Must-Haves For Mobile Filming:
Smartphones and tablets have come on in leaps and bounds since their introduction at the start of the decade, and their phone cameras are no exception, with higher recording definitions and more video features included as standard on newer models.
They still have a long way to go before they can match the standard of professional camera and sound crews, even if you’re only making a couple of short clips for your company’s Facebook or YouTube page, you’ll still need some additional hardware to make the videos watchable.
- Take a stand: This goes without saying, but shaky camera footage will make any video look amateurish and unwatchable. You can easily fix this issue by investing in a special tablet or smartphone tripod, a variety of which are available from simple frames for your device to flexible legged ones which can grapple onto surfaces. Specially made steady cams are also available for phones and tablets should you need to film on the move.
- Light them up: If you’ve got to film somewhere dimly lit then you should definitely bring your own lights with you. While many devices have built-in torches, we’d advise going one better and getting a spotlight, these fit onto devices and can add much needed extra light.
- Speak up: Bad audio ruins videos, and it’s common knowledge that while the audio inputs on mobile devices are fine for taking calls and possibly recording voice memos, they’re simply not up to scratch for recording audio. Fortunately, there’s a number of microphones specially designed for use with phones and tablets, these will give you better quality audio, and your videos will subsequently be taken more seriously.
- Focus! Phone cameras simply can’t produce the range of shots possible with professional cameras or DSLRs. A good way to alleviate this issue is to invest in a lens kit, with a variety of lenses available to achieve certain looks and effects.
- Protect yourself! If it rains and you don’t protect your equipment, it will damage quickly. While a simple camera cover will suffice if you’re just filming interviews, cases are available for smartphones which allow you to take them underwater. These are useful if you’re not willing to spend a lot of money on an action camera (such as a GoPro) or if you’re taking it into messy environments.
A note on editing: While a lot of video editing software is available for mobile devices, some people may find it clunky and lacking in features compared to software on desktop or laptop. Fortunately, a lot of free software is available on device stores so you can get a feel for what works best for you, however for ease of use, we wouldn’t advise editing on anything smaller than a standard tablet.