You don't need an expensive, complicated camera to create great media. Used right, your smartphone can capture stellar pics and video. Any production disadvantages a phone has over an expensive camera can be made up for with engaging, creative content and amazing flexibility.
- [Narrator] If you have access to a nice video camera, that's great, by all means use it for your Camtasia creations. But, if you don't, don't worry. You don't need an expensive, complicated camera to create great media. Used right, your smartphone can capture stellar pics and video. And, let's face it, content is king! Any production disadvantages a phone has over an expensive camera can easily be made up for with engaging, creative content. Not to mention the amazing flexibility.
Here's a few tips and guidelines to help you out. Have your camera ready. One of the great things about using your phone as your camera is you'll likely have it with you when an opportunity pops up. Set your phone so you can access the camera quickly without drilling down through a bunch of menus. On mine I just double tap the power button and it takes me directly to the camera which can come in really handy. For example, this bear video, which I know is terribly shot. But the point is a bear ran right in front of my bike and I was able to grab my phone and get a terrible shot, but it still makes for a much better story than no shot at all.
Just think if it had been Bigfoot instead of a bear. Before you head out on shoot day list all the shots you'll need to tell your story and reference it throughout the shoot. You can always add shots on the fly as well, but a shot list will ensure that you get the shots you need and won't have an "oh no" moment when you go to edit. Shoot in high resolution. Your phone probably has different settings for both photo and video. If you're shooting for keeps, shoot in the highest resolution possible.
Your files will be larger, but they'll look better and offer more editing options. This one is super important, keep your lens clean. A dirty lens can ruin your shot. Before each shoot it's a real good idea to clean your lens. I keep a microcloth with me pretty much all the time, but in a pinch a soft shirttail will work. And this one is a big pet peeve of mine. When I see people shooting with one hand. Use both hands! Whether you're shooting images or video, you need to keep things steady.
Shoot with both hands and a solid stance. If you can brace yourself against a tree or a building, even better. Keep your framing in mind. While framing is a creative choice, some arrangements definitely look better than others. Consider using the Rule of Thirds. Some phones even have an overlay you can turn on to help out with this. Just line up your subject on one of the intersection points, and you'll end up with a nicely composed shot. Be mindful of your lighting, especially with faces.
Move around until your subject is well-lit. Try different locations, different times of day. Morning and evening usually work great for outdoor shots. And, it's totally fine to add lights. Use whatever you've got available. Desk lamps, open a window, even computer monitors can help brighten things up. Change things up. Use wide shots, medium shots, closeups, and even extreme closeups. Try weird angles. Next time you watch a TV show or movie, notice how often things change and how the shots vary.
Variation keeps things interesting. The digital zoom on phones doesn't do a very good job, instead, zoom with your legs. Just get in closer. If you have the option, try setting your exposure and focus manually. This will lock things down so you don't get a lot of lighting variation or out-of-focus shots. And, shoot a lot. With more pics and video to choose from the odds of finding a great shot go up dramatically.
If you find that your phone's camera app just isn't working out, try a different app. Just pop over to your favorite app store, find the one that's right for you. If audio is an important part of your video, do your best to capture clean, clear audio. Try using a lavaliere, getting in close, or even shooting somewhere with less ambient noise. Now, if the audio isn't important you can always mute or remove it later. And we'll talk about capturing audio in another video. Consider accessories.
There are all kinds of accessories to enhance your shots. Steadycams, tripods, lenses and filters are available for most any modern phone. This is just a quick overview to get you up and running. If you want to look more into shooting professional looking pics and video, there are plenty of courses available here in the Online Training Library.
- Selecting and setting up a microphone
- Scripting a business communication
- Recording a screen capture
- Capturing media with a smartphone
- Getting media into Camtasia
- Editing video and audio
- Adding music
- Animating media
- Including closed-captioning
- Publishing and sharing a video