Vlogging with Smartphone Under $100

So you want to vlog, but you don’t have a nice camera. Should you wait until you can afford a nicer camera to start vlogging? Nope.

It is much better to use what you have and just start vlogging, rather than waiting until you can get better gear. There are lots of people who do a great job of making videos on cheaper cameras or just using their smartphone.

Two common reasons for their success are storytelling ability and how they use the tools that they have.

A good story will still appeal to a large number of people even if the video quality is not top notch. However, improving video and audio quality does help make a better video.

An easy way to make your video more dynamic and interesting is to shoot video at different lens angles. When I want to get a wider angle shot on my iphone, I can clip my Aukey Ora wide angle lens onto my phones camera. It won’t compete with a nice wide angle lens on my dslr, but it is pretty inexpensive, is easy to use and adds more variety to my smartphone videos.

Another great way to improve your video quality is to improve your audio. Poor audio, really makes videos painful to watch. A fast way to boost your audio quality on your smartphone is to use a Rode VideoMic Me. The built in mic on most phones are not good. This Rode mic really makes a huge difference.

A third way to improve your video quality is to use a small tripod. A jerky video is hard to watch. With a tripod like this one from Arkon, you can set your phone down for really stable shots. When shooting handheld, holding the tripod rather than the phone helps you hold the phone with less shake.

I have the Arkon, but if you want a better tripod, I prefer my Joby 1k paired with a MeFoto phone mount. It cost more; it would put you over the hundred dollar mark but it is more sturdy and is of a higher quality. I go into more details on tripods in my article: 1K, 3K or 5K Which Joby Gorillapod Is Right for You?

By watching for sales, I picked up the Aukey lens, VideoMic Me, and Arkon for just under $100. If you are on a tighter budget, my recommendation is to get the mic and the tripod.

Another way to improve the quality of your video is to be mindful of lighting. A lot of smartphones can shoot pretty good to great video when lighting is good. However, the quality of the footage can drop off quickly in low light. Shoot outside or with good lights.

This video was shot with an iphone 6. Notice how the indoor shots have more noise and grainy footage.

My final piece of advice is to just get out and use the best that you can afford. If that means, using your smartphone, then do. Work on your storytelling skills and practice making videos. Don’t hold back because you don’t have a large budget. Just get creative and make some videos.

About the author

James Cross

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