Smartphones usually capture terrible video that kills your credibility… UNLESS you know what to do.
Smartphones are great for quick snapshots and video on the spot, and if that’s all you’ve got, I’ll give you a few tips that will make your videos much more professional.
Smartphones are not my first choice for professional quality videos. The whole point of doing your own online business videos is to build your credibility so you can increase your connection with your audience and make people comfortable spending money with you. If your business videos are a handheld vertical video, you kill credibility.
On the other hand, if you know what you’re doing and you add a couple affordable pieces of gear to your setup, you can really improve the quality of your videos.
1) Always use your phone horizontally for video
2) Mount your phone on a steady mount. A tripod or some other kind of stable phone mount is fine. If you need to buy one, try out Arkon.com, and no, they’re not paying me to say that.
3) You need a microphone. Just using the on-board mic will ALWAYS sound bad! And people HATE weak audio. My favorite one is the Rode SmartLav+ for $80 but you’ll need an extension cord. – There’s an audio-technica mic that’s around $30 and it has a 20′ cord and even comes with the adapter you need to make it work with a smartphone. Even with adapters, I just prefer the Rode for smartphone video and the Audio Technica for DSLR video.
Before I get to the last thing you’ll need for decent smartphone videos, I’ve gotta tell you about something really cool that’s over at LarryBecker.tv. It’s my class about creating your first video. A Welcome video. The class is on sale now but it’s going to be posted on some training websites very soon, and I’m not allowed to under price those sites, and they want it to cost more than my current price. So stop by LarryBecker.tv/welcome
Okay, back to our list…
4) You’ll want an after-market zoom lens. The built in lens is wide angle and you’ll either be too small in the frame or, by the time you get the smartphone camera close enough for you to be nice and big in the frame, you’ll be distorted from the wide angle and you’ll look strange. Olloclips are great but they need you to ditch your case, or use an Olloclip model that comes with a case, and they don’t work with a glass screen protector. There are other cheaper clip on lenses but not all of them are too great. You’ll probably need to experiment.
That’s it. You can use your smartphone and get pretty decent video with a little practice. Go ahead and use that kind of setup to get started if it’ small you’ve got. But keep in mind, you COULD pick up a camcorder like a Canon Vixia, for $200 or $250, and it will capture great video, it has a great zoom lens, there’s a mic jack, there’s a threaded hole on the bottom for a tripod mount, and since it’s a dedicated camera for video, when grandma calls, it won’t stop the camera from recording.
Leave a comment to tell me what you think. Do you have questions about simple business videos? You wanna know about gear? Teleprompters? Microphones? What do you want to know.
Be sure to subscribe, and if you’re even thinking about my Welcome Video mini class, grab it before the price goes up over at LarryBecker.tv.