Visual Storytelling on Low-Cost Devices


There are some specific techniques to consider, if you are using a device with low resolution. You might not want to use all 5 shot types mentioned above. Instead, you consider focusing on Medium Shots, Close Ups, and Detail Shots.

Devices with lower resolution, cheaper lenses, and other lower grade features do best when the subject is close. Do not get too close, for most devices, an arms length is an approximate distance to ensure your subject is in focus.

Any movement may degrade the clarity of your image, and this is particularly true for low-cost devices. Try not to pan. Don’t zoom, particularly if your only zoom is digital. Using a low-cost device means you should be especially careful about this. Get closer if you can’t get the frame you want. Recording a subject that is moving quickly or unsteadily may also be difficult with a low-cost device. Recording a subject in front of a lot of additional movement will also confuse the sensor.

To get great results from low-cost devices, be aware that you may have unexpected restrictions. The more limited your resources, the more important planning becomes. Write a list of shots you need, and plan the time you need to shoot them. Assess your list against the limitations of your available device(s) and adjust your plan accordingly.

Things to Remember

  • Depend on closer shots, where the subject is larger in the frame, if you have a low resolution camera
  • Plan shots with little movement to get clear images
  • Do not move the camera while filming, and never depend on digital zoom
  • Keep your subject approximately arm’s length to ensure your subject is in focus
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