7 Easy Ways to Improve Quality Videos When Recording by Smartphones

Are you planning to create your own Youtube channel but afraid that you can’t afford high-quality camera? Don’t worry! You can use your smartphone!

Many people think that the camera of your phone will only produce low-quality videos. That’s not true. If you know the right methods, you will be able to have better products.

Below are 7 tips you can apply to record a video with your smartphone:

1. Use your back camera:

When you take a selfie, you usually use your front camera so you can have more impressive facial expression. However, if you want to make a video, back camera would be much better.

In fact, front camera is only suitable for capturing portrait or for video calls via Skype or Facetime, etc. It would be more convenient in those cases. But back cameras will have higher resolutions, which brings about more detailed pictures (for example, the iPhone has a 720p front camera, and a 1080p back camera).

Of course, there are several smartphones designed for taking selfie. In that case, their front camera may have better quality. However, almost back camera should be better. If you just sit in one place to record your video, try using your back camera.

2. Don’t use Zoom:

If you used to try the Zoom mode in your phone to take a picture, perhaps you know that it would affect the quality of images. The same thing happens to recording videos.

As we zoom in, we start to focus on smaller points being far away, which requires a proper stillness of your phone, or you will end up with a blurred image.

However, even when you have some tools to hold your phone in one place, the images’ quality will still be low since the lens isn’t zooming optically, you’re just enlarging the picture digitally.

So, if you want to zoom in an object, just take your smartphone and walk closer to it.

3. Use External Microphone for Smarphones:

Every smartphone has already got a mic built-in. However, sometimes it may be quite noisy, affecting the quality of your audio.

If you are going to record your video in a professional way, using external microphone is necessary. There are two good options that you can try to make your own vlog or interview: lav microphone and shotgun microphone.

A good lav microphone (or Lavalier Mics) is a small, compact microphone that you will often see hanging on a shirt or tie. It is designed to audio from all directions and you can easily hide it under your clothes. It can also go wireless and would be your best choice to capture clean, clear dialogue audio.

On the other hand, a shortgun mic is a microphone that must be pointed directly to the source of sound. If You move it to other sides, the audio quality will be lower. Although it would be a bit difficult to control the direction when the speaker is moving, this microphone is still good for any kind of outdoor shooting, even in all kinds of wind.

4. Use Manual Mode:

We usually automatically choose the Default mode (or auto mode) when taking a picture or recording a video with our smartphone. In this mode, the camera will be set to self-adjusting, and we won’t need to do anything.

However, for video shooting, we had better use Manual mode, in which we modify everything by our hands. Actually, the secret to take a good picture or to have a quality video is the amount of light entering the camera. This can be easily adjusted via many features included in the manual mode like:

  • Metering
  • Shutter speed
  • ISO
  • Exposure
  • White balance

So, try adjusting those features before shooting a video. You will see the difference.

5. Use Video Recording apps:

You can make videos with not only your smartphone’s camera but also many useful recording apps available for Android and iPhone. They will help to adjust the parameters like a professional filmmaking camera.

You can refer to several good recommendations such as: Filmic Pro, Mavis, Movie Pro, Cinema FV-5, and Luma Fusion.

6. Use a Smartphone Portable LED Lights:

As mentioned before, the light is the secret of making a quality video. Nobody will watch your video if it looks dark. Therefore, if you must shoot in a place without a good light condition, supportive LED lights is the only solution.

Using enough lights will help to get a better exposed image and create a good atmosphere or mood for viewers. You can try with several popular LED light brands like Neewer, VidPro K120, Manfrotto Spectra 500S, and so on.

7. Use a gimbal:

If you want your videos to look professional without any vibration, investing in a gimbal will be a wise decision.

A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows your camera or smartphone to rotate on a single axis. It is really helpful in stablizing the image or video, making them more perfect and smooth. This tool is quite necessary when shooting a video while the recorder has a lot of movements.

The price for this product can range from $25 to $300. Sounds not really cheap but it’s worth investing.


In a nutshell, if you are going to dig deep into filmmaking career, a professional camera would be a MUST in the long run. But you can immediately start making your first products by your smartphones using the above tips. You will have more inspiration to develop your own channel.