• Ian Winsford

Smooth 4 the B roll

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

As a videographer and photographer I cannot be everywhere at once during an event. To capture as many angles as possible and help stitch a days video together I sometimes rely on someone's mobile phone for B roll. Please let me explain.

Most people watch their edited videos on Facebook now or even on their mobile phone. That is streamed and viewed at 720p but did you know the latest Android and iPhone cameras can record 4K video? That's huge, in fact 20x bigger than 720p video and more than adequate for editing down into short B roll clips in 1080 HD.

The problem with using mobile phone footage is I'm not the one holding the phone. When someone else shoots with a mobile phone you're relying on what skills they have for recording video. Yes the inexperienced can point the phone camera in the right direction but I have seen lop-sided camera angles or bumpy up down video when they have moved to track the subject. No more.

I bought a gimbal on a whim because everyone was talking about them. Mine was cheap at less than £100 so initially I didn't have high hopes. See link here https://amzn.to/2DdRBDf

Once balanced this keeps an iphone level for hours and even smooths out any bumpy walking. This means level and smooth 4K shots for me at the edit stage plus more shots and angles can be used. The best bit the client doesn't question the quality either, so everyone's happy.

I love my Smooth 4 so much I'm now considering a Crane or Weebill for my main camera, so many choices now. Well done Zhiyun!

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