cleaner can work wonders
  • Make sure you’ve got enough storage: the phone will tell you what’s available, and you can work out what you’ll need
  • Make sure you’ve got plenty of battery life: shooting video can run it down quite quickly
  • Use the standard lens; on most phones, the selfie one isn’t great
  • Use a tripod unless you’re planning to move around
  • Switch to airplane mode before shooting – even if you’re unlikely to get an embarrassing call in the middle of the shot, the smartphone can interfere with video recordings as it sends and receives data in the background.