Because it helps build trust far quicker than other formats. We want to see the people we are doing business with and that’s where video delivers.
But hiring a video company every time you or your team want to produce a quick social media video doesn’t really make financial sense. When you want to create in house conversational content, it makes sense to think about using a mobile phone.
Mobiles have come a long way in the last 5 years and cameras on premium models are now good enough to use for a range of video tasks. However they have their limitations and as a result of that a number of useful tools and gadgets have popped up on the market to help you get the best results form your mobile phone.
Here are my top gadgets under £50 to get you moving with mobile video for LinkedIn and social media.
Sorting your Sound
Sound is really important because if your audience is struggling to hear what you’re saying you’re going to lose them. It’s actually more important to have good sound than a good picture (although obviously you should strive for both).
Mobile phone microphones aren’t too bad but they have a wide pattern on them which means they pick up audio from everywhere. That includes background sounds and reflections from the room. The further away you get from the mic the worse it gets.
Rode Microphones have a range of mics developed for mobile and small camera use that solve this problem.
Which you choose depends on budgets and how you predominantly use the camera.
1. Rode Video Mic ME
This is the best option for filming on the move. It attaches directly to the mobile headphone/mic socket but it has a directional pattern which means less background noise. Check it out here https://amzn.to/2VBrFfr
There’s a slightly more expensive one for IOS devices (of course!) here https://amzn.to/2VD2qcH
2. Rode Smart Lav+
This is the best option for indoor or stationary filming as it’s a wired lapel mic.
The sound on this is better purely because it brings the mic closer to your mouth but it’s slightly less flexible on the move due to the wire.
Check this out here https://amzn.to/2Lidp7t
If you’re on Android it’s worth checking the smart lav is compatible with your phone at http://www.smartlav.com/
Lighting the Way
Did you know that poor light can make your picture quality worse? Not darker…actually worse quality.
That’s because mobiles use a digital process (rather than an optical one – often used in pro cameras) to boost light levels when there isn’t enough available.
That digital process sacrifices resolution which is why mobile video always looks great outside but is often pretty poor when you’re trying to photograph your mate in the pub.
So if you can shoot outside or in a bright room then go for it…but what if you can’t?
There are plenty of camera lights on the market but lots of the budget ones have no controls to alter the brightness.
This little gem does.
It’s slim and light and runs from an internal rechargeable battery. It’s mounted using a hot shoe so if you want to put it on a mobile you’ll need a cold shoe mount (see the next tool on the list).
3. Amaran Aputure Light
The Aputure is slim and light and runs from an internal rechargeable battery.
It’s mounted using a hot shoe so if you want to put it on a mobile you’ll need a cold shoe mount (see the next tool on the list).
If you want to buy this then have a look here https://amzn.to/2UXb0yQ
If you want to add gadgets to your mobile there are a range of solutions that are much better than gaffer tape (trust me I’ve tried).
Mobiles phones have no specific mounting points on them and since lots of the tools available are designed for pro cameras we need a way to adapt them.
Enter the cold shoe mount.
Cold shoe mounts go together with wait for it….hot shoes! You’ll have seen them on photography cameras because they were originally developed to hold a flash.
4. JJC Universal 360 Degree Rotation Tripod Mount
You can use cold shoe mounts for all sorts, this little gizmo will help you mount a light or mic or almost anything to the top of your mobile clamp.
This model can then be attached to a handle or tripod legs for more stability. This is where to buy it https://amzn.to/2LcCssr
Have you ever dropped your phone on your face while looking at it in bed?
I have. It hurts.
Lets face it smart phones are amazing but they’re not the easiest things to hold onto. Phone companies have the unenviable task of creating something that does almost anything but that will also fit in your pocket.
When it comes to filming on Mobile there are two problems, firstly not dropping the damn thing and secondly keeping it steady. Smaller cameras are more prone to shake than bigger ones.
The easiest way to fix this is to add a tripod to the camera. You can either get a standard tripod and add a mobile phone clip to it (like we mentioned above) or you can get an all in one solution like this.
5. MTenBo Mobile tripod
This allows you to use the tripod as a grip if you’re on the go or you can pop it on a table if you’re stationary.
Adding weight to the bottom of the mobile helps stabilise it (a bit) your hand won’t get tired over longer durations and it also won’t get in the way of the lens. Find it at https://amzn.to/2US3S6s
Cheeky bonus recommendation
Ok so this is a bonus because it’s not exactly under the £50 mark but it’s definitely worth mentioning.
If you want true stability then you need to use a gimbal to stabilise your image.
DJI are the kings of gimbals right now having adapted the technology from their drone products and used it in hand held devices. This one is small and versatile and designed for mobile.
5b. DJI Osmo Mobile
The Osmo clocks in at about £130 ($160) but’s really good value for money.
It will balance your phone and give you a handle to hold it but what’s even more fun is the range of time-lapse and motion lapse tools that come as part of the package allowing you to get really creative with your content. It’s available to buy here https://amzn.to/2LfTgyM
And finally it’s all very well shooting lots of media but what are you going to do with it all?
Lots of phones have very basic editing functions on them but be warned they can be VERY basic.
In fact so basic that it’s enough to make you want to hurl your phone out of the window – or at least put you off editing for life. And we don’t want that.
There are lots of editing platforms on the market and they all do roughly the same thing but there’s a recent addition that’s worth checking out.
6. Adobe Rush
Abobe Premiere Rush is a recent addition to the Adobe family with lots of benefits for the mobile user. It has a bit of everything. Editing, graphics, music – enough to piece together a short video for social.
And the best thing is it has a mobile platform and a desktop version, meaning you can start your edit on the go and finish it up later on the desktop if you want. Everything is stored in the cloud so no need for cables and transferring files.
You can test it for free with up to three films and if you like it it’s a monthly subscription from Adobe.
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