Turn your phone camera into professional photography tool
We have all at a point or the other considered ourselves the greatest photographer that ever lived, in fact at some other points, we have had to record a video of so many things, whether to be posted on social media or just to be circulated among friends, however probably owing to our over excitement or purely down to us not knowing that our phones are good enough, we have lost the edge in such videos. So we will be going through the how of using our smartphones much more capably to make video recordings.
Every photo or video you take consists of blacks and whites which makes up your dynamic range, say if you have your camera in automatic mode, what your camera will always try to do is get an exposure standard of 18% grey in every shot that you take. This means that if you are in a very brightly lit situation, the camera will try to dial down the exposure by introducing more blacks to get that 18% grey, and vice-versa. Now in videos, we always do not want that to happen. This is because of the over compensation that the camera will most likely do for either a white or black background as the case may be. Thus if your subject while shooting a video is wearing black, the camera absorbs the light and tries to compensate for this by making the surrounding areas brighter introducing more whites and thus blurring the lines between the other colours and not giving the best coverage. The same thing on the other side of the spectrum occurs when there is a white in the background. The camera will always get this wrong. The result will be your subject gets an underexposed skin tone when your subject is wearing white and over exposed skin tones when your subject is wearing black.
Tackling this problem on a smartphone camera is generally not easy because of the complete lack of manual controls. On most android phones, you will have to get an app called the Cinema FV-5, which is a paid app costing $3. In it, you will be able to change a plethora of manual controls including white balance and exposure compensation. To stop the camera from constantly correcting for focus on exposure just touch and hold the spot in the frame you want the focus and exposure to be fixed for.
Iphone users are in luck however, as no third party camera app is required. In the store/ in built camera app, tap and hold on to the part in the frame that you want exposure and focus to be fixed for, until it says AEAF LOCK at the top of the screen, and that is pretty much it. If you are going to be shooting on the move, there is not much you are going to be able to do in terms of stabilization besides doing it through software or getting yourself a three axis smartphone gimbal like DJI OSMO.
With these very simple tricks and tips (as simple as they are), you can be making some very professional looking videos using just your smartphone. Now for obvious reasons your smartphone will not replace a dedicated camera; but given just how small these devices have gotten in recent times, the video quality you are able to squeeze out of them is very impressive.
It is important to note that for shooting informal videos like campouts, vlogs and personal videos, using your automatic camera mode will do just fine; however if you are looking to squeeze out the most quality out of your smartphone camera, this is definitely a step in the right direction.