How to Film YouTube Videos on iPhone: What equipment to invest first?

How to film YouTube videos on just your iPhone

If you want to start YouTube but you’re on a budget, or you’re not sure where to begin, then this post is going to be perfect for you. I will explain what settings you need on your iPhone to create YouTube videos, as well as what equipment you need to invest in.

TIP 1: Content Quality > Production Quality

In my first tip, I recommend that you pay attention to the content quality on YouTube, not to the production quality. Right at the start, it’s so much more important to focus on the quality of what you’re actually saying: 

  • Topics of your videos
  • The scripting
  • The value that you’re actually providing

The quality of the content that is actually created is so much more important than the actual production quality of the video, and I do find that the people who get bogged down in what fancy equipment to buy are really just putting off the work of actually creating video content, and just doing just one video can be quite a marathon. 

As a result, a lot of people don’t stick with it. My advice to you is to test it out with your iPhone and stick to it for a few months. If you’re sure that YouTube is a long-term endeavour, you can consider investing in more expensive equipment.

So don’t be like 95% of people that get bogged down in all of the equipment, because they’re just putting off the hard work, which is actually creating good content. That being said, let’s move on to the actual filming setup. 

TIP 2: you have to be able to see yourself when shooting

So the second tip I have for you is that when you’re shooting, you have to be able to see yourself, because that’s going to make your life a lot lot easier. If you can’t see yourself while you’re shooting, it’s just going to make the whole process of creating a video even longer than it already is. The focus is going to be off a lot of the time; you’re going to get up and sit down a lot. That will just make the whole event last longer. 

It really is easier if you can actually see where you are in the frame as you’re shooting. Now, the problem with that is that when you’re using an iPhone the back camera is actually a lot better than the front camera, right? 

To be able to see yourself, you’re going to have to use the front camera. Now, I don’t think that’s a problem at the start. That’s exactly what I’m doing. I suggest you do that too. If you did want even better quality videos, then you would have to be using the back camera. 

There is a way around that, but it will take a bit of time to set everything up. You can have a mirror behind your phone, because then when you’re shooting, you can kind of see where you are in the frame on that mirror. As I said, I use the front camera, and it’s perfectly fine. But just be aware that the quality won’t be as good as you can get on an iPhone. 

Now when you are ready to upgrade from your iPhone and to use an actual camera, just make sure you get one with a flip out screen because that’s going to again allow you to actually see yourself when you’re shooting and where you are in the frame. 

This is the Canon EOS 800 D. I haven’t used it yet. So I can’t tell you how good it is. I’m still using my iPhone, but just make sure that you get one where it actually has this flip out screen.

When you’re on your iPhone, and you’re just about to start shooting, just make sure you wipe the camera lens because you’d be absolutely surprised at how dirty it can get. So literally just get your sleeve and just make sure you wipe the camera well before you start shooting. 

TIP 3: use the correct settings

The next tip I have for you for filming YouTube videos on your iPhone is to make sure that you have the right settings. So you want to go into settings, then you want to go into camera and then you want to find the video settings. When you’re in the record video settings, you want to make sure you’re at 1080p HD at 30 fps. 

Another thing you might want to do at this point is going into preserve settings and then put your camera mode on because what this is going to mean is that your iPhone doesn’t switch back to photo instead of video. Every time that your screen locks, right, it’s going to mean that you unlock your phone and then it’s already going to be in video mode, because that’s what you had it in last. 

Another thing that’s gonna make your life easier here is if your phone locks really quickly, like for example it locks after just 20 seconds or 30 seconds. You might want to make that longer and because you’re going to have gaps in between shots, and if your phone keeps looking, then that’s going to involve you getting up and sitting down and just getting up more than you need to.

  • You may have noticed that I didn’t choose 4k In the settings, even though that’s available on this iPhone. 

That’s because I don’t think you need to film in 4k. I think the drawbacks of filming 4k, when you’re just starting out, really outweighs the benefits so shooting will be absolutely fine. The video files that you get at the end of it are absolutely huge. That’s really going to slow down the process of editing, downloading, uploading, or doing any of that. 

As a beginner on YouTube, I think it makes sense to reduce the friction of getting your videos out there at the start. So, if you’re working with 4k, clunky files, you’re going to really slow down, so it makes more sense to just create content, even if it’s not in 4k, if it means more videos will come out. 

TIP 4: look directly at the lens when filming

The next tip I have for you for filming YouTube videos on your iPhone, is to look directly at the lens when you’re filming. Now this one is a lot easier said than done. Because when you can actually see yourself, it’s really tempting to just look at the video of yourself, rather than looking at the lens. 

It’s so important to look directly at the lens because you want to create that connection with your viewer, and kind of make it look like you’re having a face to face conversation with them. If you’re having a face to face conversation with someone, and they’re not really looking you in the eye, then it feels a little bit weird.

So I’m just gonna show you now, this is like me just kind of staring at myself as I’m talking. As you can know, it can feel a little bit impersonal. Whereas when I’m looking directly at the lens, it’s almost as if we’re having a conversation. 

So this is just gonna take a little bit of practice, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. It doesn’t really matter if you’re using your iPhone, or when you get a camera and it has that flip screen, you always want to be creating that connection with your viewer. 

Again, if you do opt to actually film with the back camera of your iPhone, which is going to be better quality, then you won’t have this problem at all, because you’re not actually going to be able to see yourself. 

TIP 5: invest in tripod and clicker

The next tip for filming YouTube videos on just your iPhone is to invest in a tripod and a clicker. But you don’t need to invest in really expensive ones, you can just get them off Amazon. 

Without this I could not film videos and I’m actually filming using a tripod right now. This clicker came for free with the tripod. The reason why this is going to make your life so much easier is because you don’t have to keep getting up every time you want to hit record, it’s going to allow you to control your iPhone from your seat, which is especially important for YouTube videos, because you want to be filming your videos in lots of short clips that you merge together as opposed to one long clip. 

You can order it through the link below if you want.

I think it’s a really good one to get and you don’t need to install a separate app or anything like that for it to work with the iPhone. It just works with the native camera app. Just one thing to remember though, when you are shooting both your YouTube videos, or if you’re doing a photo shoot just for yourself, remember to hide this clicker. So when I’m shooting like this, I usually just have it in my lap. 

TIP 6: use the in-built microphone

The next tip for filming YouTube videos on your iPhone is to just use the inbuilt microphone. So I don’t think you need to go and invest in a fancy microphone right at the start. 

For example, I’m using the inbuilt microphone, and I’m about a metre away from my phone. I think that the audio quality is actually quite good. However, if you are finding that the audio quality isn’t quite there, maybe you’re a bit too far away from your phone, then a workaround is actually using these wired headphones from Apple because they’ve got this little microphone here. 

So what you can do is actually plug them in, and then just have the microphone closer to you. As I said, I don’t think you’re going to need to do that at the start unless you’re like miles away from your phone when you’re filming. 

TIP 7: Invest in a lighting set-up

The next tip is to actually invest in good lighting. While this will probably go against what most YouTubers say, I personally believe that you can film on your iPhone and not use a proper microphone. 

However, if the lighting in your videos is bad, then it will make the whole thing look worse than it really is. You are also likely to shoot your YouTube videos in natural light if you are not investing in lighting.

  •  In other words, you limit the amount of time in the day that you’re actually able to shoot footage. 

So for me when I started creating YouTube videos, I found that really stressful because as I said, it’s a little bit of a marathon like it’s already quite challenging in itself creating YouTube videos, but when you limit the amount of time you have It just makes it super stressful. So I would definitely invest in lighting first. I know that a lot of YouTubers say that you should get a ring light, I purchased a ring light first and I just did not like it. I could not get it to look good. I ended up investing in LED lights that if they’re too pricey for you, then you could get something like a softbox which is a little bit cheaper. Just remember that if you are living somewhere where you get a really long day and lots of natural sunlight, then that’s absolutely great. I live in the UK, so that was really limiting the amount of hours I had to shoot, which is why I invested in lighting at this point in the video you’ve learned how to shoot YouTube videos on just your iPhone.

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