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This is how you record the best iPhone videos



The iPhone 11 ($ 699 on Amazon) and 11 Pro are two of the best phones you can buy today for video recording. The iPhone has a long history of recording good-looking videos. While other phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 ($ 950 on Amazon) Huawei P30 Pro ($ 716 on Amazon) and Google Pixel 4 with the iPhone from head to head In terms of photos, Apple's video expertise in shooting options, image quality and color accuracy is unmatched by any other phone manufacturer.

Yes, a dedicated camera such as a Sony RX1

00 or a mirrorless camera like the Panasonic GH5 or Sony A7 III captures and makes videos in better quality This will give you more native customizations, and yet none is as comfortable as your phone. The size of an iPhone and ease of use allow you to capture authentic and personal moments in no time.

With the new dual and triple rear cameras, the 11 and 11 Pro models give more versatility to an already solid video setup. You can change the camera to get closer to or away from your subject even while you are shooting. And the new iPhones record sharper videos with more vivid colors compared to videos from previous generation Apple phones such as the iPhone X (19459003) ($ 578 on Amazon) (19459004) and the iPhone XS ($ 19459008) Amazon) (19459004).

Apart from that, here are more than a dozen tips to make filming on your iPhone easier and see how you can get results that look and sound better.

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Always make sure you have space on your phone before recording new videos.


Patrick Holland / CNET

. 1 Pay attention to how you hold your iPhone.

If you want to capture landscape videos, that's fine. If you want to shoot vertical video, that's cool too. Think about where you want to post or share your videos. When uploading to YouTube, a horizontal alignment is best. When you post on Instagram, vertical videos look better. If you just share things with friends, you can do it all. However, if you want to edit a few video clips at a time, make sure you hold the phone the same way for each clip. This considerably facilitates the processing and saves you "black bars".

. 2 4K video is the solution

Your iPhone can record at 720p, 1080p and 4K. For the best video quality, a resolution of 4K is the best choice. If you care less about quality and focus more on how much space is needed on your mobile phone videos, you should reduce the resolution to 1080p or even 720p.

If you run iOS 13.2 or later, you can quickly change the resolution in the default Camera app. Just tap the resolution and frames per second (fps) icon in the corner of the camera browser. You can switch between 4K, HD and 720.

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For even more control and options, go to App Settings and tap Camera. There you can change resolution and frame rate as well as recording formats, stereo audio and raster overlay.

. 3 Change the frame rate according to your subject and where you post

The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro can record 4K video at 24, 30, or 60 fps. Most movies are shot at 24 frames per second, which gives them the cinematic flicker. If you record a vlog for YouTube or post something on Facebook or Instagram, 30fps are fine. 60fps is great for shooting activities like sports or something with lots of exercise.

With good lighting, 60 fps ensures that your video looks really sharp. After capturing a video at 60 frames per second, you can use an editing app such as iMovie, Final Cut Pro X, or Adobe Premiere Pro to reduce the speed to 30 frames per second. This gives the motion in your footage a dreamy feel.

My default setting for videos on an iPhone is 4 KB at 24 fps.

. 4 Slow Motion on the iPhone is Good, But Be Smart

It's crazy that you can shoot slow motion pictures at up to 40 frames per second at Full HD – 1080p with an iPhone 11 or 11 Pro. That is, if you use a high frame rate like this, your video needs a lot of light.

Watch out for artificial lighting as this will give your slow motion video a flickering flicker. This makes capturing slow motion indoors difficult.

When you play a slow motion video you've taken with your phone, it looks pretty good. However, if you look at it on a larger screen like a computer or a TV, you may see some of the errors.

. 5 Take Control of Auto Exposure and Autofocus

If your video appears too bright in the camera app's viewfinder, you can decrease the exposure to prevent people's faces from becoming spots of light. Note, however, that auto exposure and autofocus on the iPhone are linked. In fact, on most cell phones, this is the default, except for the new Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL .

To fine-tune your exposure, tap the screen you want to focus on. I hope that's your topic. A yellow focus / exposure square is displayed. Move the brightness icon up or down with your fingers until the subject is well lit.

If you want to save your exposure, tap and hold on the screen until the yellow focus / exposure square pulses and "AE / AF LOCK" appears on your screen. AE / AF LOCK stands for Auto Exposure / Auto Focus Lock. The iPhone retains these settings until you touch the screen again or continue to adjust the brightness slider.

. 6 Not all zoom functions are the same

Like most camera phones, an iPhone has both an optical zoom and a digital zoom. Optical zoom is when the camera shoots at its natural magnification. The iPhone 11's main camera has a 1X magnification, and the Ultrawide Angle camera has a 0.5X magnification. The 11 Pro has a third "tele" camera with 2x magnification. Filming with one of these magnifications gives you the best optical quality available to you.

Otherwise, if you zoom in at 1.9x or 6x magnification, for example, you use digital zoom, which can degrade image quality and make it look soft and blurry. I usually try to stay at 1x, 2x or 0.5x on the iPhone 11 Pro and 1x and 0.5x on the iPhone 11.

Even so, a small digital zoom does not degrade in good lighting. The picture quality of your video is too high. For example, when I'm on the iPhone 11 Pro, I feel comfortable shooting three times in bright situations. The same applies to the iPhone 11, in which the recording of videos with a double magnification still looks decent.

. 7 The new zoom wheel of the iPhone makes the zoom look better.

Rarely do I switch between capturing a video between cameras. But sometimes it's better to do that than miss a moment. There are several ways to zoom in and out while recording. You can tap the magnification button next to the shutter button to switch the camera. It's almost like a TV talk show when moving from one camera to another.

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A new dial facilitates smooth and precise zooming.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Of course, you can pinch something to zoom, but that's not very precise and may shift the scope of your video. But now with iOS 13, there's a zoom wheel that allows you to zoom in and out with your thumb or finger in a buttery motion. Simply tap and hold the magnification key – 1x, 2x or 0.5x. Then slide the knob one way or the other to zoom in or out.

. 8 QuickTake Brings Instagram-style Video to the Camera App

If you need to shoot video quickly and do not have a moment to switch from photo mode to video mode, Apple has the solution for you. Just press and hold the shutter-release button to shoot a video. It's similar to the way you can capture videos on Instagram or Snapchat. As soon as you let go, the recording will stop. If you want to lock the shutter button to continue recording, pull your finger from the shutter to the lock.

. 9 There are many ways to edit your video using the Camera app.

For the first time, you can rotate a video or change the cropping, color, or exposure of your videos without a third-party app. With iOS 13, basically all editing tools are available for photos, and you can apply them to the videos you capture.

To enter edit mode, select your video from your camera roll or photo app, and then click the Edit button. When you tap the crop tool, you can rotate videos that have been shot in the wrong orientation or just straighten a video you've shot. You can also adjust exposure, highlights, shadows, saturation, contrast, and other aspects of the video.

You also have video filters that you can add and a slider that lets you set how strong the filter should be in your video. Keep in mind, however, that the longer your video is, the longer it will take your iPhone to make those changes and edits.

10th Trim the beginning and end of your video clips

Phone apps, such as iMovie and LumaFusion, allow you to combine multiple video clips and add music and transitions. However, you can trim the beginning and end of your clips directly from the camera roll.

To do this, select your video in the Camera Roll or Photo app, and tap Edit to enter edit mode. From there, press and hold the video timeline below your video while moving your finger. A yellow outline appears around the video timeline, moving it to the left or right with your finger. This works for editing the beginning and end of a clip. When finished, tap Done .

. 11 Capture Selfie Videos for Recording

The front-facing camera on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro is wonderful. For the first time on the iPhone, the front and rear cameras are equally matched. Selfie videos even have an extended dynamic range like the back and can record in 4K. This is perfect for vlog-style videos.

12th Improve the sound with an external microphone

It gets difficult here. Videos are only as good as the sound. Another possibility is that bad audio can ruin a great video. The onboard microphones on the iPhone are suitable for recording. The problem is that you want your subject close to the phone's built-in microphone, but far enough away for the frame and focus to look good.

A simple solution, especially for video editing, is to use the wired headphones supplied with the iPhone as a microphone. Better yet, buy an external microphone that connects to the iPhone's Lightning port. You'll find options for shotgun microphones on your phone to help you point to your subject. You can also purchase a microphone with a long cable that can attach your subject to a shirt.

If you're using a third-party app, such as Filmic Pro, you can use a Bluetooth microphone as the audio source. These include Bluetooth earphones like the AirPods ($ 144 at Amazon) AirPod Pros or Beats Wireless models. Of course, many dedicated video microphones work better, offer better quality, and do not look so weird.

One "hack" I've made is using a second iPhone and a wired headphone. I have my subjects the microphone part of the headphones near the collar of their shirt and lead the cable under their clothes. I connect the headphones via the voice memo app to a second iPhone, with which they record the sound. Later in iMovie, Premiere, Final Cut Pro or Resolve, I use the audio from the second phone and replace it or mix it with the audio directly from my phone.

. 13 Video tip Potpourri, a la Jeopardy

So these are my 12 tips for a better iPhone video. But I will not stop here. Time for a speed lap with video tip potpourri, a la Jeopardy.

  • Keep an eye on the storage capacity of your phone as you take it, so you do not run out of time.
  • Create a backup map of important videos like iCloud or Google Photos.
  • Enable the gridlines for framing and maintaining the layer. No Dutch angles.
  • Stabilize your phone by placing it on a flat surface, tripod or cardan.
  • Take a protective case or a cage to protect your phone and make it easier to grasp and add accessories.
  • Buy lenses to make your phone more versatile.
  • Buy an external microphone, either with or without cable.
  • And finally Clean your phone and lens .

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