How to Shoot Great Video

Whether you're using a dedicated camcorder or a smartphone, these tips will help you shoot better video.Whether you're using a dedicated camcorder or a smartphone, these tips will help you shoot better video.With Vine, Instagram and a steady stream of Lolcat flicks, video is everywhere. And it will likely grow, with more high-definition camera phones and social media video sharing. Whether you're shooting a six-second Vine or capturing a 30-minute extravaganza, these seven tips will help you take gorgeous videos.

Know your video device

It doesn't matter whether you're using a camera phone, your point-and-shoot, your digital SLR or a dedicated video camera.  Each is capable of capturing satisfying images, but each will handle differently. Experimenting with your device first will help you make quick shooting choices and settings changes on the fly.

Before you start shooting, familiarize yourself with the basics:

  • How does video capture work: Where's the setting to enable it? What are the menu options? How quickly does it start and stop?
  • Does the device let you zoom into a subject while shooting?
  • Will it automatically track and refocus on your subject as it moves, or must you manually focus?
  • How do you adjust for exposure during recording?
MORE: How to Edit Video Using Free Software

Take establishing shots for your movie

If you're planning to edit a mini-movie from your footage, remember to shoot establishing shots for opening, closing and transition moments. Leave room around your snippets, too; capture an extra three to five seconds before and after the segment you know you want for your final product, so you can have a margin of error for making smooth cuts in your edited movie.

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  • Draven35
    Don't try to shoot video at a trade show. I don't know why I keep trying.