Monthly PC Tips

Record Video in Landscape Mode

September 2013 – by Per Christensson

I've already posted an article on how to take better videos. But I realized I left out one basic tip, which has come to my attention as I've recently watched others shoot videos on their smartphones. This tip is a simple one: hold your phone horizontally (not vertically) when you press record.

It seems many people just hit the record button as soon as they see something interesting to record, rather than taking a second to flip their phone sideways. While you can still capture a video holding your phone vertically, it is almost always better to record video in landscape mode rather than portrait mode.

There are two reasons for this. First of all, since our eyes are side-by-side, we see a much more sideways than we do up and down. Therefore, watching a video that has a longer width than height appears more natural than watching a tall, skinny video. Secondly, if you ever choose to watch the video on a TV or other screen, a video taken in portrait mode will only take up the middle third of the screen. This makes the video less enjoyable to watch.

Every once in a while there may be an instance where want to record something that requires a lot of vertical space. Typically, it's best to simply move backwards and record the scene in landscape mode. Of course, if you don't have extra room, recording the video vertically is better than not capturing it at all.

When in doubt, record in landscape mode. Whether you're capturing a concert, a soccer game, or your child's first steps, take a moment to flip your phone sideways before hitting record. You'll be glad you did.

Important: Make sure you do not flip your phone sideways while you are recording, since this will cause the video to appear sideways when you play it back. Instead, you should first stop the video, then turn your phone 90 degrees, then press record again.

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