Mobile devices have revolutionized the way we think about creating video. Consider that less than a decade ago, if you wanted to capture something on video you needed to buy a bulky, specific piece of equipment to cart around with you. Remarkably, today, more than 77 percent of Americans carry a device in their pocket capable of not only capturing images and videos, but also taking phone calls, sending and receiving text messages, and allowing you try to beat your friend’s high score in Temple Run.
Mobile devices and their cameras have become more advanced through significant technology innovations over the last several years. By improving megapixel count, widening apertures, and brightening flashes, the ability to capture quality video and images has become more accessible than ever. That’s not to say your mobile device should replace your dedicated camera but it certainly deserves a place in your toolkit. Here are four reasons why.
1. Accessibility: Most of us use our mobile devices every day and would never willingly leave home without them. Even if you’re a professional videographer, you likely don’t carry around your high-end camera everywhere you go. The value of being able to record video at any time is truly immeasurable. There’s a famous photography expression that says, “The best camera is the one that is with you,” and I couldn’t agree more.
2. All-in-one tool: Mobile devices have the distinct advantage of being an all-in-one video tool. Depending on your device and what apps you have, you can seamlessly shoot, edit, upload, and share a video all from the same device—quickly turning around content for sharing.
3. Shoot, edit, and share easily: Mobile devices provide a much more cost-effective way to create video for those working with a small budget or anyone just getting started. They allow you to create videos without expending a significant upfront financial investment to purchase the camera, computer, editing software, etc. It’s far cheaper to learn and make mistakes early experimenting with your mobile device than it is to make them with equipment that costs thousands of dollars.
While editing software on a PC is much more complex and allows you more creative freedom, there are many mobile editing software apps that allow you to quickly trim and edit clips together, and apply filters, music, and text layovers.
Many mobile apps offer a free-trial version—a great way to test different programs. If you plan on mobile video creation to be an ongoing staple in your training content, I recommend investing in the paid version of the apps you find useful. Start out with the trial and see which apps work best for you before you make your purchase.
4. Camera quality: Mobile device cameras have come a long way in improving their technical specifications and recording quality. Manufacturers continue to push the capabilities of the small lens and sensor to impressive new benchmarks year after year. Almost all mobile devices on the market are capable of recording 1080p resolution, with many newer models now able to capture video in 4K resolution and at 60 frames per second (fps).
To make the most of your mobile camera’s technical specifications, film shots that are medium to close-up for best video quality. Mobile device cameras are generally more effective when there’s less depth and distance between the subject and the camera.
As much as mobile devices have evolved, they aren’t without some technical limitations when compared to a dedicated higher-end camera. To unlock the full video recording potential of your device, first learn how to use it. Read through your user manual or watch a video about the technical specifications and features of your device’s camera.
With practice, proper technique, and experimenting with new apps and software, you can create amazing, engaging content with your mobile device. Share your favorite thing about using your mobile device when creating video on Twitter @piercemr
Matt Pierce is Learning & Video ambassador at TechSmith Corp., the go-to company for visual communication. TechSmith empowers people to create remarkable content to share knowledge and information. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Education’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Pierce has more than 10 years of experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction. He has directly managed the training, user assistance, video, and other teams for TechSmith.