A Blog for Cell Phone Camera Enthusiasts

I am an amateur photographer and video recorder, and since I always carry my my iPhone with me, I’ve spent a lot of time finding tips to improve my iPhone photography and videos. Because I work at a cell phones repair shop, so I am quite familiar with cell phone guts. For instance, did you know that the iPhone video camera has a higher potential bitrate (for video recording) than Apple’s camera app allows you to use. In other words, if you use a different video app, you can record higher quality videos from your iPhone.

Here are my suggestions for taking better videos with your iPhone.

First of all, since the Apple camera app doesn’t allow you to access the higher bitrate, try another app. There are plenty to choose from, but make sure you can access the higher bitrates. Filmic Pro is one I use. You can visit the Filmic Pro website to see some amazing videos shot with only an iPhone 6 camera.

Now that you’ve got a decent video app, you need to set the scene. Lighting is of utmost importance, so be sure you know where your light sources are, and what kind of light is available. Sunlight is best, but not when directly in the sunlight. Be aware of shadows particularly if you are videoing outdoors. If you are videoing something that isn’t moving around a lot, as in an interview or a video blog post, then you can adjust and lock the auto-focus and auto-exposure. If you have taken video with your iPhone, you’ve probably had the focus change when the subject you are taking video moved to the side or leaned in slightly. Everything gets blurry, then slowly refocuses. Or everything gets darker suddenly and then slowly readjusts back to how it was to begin with. Locking the focus and exposure prevents this from happening. you don’t want to use these features if you are videoing while you or your subject is moving around much.

Again, if you are taking video for your video blog or something, then another tool you should use is a mount. There are a variety of types of mounts that you can use for keeping the phone steady as you video. Be sure to mount to something that will stay steady. If you are in the wind, mounting to a flimsy tree won’t help as it may sway in the wind. Likewise, don’t mount on a table if jostling around may cause the table to move.

Battery life is an important factor. If you are using a higher bitrate, and filming for extended time, then you will run your battery down in no time. Here are some suggestions. Obviously, you can keep it plugged into a power source. You can use an external battery pack, as well. Most importantly, you’ll want to put your phone in Airplane Mode. This will prevent phone call interruptions, as well as disable many of the typical battery drains that compete for your precious battery life.

Keep these tips in mind when you video and you’ll be surprised at the quality of your resulting videos.

August 15th, 2015

Posted In: Tips

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