Why you must know how to shoot stable smartphone video

This must be the craziest thing she had done in her life, standing on a tower, 60 Meters above a flooded raging river, her muscles tensed, her breath short, a dizzying wave of nausea swept over her, the lump in her throat felt like stone,her breath was constricted.

The undulating landscape, lolling green ridges, lush farmland dotted with clusters of banana plants, rolled off into the horizon. Mount Kenya like a colossus watched over her from the East.

The scenic beauty escaped her – she was focused on the white rapids below. Several indistinguishable men struggling to keep their kayaks upright, appeared like dots from this height, their red, yellow and orange life jackets bobbed in the river, the only sign of life.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes, said a quick prayer, and let go. Suddenly, she was hurtling through space, her body plunged, rushing to meet the river below, for a second a crazy thought went  through her mind, How would this experience look like on a smartphone video?

As the waters of river Sagana rose to meet her, or put correctly, she hurtled to meet the river – the bungee rope strapped on her back jerked her body back. – High up she went flying into the air she soared – a thrill of exhilaration swept over her, nothing, absolutely nothing had prepared her for this sensation!  

Shooting  exhilarating smartphone video requires extreme stability. In this article, I will share important tips on why you can’t compromise your smartphone video’s stability. I will shed light on Smartphone Tripods and why they are an absolute necessity to your video shots.

Jane in our story above, – after the scare of her first jump, managed to shoot a dizzying B – Roll clip of her exhilarating second bungee jump, she stabilized her smartphone with one of the tripods discussed below.

 

You may not be a Bungee jumper, a Rally driver, Para glider, or a Mountain climber; All you may want to do is shoot a YouTube or Instagram video for your business. Stabilizing your smartphone on a tripod is a definite game changer.

Video stability is what separates pros from amateurs, Your smartphone’s stability will help you to:

  • Shoot better framed shots, and
  • Seamlessly change your video shots angle.

Professional videographers are always armed with Tripods you will find them, with one or two types of Smartphone tripods for different video shooting situations.

Here is what you need to know about smartphone tripods:

What do I look for in a Smartphone Tripod?

Smartphone Tripods are functional equipment; To perform efficiently they must meet certain standards.

Are you Vlogging or shooting a self video? a sturdy and grip Tripod will deliver perfect shots.

Here are four basic features about smartphone Tripods you must know .

  • They must be portable;– Small and light smartphone Tripods are preferred over heavy Tripods.
  • They must be strong and have a firm grip,
  • They must have a strong durable mount,
  • They shouldn’t be too expensive

An excellent Tripod mount must be compatible for both Android and Apple products. A width of  3.75’ meaning will hold both iPhone and Samsung Note smartphones.

The smartphone mount should be light enough to slip in your pocket and strong enough to hold your smartphone upright.

Some Tripods can be used as extension poles or selfie sticks, and yet can retract to become be used as table top Tripods.  

What type of Smartphone Tripods are in the market?

Smartphone Tripods, fall in three broad categories:

  • Versatile(traditional) are easily portable Tripods come with collapsible legs and a mount.
  • Octopus Tripods are smaller, lighter,and  have fold able and flexible legs.
  • Tabletop Tripods are small,ideally they should be placed on a flat surface, and used for Vlogging and self videos.

Lightweight Tripods with an inbuilt bubble view  will help your video’s focus,- release mounting plate ensures fast transitions between shots.Bluetooth remote control gives you better control of the shutter speed.

Multi purpose Tripods can be used with  a DSLR Camera Go pro devices, scopes and Smartphones.

Octopus Tripods have flexible legs with quick release mount, they can wrap around tree trunks, poles and other raised posts. They can be used to shoot panoramic video, used with a Bluetooth remote control, they can be used to capture amazing shots.

How do I use different types of Smartphone Tripods?

Using a Tripod in your smartphone video shots, will help unleash your creativity. Tripods help you to shoot video from different angles helping you capture amazing perspectives, frame precise shots, and help you capture creative B – Rolls.

The necessity of Tripods is created by the type of video you may want to shoot. For example;

  • An outdoor bungee jumping video, like the one shot by Jane, requires a sturdy tripod with an on built ,mount, or a strong mount head, to protect your smartphone from jarring  that will cause camera shakes.
  • Vlogging and Self video require a mini Tripod.

A Tripod that has rotatable mount head is good for capturing simultaneous diverse shots, panning and shifting angles. A good Mount Head has a 90 degree tilt and can rotate on a 360 degree axis.

When shooting at an elevated angle or at an arm’s length an extendable Tripod, will  deliver the best results, make sure the Tripod’s grip is firm and its legs sturdy.

Mini Tripods are excellent for Vlogging and self videos. A good mini Tripod has a rotatable head, that  stands on a lockable ball socket that gives a 360 degree rotation, it will also have an inbuilt spirit bubble level that ensures you a perfectly aligned smartphone video.

Mini Tripods should be light  with fold able legs, they should inconspicuously slide in your bag for easy portability.

Take away

To choose an excellent Tripod, check the following parts and components.

Tripod Head: The Tripod head should have the ability to adjust on a multiple axis, it should  tilt , pan and lock seamlessly at different angles.

Spirit/bubble level: A dual axis bubble level on the head, will help you balance the Tripod head and align your smartphone l when shooting outdoor videos.

Legs and Feet of the Tripod should be strong, and flexible, an octopus Tripod should  smoothly rotate independently and lock strongly. The feet should also be rubberized and textured for a good grip on the ground.

Carbon fibre Tripods are light and Strong.

Specialized Tripods,  will help you shoot creative B – Rolls, they come with dolly wheels, rail mounts, or modular mounts..

Finally besides working with your budget when buying a Tripod ensure that you know, The Tripod’s weight, its length, Its tilt and its angle of pan.

 

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