I currently use an iPhone Mini to create vlogs and YouTube shorts as well as an action camera (see my guide on the best YouTube cameras). The iPhone is an excellent choice for a few key reasons, and I will explain in detail how to vlog with an iPhone.
The iPhone is an excellent vlogging camera because it first has built-in stabilization, making your clips look stable and professional. Second, you can record high quality video at a high frame rate in 4k (60 fps at 4k) for impressive video quality. Third, you have a variety of angles, from a wide angle lens to the primary camera to the selfie camera for narration purposes.
Finalluy, you get iMovie included for free on your iPhone so you can edit your vlog on one device (not recommended – more on that later).
Simply the best microphone for the iPhone. Vastly improve your audio quality.
An anamorphic lens that turns the primary iPhone camera into a beautiful, cinematic wide angle lens.
Anzor Mini Tripod
This small, cheap tripod is perfect for holding your iPhone horizontally for vlogging.
So how exactly do you properly and professionally vlog with an iPhone? I’ll break this down into essential, need-to-know tips and optional gear you can consider buying.
iPhone vlogger guide
There are four parts to vlogging with an iPhone as a content creator. First, the technical aspects of recording and getting the clips for a vlog; second, your video settings on your phone; third, how you edit the video; and finally, optional gear to improve your videos.
While I suggest checking out my “how to vlog” guide, which covers everything you need to know about creating a YouTube channel and structuring a vlog, here are my tips for using an iPhone specifically.
Record a 10-30 second introduction and conclusion.
The introduction can be done in a few ways and should be quick and to the point. You can either record a set of clips and then do a voice-over or use the iPhone to introduce the video topic. Intros should be quick and concise, letting the viewer know what you will cover.
Remember, with a vlog people have a short attention span, so get to the point quickly and get people interested in the topic. For example, with my travel vlog of Ha Giang I showed a bunch of clips of how crazy beautiful northern Vietnam is and did a voice-over.
This intro was 30 seconds; then, it jumped into the video. Doing an opening helps increase watch time as people are more curious to see the whole video. As for the conclusion, record yourself with the phone or do a voice-over. Let people know what your upcoming videos will be, and invite people to subscribe.
The selfie camera can only record up to 30 FPS
Don’t use the selfie camera. The video quality is too poor for YouTube. Instead, shoot at 30 FPS or 60 FPS with the main cameras. Yes, that means you have to turn the phone around with the screen pointed away from you.
The selfie camera is fine for video calls, but please be aware that it only records at 30 FPS at 1080P. This limitation is essential to understand because if you intend to shoot a 4k video at 60 FPS, the clips won’t match if you use the selfie and main cameras.
Record everything at 60 FPS or 30 FPS, 4k for the best video quality.
60 FPS is the ideal framerate for a vlog. We’re not making a film; we’re making a vlog with a phone. Your viewers will like and appreciate that smooth, point-of-view shot that only 60 FPS provides. By default, your iPhone will set the video settings to optimal video files, so you’ll need to change it.
So you’ll need to jump into your settings and make sure your camera is set to what you want:
The higher the frame rate, the smoother the video will be. 30 FPS is acceptable too if you don’t like the way 60 FPS looks. Test out various clips to see what you personally like.
4k is also the highest quality recording the iPhone can do. 1080P is also acceptable, but as you can record in 4k, there is no reason to bother with 1080P unless you don’t want to deal with large file sizes.
Use the wide angle lens
The wide angle lens on the iPhone is outstanding for establishing shots. It’s also my favorite lens to use when in landscape and narrating into the camera. Mix up your video clips with both the main camera and the wide angle camera.
B-roll is simply footage that is not the main action. I like using my iPhone to capture many clips and then go home and do a voice-over. However, others want to talk and narrate in real-time. Both approaches are acceptable; see which one works best for you.
However, record various clips, close-ups, wide-angle shots, medium shots, and so forth using the main cameras. You’ll be happy you did, as you can create a more exciting and dynamic vlog.
Keep the phone stable when recording.
A common beginner mistake with any camera is to jerk the camera around way too fast. It ruins your clips and makes everything difficult to watch. The iPhone has outstanding stabilization; however, you must move the phone modestly and with intention.
Look into the camera when talking
Takes a little practice, but you need to get used to looking into the actual camera element on the iPhone when recording. Your video will look weird if you’re not making eye contact with your audience.Your first vlogs will be horrible
Hate to break it to you, but your first videos and vlogs will be horrible, embarrassing, dumb, and cringe-worthy. How can you expect to be good at something you’ve never done? Accept that there is a learning process and make bad videos. Eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.
Shoot in landscape for vlogs, vertical for shorts.
Hold the camera horizontally for landscape shots. Shoot vertical clips only if your intention is to make a YouTube short later.
How to edit an iPhone video
Now you have a bunch of video clips ready to go. You’ll need to edit the video clips into a full-length vlog. You can edit the clips directly on your iPhone using iMovie, airdrop them to your MacBook or iPad, or connect your iPhone to your Windows laptop and transfer them.
It is generally best to edit your vlogs on another device, not your iPhone. The iPhone is small and frustrating to edit, and iMovie on the iPhone has limited editing capabilities.
All your video recording should be the same frame rate
As mentioned earlier, the frame rate you choose to record in matters because your video will look off if you mix clips that are recorded at 30 FPS like with the selfie camera and then 60 FPS with the main camera.
You want to make sure all your clips are recorded at the same framerate. That way your video will have a consistent look to it. In general I find 60 FPS to be best for vlogs where you’re moving around.
24 FPS is cinematic and looks like a TV show. For a “run and gun” vlog, it actually is to choppy and slow. 30 FPS is the middle ground. A great choice if you’re set on using the selfie camera as it can record up to 30 FPS max.
Use a video editing app
There are a lot of video editing software options you can use on both your iPhone, iPad, or a desktop computer. Personally I like editing on my laptop as I like using a larger screen, I can color edit and video editing software on a laptop tends to be more feature rich.
Here is what I suggest:
- iMovie on a Macbook is very feature rich and free if you’re a Mac user.
- Luma Fusion is the best option on an iPad.
- Davinchi Resolve is powerful and free. It can be used on both PC and Mac.
Use iMovie on a MacBook
All iPhones and MacBook’s come with iMovie. The version on IOS for a MacBook is far superior to it’s mobile counterpart. So if you do have a MacBook, simply air drop your clips from your phone to your laptop and get to work.
Using iMovie is simple, easy and intuitive. All you have to to do is drag and drop clips into the timeline. You can overlay clips and cut clips, add music and text with ease. Once you feel like you’re starting to out grow iMovie, you can then consider getting Final Cut Pro, the best video editing software for IOS.
With iMovie on Mac, you’ll get your video and audio clip. Make sure to adjust the audio so you’re not peaking, and if you wish to do a voice over, turn down the audio or mute it all together.
When you’re ready to dive more deep into video editing consider purchasing Final Cut Pro. You can do a lot with iMovie so don’t think you need to purchase Final Cut if you’re a beginner.
Use Luma Fusion on an iPad
As I talked about in my best video editing software guide, Luma Fusion is the best mobile editor I’ve used. If you have an iPad it’s well worth the money as the iMovie mobile version is incredibly basic.
Luma Fusion is similar to Final Cut in the you can have multiple tracks for clips, music, more advanced transitions, better color grading and more control over the audio.
Again, the mobile version of iMovie is very limiting and if you do intend to edit on your phone you’re going to be quite frustrated.
Use Davinchi Resolve for Windows
Not a Mac user? One of the best video editors for Windows 10 or 11 is Davinchi Resolve. It’s powerful, feature rich and on par with Premier Pro. Best of all it’s free to download and use. There is a paid version, but the free version of Davinchi Resolve is more than enough to edit a simple 4k vlog with.
Breakup talking points for topic or question videos
If you’re making a vlog about a specific topic, get right to the point of the vlog fast. Viewers will drop off if you ramble too much and talk about things irrelevant to the vlog.
In addition, for longer vlogs where you want to cover a question or topic, think about the key points you want to mention. Those key talking points should be their own clip. You don’t need to do everything in one big take.
Use a microphone for voice over work
While you can record audio and voice overs with your iPhone, it’s pretty mediocre. I strongly suggest getting a dedicated USB microphone. They are not too expensive, easy to setup and most importantly, sound great.
If you do want to do voice over work, then you should get accustom to editing videos on your laptop and not your iPhone. I’ve edited quick videos on my phone before too, but a laptop (particularly a MacBook) provides the best experience.
Render your video at the same video settings you record in
Once you put all your clips together and you’re ready to go, you’ll need to render the video. Find the settings in the video editor your using and make sure it’s set to the same parameters as your video clips.
That mean you don’t want to add and edit a bunch of 4k, 60 FPS clips and then render the video at 30 FPS. Go into your settings and make sure the render settings match the video quality and the framerate.
Upload iPhone videos to YouTube
Finally, you’ll need to upload the video to YouTube. Log into your account, click on “upload video” and the select the video you want to upload.
The video will then begin uploading. Once it’s uploaded, YouTube will the process the video. It does take a few hours before your video is able to be watched in 4k. So be patient.
Next, complete the video description:
Your vlog will need a title, it’s always best to name your video something people are looking for. You’ll also want to write a 300 word description of the video. This does help with gaining views and rankings slightly.
You can create a dedicated playlist too if you like and it’s always a good idea to link to other videos in your description as it helps keep people on YouTube.
You can add chapters in your video description. Start off with 00:00 as the intro, then add in additional timestamps and YouTube will auto generate the chapters of the video.
Hashtags are also helpful as they are a way to categorize your videos and the hashtag you choose will be above the video title which helps the overall click through rate.
You will want to create a thumbnail for your vlog. If you’re planning on adding text, make sure it’s big bold text and only 4 words max. Otherwise it get’s too busy looking and difficult to ready.
My go to thumbnail editor is Canva:
Canva has a dedicated YouTube thumbnail template you can use to create your images. It takes practice to create good thumbnails but with enough effort you’ll get the hang of it.
YouTube stats to pay attention too
You’ll also want to pay attention to a few key stats. First is the overall click through rate. The higher the better. This indicates people are choosing to watch your video. Average view duration is also important as YouTube rewards videos that keep people watching YouTube.
Last is views, this is how many times your video has been watched. The reason the metrics are important is because it gives an indication of what you’re doing right or wrong. A low click through rate means you need to improve your thumbnail.
A low average view duration means that people are not sticking around and watching the full video. In your YouTube studio, you can see the retention details. In general what you want to see is a nice steady slope downwards of people dropping off. If you notice a spike down or up, look at that part of the video.
The best iPhone accessories for vlog videos
All of this gear is optional. You can vlog with nothing more than hand holding the phone, recording shots, and talking into the camera. But if you are looking for a few key upgrades to create the best iPhone vlogging setup, this is what I suggest:
Shure MV88+ Kit – Best microphone, tripod combination
As I cover in my microphones for YouTube guide, the Shure MV88 is the best microphone for iPhone. It’s a plug and play device and connects directly to the iPhone via the lighting port.
The updated model is designed to connect to a tripod which itself is designed to hold the iPhone. A lot of content creators like this new model, I personally find it to big and clunky. The whole point of using an iPhone is that it is small and light.
If you’re like me and want to use a more minimalist setup with your iPhone then I suggest getting the previous model called the Shure MV88 Portable which is stand alone, articulating microphone.
Shure MV88 – Best microphone for hand held iPhone use
This is the original model of the Shure MV88. It is an articulating microphone with impressive audio capablilities. It’s the perfect option is you want to hand hold your iPhone and keep a minimalist setup or if you want to use the DJI Osmo Mobile gimbal for the iPhone.
In addition, this microphone is good enough for you to create voice overs with just your iPhone. Often times you’re not always going to be wanting to talk into the camera. Sometimes you’ll want to narrate a clip and the on-board mic for the iPhone is simply inadequate for this. This microphone solves this issue.
Moment anamorphic lens – Cinematic aspect ratio (optional)
Anamorphic lens transforms traditional phone recordings into a cinematic, wide-screen movie format. Not only does it make your video look even more captivating and smooth, but when the light hits the lens just right, you get these stunning flares that will take your footage like you see in a movie. Capture beautiful video that has that cinematic look using the main camera on your iPhone.
This type of lens is most useful for POV shots but can be used with talking head narration clips. While the wide angle lens on the iPhone can be a bit warped, an anamorphic lens allows you to use get that cinematic look using the high quality main camera on your device.
Anozer tripod – Perfect for shooting landsapce footage
Surprisingly good. Small, light and portable.
Small, cheap, light and fits in your pocket. This is a little tripod that hold your iPhone vertically and makes a world of difference compared to hand holding your iPhone. It’s nothing fancy, but since the iPhone now has great stabilization you can get great results with this cheap tripod.
Combined with the Shure MV88 Portable, it’s pretty much the best minimalist setup you get get for the iPhone apart from not buying anything.
iPhone cage – Connect a microphone and lights (optional)
Another item you can consider buying is a cage. This allows you to secure your phone, gives you something to hold on to, and enables you to attach an external microphone, anamorphic lens, lights, and even handles.
Typically, filmmakers use these iPhone cages, so for your average consumer, they are a bit excessive. However, if you’re looking for a DIY setup as a way to have a microphone, external light, handles and a tripod in one form, a cage is what you’re looking for.
People also ask:
What do I need to vlog with an iPhone?
While there are optional items like microphones, lenses and tripods to buy. You can vlog using nothing more than the iPhone, it’s internal mics and iMovie.
Can you make a vlog with just an iPhone?
Yes, all IOS devices come with a copy of iMovie that is powerful enough to edit a full length, high quality vlog.
Is the iPhone 10 good for vlogging?
No, iPhone 10 and earlier lack the multi camera setup that allow video creators to get multiple angles and shots.
Is the iPhone good for vlogging?
Yes, the iPhone is a great choice for vlogging due in part to it’s ability to shoot at 4k, 60 FPS, wind angle lens and high quality main lens.
How to vlog with an iPhone – Conclusion
That’s it for this guide on how to vlog with an iPhone; I hope you found it helpful. If you did, consider sharing and bookmarking this page. The iPhone is a great, casual vlogging device that can potentially be used for professional use.
I do strongly recommend getting an external USB microphone at a minimum however as it will improve the audio of all your clips and enable you to record good voice over narration.
David UtkeDavid Utke is a professional blogger, YouTuber and a highly rated user experience consultant. He and his team create helpful tutorials, software reviews, videos and more based on real-world experience. Join over 30,000 monthly readers and 27k+ YouTube subscribers!
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