Let’s face it! No matter how meaty your subject is or however cool your clip is, if the video is shaky, then it’s easy for viewers to lose interest. They’re just unprofessional and overall annoying. If you’re looking to improve your shots particularly with your iPhone, then it’s your lucky day!
This article will show you tricks on how to stabilize iPhone videos. With some techniques and a few tools, let’s see how you can turn your footages from looking amateur to professional—or at least, somewhere in between!
If you are blessed with steady hands, then fine-tuning the way you hold your iPhone may be all you need to get steady shots. That’s, of course, if you’re in a stationary position. So what’s the best way to hold the cam? Apparently, holding your phone with one hand fetches you more stable shots. Additionally, it’s easier for you to move the phone towards the subject than with two hands.
The right way to do it is to sandwich the phone with your pinky finger at the bottom and the index finger at the top. Meanwhile, the ring and point fingers should support the back of your iPhone. If possible, let the lower corner of the phone rest on your palm.
With the thumb free, you can access the controls for shutter and other adjustments.
Another way to stabilize iPhone videos is with the help of apps that you can download for free on your phone or buy from an app store. Here are some of them:
One free app to help you stabilize an iPhone video is Google Photos which you may already have on your phone. If not, then you can download it for free from a Google Play store.
For the sake of testing the app, select shaky footage you already have or record one. Access the video from Google Photos, then click the edit or adjustment icon. Choose stabilize and wait for the software to finish processing the video. The stabilized video clip will be automatically saved after.
Another app you can use, although not for free, is Emulsio. It’s made specifically for iOS users to get rid of shaky shots. It does this by fixing horizontal, vertical, or rotational camera movement and removing shots that are too shaky. It works as an extension of the Photos app so that you can access its features from your phone’s Photo app.
After processing, you can view a split screen of the edited and unedited version, showing you how much your clip has improved post-processing.
It is compatible with iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and up, and iPod touch 5th generation. It is also optimized for iOS 7 and 64-bit devices.
You can give Emulsio a try for free using a short clip just to check if it works for you. The resulting video, however, will carry a watermark. To remove it or to get full access to its features, you will have to make an in-app purchase.
Presently, Emulsio offers a more expensive package better suited for handling 4K videos with its more accurate stabilization and improved rolling shutter processing.
Besides stabilization software that can improve your footages through post-processing, you can also get stable shots right from the moment you start recording with the help of a gimbal stabilizer or a traditional handheld stabilizer.
A gimbal stabilizer uses sensors and motors to keep your device on a level position. Thus, it greatly reduces the need for post-processing of your videos for stabilization. One of the popular choices for gimbal stabilizers is the DJI Osmo Mobile 2.
To use, you simply attach your device onto the spring-loaded clip, turn the gimbal on, and the stabilizer will work its magic—or science! Keeping your phone centered or allowing it to transition smoothly no matter how shaky your hands are, you get more professional-looking videos and cinematic transitions.
One particular feature you’ll love that works great with stabilizing shots and keeping the subject inside the frame is the ActiveTrack. This feature alone makes the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 great for vlogging and live streaming. Moreover, it also fetches you cinematic and dollyzoom zoom effects that are sure to level up the quality of your videos. And with its capability for portrait orientation that you can’t find in other gimbal stabilizers, the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is also great for people who frequently use their phones for video chats.
Of course, all these and more come at a price tag that you might not be willing to shell out if you’re not looking to take the craft to a higher level. It’s also important to note that the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 can accommodate only a select number of iPhone models.
A non-electronic alternative to the gimbal is a handheld stabilizer like the Steadicam Smoothee. Its design takes inspiration from the big rigs used in Hollywood.
To use, attach your iPhone onto the camera holder and then connect it to the frame. To adjust the tipping or tilting of your camera, you have the red button in front and on the side to fetch you the angle you want. This kind of stabilizer works on the principle of balance. So, expect to be playing with weights or counterweights for stabilization.
Although such type of stabilizer will fetch you more stable and smoother footage than going without it, the improvement is not as great as you would see in a gimbal. Still, if you’re looking for a non-electronic handheld stabilizer, you can make it work for you by mastering control over the swaying movement.
Again, the Steadicam Smoothee is not made for all iPhone models. So, if you have a different iPhone model, then you need to search for a universal, handheld stabilizer or something designed specifically for your iPhone.
So, those are some of the ways on how to stabilize iPhone videos. Depending on how far you are willing to go to fetch that stable shot, you have a range of options at your disposal and different price points. You can even use a combination of those techniques and tools mentioned above for that professional-looking vlog, live stream, instructional video, and more.