While high-end equipment can produce fantastic video, it can also be expensive and complicated. This is especially true when you are just starting.
Thankfully, the camera quality on many top mobile phones has improved significantly in recent years. The video you can record on your phone is quite good and comparable to the quality of some professional cameras.
Get a Good Pair of Headphones
When editing a video, it is essential to hear the audio’s fine details, like using a Neat Bar from Neat. Good headphones will help you hone in on these details and get the sound perfect.
Unsteady footage can make a video look bad and make viewers feel dizzy. A tripod or gimbal stabilizer can help you avoid this problem.
Investing in an external microphone can also help you improve the quality of your video. Skip the USB mics and look for directional podcast microphones to record high-quality audio. These will pick up sounds from a much greater area than Lavalier microphones.
Use a Stabilizer or Tripod
A stabilizer is essential for video because it eliminates shaky footage. You can use a tripod, but dedicated stabilizer options like gimbals and shoulder rigs are also available.
If you don’t have a stabilizer, there are a few tricks to get more stable handheld DSLR videos. One option is to use a viewfinder that fits over the camera and rests against your face.
Another option is to use a tripod and a fluid head (sold separately) to achieve smooth pans and tilts. You can also try leaning on a nearby fence or wall to stabilize your footage. This will help reduce minor “micro shakes” that add to an unwanted rolling shutter.
Position Your Lights
A good lighting setup can make a massive difference in the look of your video. Stick to a 3-point lighting setup for the best results: key, fill, and backlight.
Avoid overhead lighting, as this can create harsh shadows on your subject. Alternatively, you can use strip lights for video. These lights are often narrow and have an adhesive backing, making them easy to attach to any surface.
Avoid lights with different color temperatures, as this can throw off the white balance on your camera. This can lead to unnatural colors or blue tints in your shots. Stick to a consistent color temperature and have beautiful, cinematic videos.
Use a Reflector
Many videographers use reflectors to bounce light back on their subjects, especially when working in natural light. Various reflectors are available, from simple white reflective fabrics wrapped around collapsible frames to specialized rigid boards covered in highly reflective materials that can be snapped together into different shapes and sizes.
For example, you may want to use a small, soft white reflector close to your subject to create essential lighting and a giant gold or silver one farther away to provide fill light and rim lighting. You can also position a reflector underneath your subject to bounce light upward for a soft and flattering effect.
Get a Memory Card
A memory card is the silent hero of any video shoot. Whether you’re capturing the ethereal expanse of a scorching desert, tracking elusive creatures in our waters, or covering a thrilling live event on icy mountains, your footage depends on the durability and capacity of your memory card.
When choosing a memory card, looking at its write speed is essential. However, many cards don’t list this information, and even those that do often use different units for the exact specification (MB/sec vs. Mbps).
It would help if you also considered your camera’s frame buffer and video bitrate. You can do this by looking at your camera’s specifications or searching online for a recommended card.
Get a Gimbal
A gimbal is a great tool for stabilizing video footage. It eliminates camera shake and allows you to follow your subject around. But it’s important to know how to use a gimbal properly. Haapoja shares several tips to help you get started.
One of the most important things is to ensure your camera is correctly balanced on the gimbal before you head out for a shoot. This can be tricky, but it’s worth taking the time to do it right.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can create more cinematic shots and timelapses. This will help your videos look more professional and capture your audience’s attention.