How to Take BETTER Cell Phone Video and Stills

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You’ve seen it. You know it. That shaky, thin, blurry, improperly exposed video to hat ends up on the nightly news with two blurry bars on the left and right. It’s like looking through a narrow, vertical kaleidoscope when placed on a tv screen….but why? 

Let’s attack this one first, because it is a national cell phone EPIDEMIC. The reasons that this happens come down to one technical term: aspect ratio. While filming, people hold the phone in the most comfortable, natural way, which is vertical. When they transfer or share this video with others via YouTube, or place it on television, the editors are forced to blow up the image, blur it as a second image, and use it as blur bars to fill up the screen. This is not aesthetically pleasing, nor does it use the video feature on your phone the way it is supposed to be shot. 16 x 9: this is the aspect ratio of most television and most computer monitors screens. What you are viewing with the “blur-bar” pandemic is the aspect ration of 9 x 16, or vertical. 

Don’t feel like you will remember, or think it is too difficult to hold your phone horizontal? Here is an App called “Horizon” that will take care of the nasty little problem for you.

Horizon App will help!

Horizon App will help!

In addition to aspect ratio, STABILITY is the next obstacle. Smartphones don’t have the sensor size yet to be able to deal with the tons of information flying into the camera. The result is often shaky, blurry video. The best way to keep that video looking it’s best  is to engage a stand or tripod to hold the camera. This is easily achievable by using an affordable smartphone mount that will adapt to your pre existing tripod. Although it’s not exactly easily portable and spontaneous, it will dramatically alter your smartphone video. Here is one at Amazon for only $9.00!

With the addition of these two techniques, your smartphone video will go from unusable in the editing timeline, to production ready footage you can be proud to show online.

Still don’t have the time to produce quality content for your business, ideas, or events? Give us a call and we’d be glad to help!

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