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August 28, 2015

5 tips to shoot great video with Lumia

Whether you have the new Microsoft Lumia 640 XL, the ever-popular Lumia 520, or another Windows Phone altogether, these tips will help you capture great video from your smartphone.

There are plenty of fantastic Windows Phone apps out there to help you record and edit video. Besides Lumia Camera, of course, Microsoft Hyperlapse and Movie Moments are just two Windows Phone apps we recommend.

But if you don’t follow some basic—but essential video-recording tips–the fanciest software and filters won’t help you create compelling video

The next time you shoot video with a Lumia or other smartphone, follow these tips.

Storyboard your video. What’s the story, Morning Glory? Take a few minutes to envision your final video: What’s the story you want to tell? By mapping out exactly what you need to capture, you won’t miss any important moments.

For example, if you want to record your parents’ 40th wedding anniversary celebration, you’ll want video snippets of your parents greeting their guests, cutting their anniversary cake, and taking a turn on the dance floor. You may also want to record your siblings and other relatives and friends as they give toasts or speeches to honor your mom and dad.


Let there be light. If you don’t want grainy or streaky video (and who does?), shoot in the best light possible. If you’re outside, shoot in mid-day or in the golden hour (watch the angle of the sun so your subject isn’t silhouetted).

Avoid low-light settings such as dusk or dawn. And when shooting inside, turn on the extra lights in the room.

Get close to the action. Don’t make your viewers squint to see what’s happening. If you’re shooting your kid’s piano recital or the fancy moves of a friend doing sick aerials on his skateboard, get up close.

What’s the expression on your child’s face as he played his piece? How many revolutions did your friend whip out on his board? Details matter.

Get great audio. Crisp, clear audio is just as important as crisp, clear video. Lumia smartphones such as the Lumia Icon, Lumia 930 and Lumia 1520 feature four high-performance microphones.


But whether or not you use these Lumia devices, make sure your fingers don’t cover the microphones. My husband recently recorded me performing with a local orchestra, but his thumb was smack dab over the microphone, so viewing the video was like watching a silent film!

Also, get close (but not too close) to the audio source for full, distortion-free sound.

Keep it steady. While many Lumia smartphones feature optical-image stabilization, make sure your video doesn’t judder or shake by resting your elbows on a table or other hard surface, bracing your arms, or investing in an inexpensive smartphone tripod.

And here’s one bonus tip:

Keep recording. Shoot more footage than you may actually need. If you shoot 30 to 50 percent more than you’ll use, you can cherry-pick the best parts to create a compelling, edited video.

Do you find these tips helpful? Are there one or two other essential video-recording tips you’d like to share? Let us know below!