How to Shoot Video With Your iPhone

Capture stunning content in the palm of your hand.

Sometimes there’s a story that needs to be shared right away and putting together a video crew just won’t do. That’s why it’s OK to use your iPhone. The iPhone video technology has come a long way. The newest iPhone can shoot 4K video—stunning! —which is almost as good as video shot on a DSLR camera. And, it’s easy to edit and share within minutes.

While the user-friendly capabilities make it easy to capture video, just pulling out your phone and pressing record isn’t enough to make the most out of your iPhone’s video camera.

Take full advantage out of your camera. Here are six quick tips for you to shoot video with your iPhone.

Use a Tripod

No matter how steady you think your hands are, your camera is sensitive and will pick up the slightest amount of movement. Use a tripod to keep the footage still. You can order a good tripod online for $50. If you’re shooting in the field and don’t have a tripod, you can set your phone on a sturdy surface. As you stabilize your shot with these tips:

  • Keep your phone close to your body
  • Rest your body on a nearby object
  • Use your body to absorb movement

Do Not Zoom In

The iPhone’s built-in zoom lens is great, but not for video. The lens isn’t zooming optically, which means you’ll have an enlarged picture that’s pixelated. Avoid the zoom-in temptation. Keep the shot wide; you can always zoom in during post (editing). But a golden rule in the video world is to keep the shot wide. If you want a close-up of the shot, move the camera closer. This tip will help keep your video looking clean.

Lock Your Exposure

The iPhone camera will focus and adjust your exposure automatically, which is excellent! However, the exposure will keep changing and refocusing, which can make your footage look shaky. The simple trick? Lock your exposure. This feature has been around for a while, but many iPhone users don’t know about it. Locking your exposure is easy. Once you open your iOS camera app, tap on the screen as you would normally do to focus an object or area. Instead of tap and release, tap and hold until you see the square flicker a couple of times. You should notice on the top of the screen “AE/AF Lock”. Now you can frame your shot without losing exposure. To unlock the exposure, just tap on the screen. Note: This feature works on photos too.

Use Lighting

Lighting goes a long way when shooting video. If you’re shooting outside, make sure you have adequate lighting. You might want to consider reflectors to use natural light. If shooting indoors, your light on your phone won’t do much lighting. You can rent a basic lighting kit from your local video shop for roughly $100 to $200. Lighting can make your footage look clean and clear.

Use Your Microphone

A good rule of thumb in video: get clear audio. If you have an external microphone, then use it. Rode smartLav+ is a lavalier mic and is an excellent choice if you’re in need of a small microphone. You can also use a shotgun mic, like the Sennheiser ME66. Just note that you’ll need to use an adapter, like the XLR microphone adapter, to send audio from the microphone to your iPhone.

Edit Your Video

While there are editing apps you can use on your phone; nothing beats using your computer. When using your computer, you typically have more editing options. Plus, editing on a larger screen is easier on the eyes. When you’re done shooting, import your video footage to your editing software of choice on your computer. Apple’s iMovie is a great free tool to use for beginners. A few other editing options are Final Cut, Adobe Premiere, or Avid.

Need some help with your video strategy? Contact us for a free consultation.