Smartphone

Android Video Recording: Tips for Shooting Like a Pro

ANDROID VIDEO RECORDING TIPS

For a long time, Android phones were the Jan Brady of the smartphone universe: struggling for recognition and respect. Instead of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” it was “iPhone, iPhone, iPhone.” 

Well Jan…er, Android-based phones have officially stepped out the shadows with features and performance that deserve applause. Here’s what you should know to get the most out of recording video on an Android phone:

The universal “Do’s” for any smartphone, Android included:

  • Always shoot holding the phone horizontally.
  • Use the rule of thirds.
  • Stabilize, stabilize, stabilize. If you don’t have a tripod, hold your elbows into your core, and stabilize your body against a wall or a tree. Or place your camera on solid surface and hit record.
  • Digital zoom equals grainy zoom. If you’d like a close-up, pop in a stick of gum and walk closer to your subject.
  • Be attentive to light, natural and manmade. Always make sure you subjects are facing the light.
  • Leave the house with 100% battery. Video sucks the life out of batteries, so be fully loaded at the start of your day. Consider traveling with a backup, like the Mophie Powerstation 3X.
  • Click here to learn about these universal tips in more detail.

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How to get the most from your Android video recording function

  • Hands off the microphone! Every brand of Android phone places the microphone in a different location. Make sure you’re not accidentally muffling your audio with your thumb.
  • In-phone cameras vary from brand to brand, but many people find Android cameras in general to be more reliable in low light conditions than iPhones. Amp up the quality even more by shooting in HDR (high dynamic range) video, if it’s available on your phone. In super low-light conditions, HDR may not be the right solution, so always run a short test video before committing to a full-action take.
  • Use 4K recording judiciously. It’s tempting to always opt for that high resolution, but what it delivers in clarity, it may give up in smoothing. Each brand is different, but the general rule of thought is that 4K is best reserved for slow-moving or stable subjects. Mountain biking, rafting or roller coasting riding? Save memory and turn off the 4K.
  • Familiarize yourself with your phone’s settings. This seems like it hardly qualifies as a tip, but remember different phone/camera brands may do offer different options.

Favorite Android Apps to Bolster Your Android Video Recording

A challenge for Android users is that the camera hardware varies by smartphone brand. Always ensure the app you download is recommended for your brand.

    • Camera JB+ ($1.99): A longtime favorite for android video recording, Camera JB+ allows you to configure quality, brightness, 4K (if compatible with your phone), varying playback views, and instant edits to cut out swaths of footage you know you don’t want.

  • AZ Screen Recorder – No Root (Free): A positively reviewed app for making recording even easier.
  • VHS Camcorder ($2.99): JUST FOR FUN! This app promises to make your videos worse. No joke. Recording through this app will bring your shots right back to the shoulder-heaving camcorder quality of the 1980s. It’s sort of the “aging” Instagram filter for your video.