Can you shoot professional quality​ video on a phone?

I read a post on a blog, I won’t mention any names, but they wrote a post about video and mentioned that use your phone to shoot social media video, but it’s not “professional” quality. I went, “WHAT?” I disagree with this statement. Yes, there are steps you need to take to make it more professional. You don’t break out the phone and start shooting. Here are my tips for making “professional” video on the phone.

Go Manual

Don’t rely on the built-in camera app. As I mentioned in the “How to shoot better B-Roll” video, using an app like FiLMiC Pro or Moment Camera will bring better quality to your video. You can manually set the white balance, focus, exposure, and more. Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve if you are unfamiliar, but once you learn these things, your video game gets a big step up.

Use a Stabilizer

There are two things you can use in this instance. The first is the simplest, a tripod. Many tripods come with a phone adapter, or you can pick one up on Amazon for under $10. This will give you a steady video at a minimal cost.

If you are going to be moving a gimbal will be best for you. There are several on the market. Gimbals will keep your phone steady as you move around. My personal favorite is the DJI Osmo line. When they were first released they were expensive ($300) now they are $120, and the tech has improved dramatically. The new Osmo 3 has a sport mode that can follow fast movements. It’s incredible how far technology has progressed in three years.


Don’t rely on light in your shooting area. If it’s a bright sunny day, you can go without additional lighting. However, if you’re inside, you will want to invest in a light kit. I use Neewer LED lights with a softbox diffuser on the lights. It gives you softer lighting that looks more professional. There is nothing worse than harsh shadows on your subject!


Audio is one thing I’m still learning how to edit and improve. When shooting people talking use a mic. I have two from Rode that I like. The first is a lavalier mic that your subjects can put on their clothing. If you are in an area that isn’t conducive to wires, I have the shotgun mic that works great.

Do these things, and your video will look “professional.” Most viewers will never know you shot it with your phone!

Tim is the founder of Element33. A social media agency specializing in education, management and strategy for small businesses. He comes from a traditional marketing agency but has embraced all things digital. He considers himself a marketing nerd and believes that all marketing is tied together. This means no matter what silo you are in, social, email, seach, etc, changes in one will affect the other!

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