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How to Capture Better Videos With Your iPhone

Apple's newest iPhones can capture high-quality 60 FPS 4K video, but there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into account to make excellent videos that can compete with what you can do with a traditional camera.

Lighting, stabilization, settings, and composition are all elements that can make or break a video, and in our latest guide on YouTube, we're sharing a series of tips you can use to make your videos better than ever.

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Without shelling out any cash, there are certain settings you can change to make sure you're getting the best quality video out of your iPhone.

Open up the Settings app, choose the "Camera" section, and you can set your video recording quality. On iPhone X and iPhone 8, you can capture 4K video at 60 frames per second. On older iPhones like the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7, your options will be more limited, with 4K video topping out at 30 frames per second.

You can also improve your videos with simple Auto Exposure and Auto Focus locking features, which will prevent abrupt changes while you're filming. After setting exposure with drag gestures on the iPhone's screen when using the Camera app, hold a finger on the focal point until the AE/AF lock banner pops up.

You'll get even more control over settings using a third-party app like FiLMic Pro ($14.99), which lets you set parameters like exposure, white balance, color, aspect ratio, and focus while also giving you live tools for monitoring video and making adjustments.

Lighting is a huge factor when it comes to video quality, so shooting outdoors in daylight or in a well-lit room will improve your videos immensely if you can't shell out for a lighting setup, and you can spice up your videos with iPhone camera capabilities like time lapse and slow motion. Stabilization is as important as lighting - brace your elbows or invest in a tripod or a handheld gimbal.

If you're going to be taking a lot of video with your iPhone, you might want to check out something like the $130 DJI Osmo Mobile 2, which uses a gimbal to smooth out and counteract camera shake. It's not for everyone given its high price point, but it's worth the investment if you're aiming for quality video that's shake free. For a cheaper option, check out the Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod, which is just $24.95 (with an additional $9.95 for the mount).

For a full rundown on all of our video tips, make sure to watch the video above, which, fittingly, was filmed entirely on an iPhone X. Did we leave anything out? Let us know your own tips and tricks for capturing better video in the comments.


Top Rated Comments

(View all)

10 months ago
....and for the love of all that's holy, don't shoot "vertical video"!!!
Rating: 32 Votes
10 months ago

I disagree on this one. My videos are for me and my family, not for you on iTunes or youtube. If I'm taking a video of my baby walking, then a vertical video will get more of him in the frame and thus capture more of the moment. And by the way, the vast majority of views of this video will be family and friends on iPhones and iPads, so the vertical works quite well.

That's just one example and yes, people should consider portrait v. landscape each time they start recording, but this is far from the hard and fast rule so many people would have you believe.


You could not be more wrong my friend. Anyone who shoots vertical video should be burned at the stake!! Do you see spiel burg, lucas or abrams shooting vertical for the next blockbuster. Is your tv or laptop vertical? Consider this your only and final warning.
Rating: 20 Votes
10 months ago
An oldie, but my favorite...

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Rating: 17 Votes
10 months ago

I disagree on this one. My videos are for me and my family, not for you on iTunes or youtube. If I'm taking a video of my baby walking, then a vertical video will get more of him in the frame and thus capture more of the moment. And by the way, the vast majority of views of this video will be family and friends on iPhones and iPads, so the vertical works quite well.

That's just one example and yes, people should consider portrait v. landscape each time they start recording, but this is far from the hard and fast rule so many people would have you believe.


[MEDIA=youtube]Bt9zSfinwFA[/MEDIA]

That video says most of it all in...

Vertical video looks like crap when you decide to move it to a projector or large monitor.
Rating: 14 Votes
10 months ago

I disagree on this one. My videos are for me and my family, not for you on iTunes or youtube. If I'm taking a video of my baby walking, then a vertical video will get more of him in the frame and thus capture more of the moment. And by the way, the vast majority of views of this video will be family and friends on iPhones and iPads, so the vertical works quite well.

That's just one example and yes, people should consider portrait v. landscape each time they start recording, but this is far from the hard and fast rule so many people would have you believe.


But one day he is going to get married or have kids of his own or some other occasion where you or him will want to splice together a traditional video for mass viewing. You'll show it on a nice size to huge screen and 2/3rd of the screen will be black bars on either side.

It's just not natural. I mean, hey, if it was, then Hollywood would start making rental videos horizontal. Millions of people watch movies on their tablets these days. How about Star Wars viewed on your iPad in portrait. It would massacre the entire film. Same is true if you shoot your son's soccer games in portrait. Just a thought.
Rating: 10 Votes
10 months ago

....and for the love of all that's holy, don't shoot "vertical video"!!!


I disagree on this one. My videos are for me and my family, not for you on iTunes or youtube. If I'm taking a video of my baby walking, then a vertical video will get more of him in the frame and thus capture more of the moment. And by the way, the vast majority of views of this video will be family and friends on iPhones and iPads, so the vertical works quite well.

That's just one example and yes, people should consider portrait v. landscape each time they start recording, but this is far from the hard and fast rule so many people would have you believe.
Rating: 8 Votes
10 months ago
A pic is worth a 1000 words.



Rating: 8 Votes
10 months ago

I disagree on this one. My videos are for me and my family, not for you on iTunes or youtube. If I'm taking a video of my baby walking, then a vertical video will get more of him in the frame and thus capture more of the moment. And by the way, the vast majority of views of this video will be family and friends on iPhones and iPads, so the vertical works quite well.

That's just one example and yes, people should consider portrait v. landscape each time they start recording, but this is far from the hard and fast rule so many people would have you believe.


Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, however when you subject family members to vertical video you are doing a great disservice.

I understand your argument, but I still have to disagree with it. Most of the vertical videos I get from family members are very shaky because they are struggling to keep the subject in frame, constantly turning the phone left and right to keep their kid, dog, etc.. in frame. If you simply record in landscape it will be significantly easier to track the subject.

You also never know when you might want to use the footage in something more, like a video montage or whatever, and target a larger screen. Vertical videos look like utter crap on a television.

Please do everyone, including your family a favor and shoot in landscape.
Rating: 7 Votes
10 months ago

10 seconds of video isn't going to ruin that big day, is it? By that time my wife and I will have enjoyed the video 200 times on our devices in full screen, which is more important to us. Besides, if I took the video on landscape, then 2/3 of the video would be something other than the subject matter, which is all that matters when you watch your kids take their first step. Arguably, it looks far better without the messy living room (don't judge - you'll understand if/when you're a parent!) in frame.



I already covered this in my previous post. I don't take videos of my kids for Hollywood and I'm not filming Star Wars in this example. It's frankly a bizarre comparison to make, especially in light of the fact that I already made the point clear that this was for personal use, not an attempt at a major production. The next Star Wars movie is at zero risk of being shot in portrait as a result of my reckless home filmmaking. And I wouldn't record my kid's soccer game in portrait - again, I said it's a decision that should be considered each time you make a recording. BTW, here's another thing you'll never see on a movie screen: a notch.


You are simply trying to reaffirm your bad decision. It is disservice to your family members by shooting in vertical. Make the extra effort to shoot the way that everyone will enjoy
Rating: 3 Votes
10 months ago

I disagree on this one. My videos are for me and my family, not for you on iTunes or youtube. If I'm taking a video of my baby walking, then a vertical video will get more of him in the frame and thus capture more of the moment. And by the way, the vast majority of views of this video will be family and friends on iPhones and iPads, so the vertical works quite well.

That's just one example and yes, people should consider portrait v. landscape each time they start recording, but this is far from the hard and fast rule so many people would have you believe.


I understand your point. And yes, if you just played the video back forever on just a smart phone, yeah your baby will “appear” to look larger, fill out more screen space.

But in reality, it’s always a best practice to shoot in landscape. It’s the correct way and will play back more natural on any and every screen.
Rating: 3 Votes

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