Shooting Video with a Cellphone Camera

Scott has experimented with his cellphone camera as a video recording and production device. Although some technical knowledge of manual aperture, speed, and sensitivity settings is useful for improving photographic quality, video shooting under normal conditions of bright light often produces perfectly adequate results. And a phone mount and tripod are relatively inexpensive accessories that greatly improve movie quality by reducing unwanted motion.

Cellphone used to record video for demonstration of sand angle of repose

Computer Platforms We Use for Video Production

Many computer programs are available for processing video (whether acquired from a cellphone camera or other source). Some are designed for professional use on high end computers, some for consumer use on laptops, and some for production entirely on a cellphone's operating system (e.g., Android).

We are producing cellphone video with both systems - Camtasia on a laptop, and KineMaster on an Android cellphone. Our initial experience with these production platforms may be of some interest to you.

Video Production on a Laptop with Camtasia

We are not professionals in video editing and production - we just want to make short science snips that add considerable educational value and that transforms a passive viewing to an active learning experience.

However, we made the investment in time and money to experiment with video production on our laptop computer, using Camtasia. This program has a bit of a learning curve because it is equipped with many bells and whistles, many of which we discovered and appreciated. 

We used a combination of our cellphone and Camtasia to produce a video that demonstrates the angle of repose of sand in the laboratory. We use this video and we wrote and distribute to students a "video tutorial" to create an active learning experience. 

To illustrate the formation of the natural angle of repose of clean, dry sand, Scott assembled a small basket of low cost items (e.g., spring loaded clip for cellphone, tripod, ring stand, glass funnel, rubber tubing, clamp, and etc.). Software controlled the cellphone camera and produced the final video. 

Video Production on a Cellphone

KineMaster - an Android app available from the Google Play Store

We are experimenting with KineMaster to produce educational videos completely on our cellphone. An example is the visual tour video. 

Produced entirely on Samsung Galaxy S4 cellphone with Android app KineMaster software by Scott Brande

Production by KineMaster app on Android cellphone

Production by KineMaster app on Android cellphone