The Single Most Important Tip for Recording Video on iPhone

Jul 18, 2012 - 29 Comments

iPhone video recording tip

Have you ever noticed that iPhone video gets recorded according to the orientation of the device? If you haven’t noticed that yet, pay attention to it now, because you’ll create significantly better videos if you just rotate the iPhone into horizontal orientation before hitting that record video button.

Rotating the iPhone to a Horizontal Position Will Record Video As Intended in Wide-Screen Format

Keep this in mind when you’re capturing video with the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, since the vertical videos are squeezed and don’t have nearly the same coverage area. Just rotate sideways, you will capture video in widescreen format just as intended to be viewed on any screen, TV, theater, computer display, or whatever else.

Yes the image shown is a humorous look as to why this matters, and unless you’re living in a zero-gravity space station somewhere, do everyone and yourself a favor and just orient the iPhone properly before shooting video. This applies to iPad and iPod touch as well, take advantage of the orientation lock if you must and start recording the right way.

To further beat the point, here’s a ridiculous video.

But seriously, just record video in the proper orientation, you’ll be glad you did and so will the viewers!

Heads up to CultOfMac for the silly find.


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, iPhone, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Linda says:

    I came to this site for advice as I’d been filming in portrait mode not realising it was wrong. I’m not ‘stupid’ at all. I simply hadn’t learned the correct way yet. i don’t like the holier than thou tone of many on here. None of us were born knowing anything & we all have to learn everything. So why the condescension because you realised it first. It’s a phone orientation – get over it. The video was very funny & drive the point well.

  2. David says:

    I keep waiting for someone with a Brain to Design the Camera App to Turn OFF if not Held in Horizontal Aspect. Just Make the Camera FORCE to proper Wide Screen or Turn Off. Then the Users without brains will learn How to Hold a Camera. OS Makers (Android, Google, Windows, IOS) Could probably do it in an Update for Every Phone on the Planet and BLAM… Stupid Solved.

  3. Wm Magill says:

    In fact it is trivial to rotate a video in IOS or with the Mac OS, and yes, even with Windows. See this tip from OSX Daily:

    How to Rotate Video on iPhone & iPad

    And this one: How to Rotate Videos in Mac OS X

  4. Julian says:


    My issue with all this is the normal way to shoot video is vertical. Because that’s the way you hold your phone. That’s the way my car’s cradle holds the phone. If I turn the cradle sideways to record video while I drive, my phone will end up on the floor, then you will be looking at my arse when I’m recording.

    Why can’t apple simply record the video in landscape mode by default, when the phone is held vertically??

  5. Rlisha says:

    Does that phone look like a film camera? This is my pet peeve. I can give a crap which direction you shoot in, it can be fixed in editing. It’s when you call digital video “film.” No one “films” with a camera phone.

    • Xander Crews says:

      Rlisha, you have no idea what you are talking about.
      A vertical video can NOT be turned horizontal in editing. It doesn’t work that way. That’s like saying you can see the back of someone’s head in a regular photo by rotating their head in photoshop…which you obviously can’t do. (although I am sure some morons think you can)

      It’s annoying that you rambled that off as fact when you have absolutely no clue of what you are talking about.

      And nobody said “film” in this article or in the comments (you kind of went off on a weird tangent there). However, to “film” something does indeed mean to make a video. That is one of the definitions of the word “film”. So no, it’s not a film camera (nobody said it was), but use of the word film is acceptable when talking about recording or making a video or movie….such as, “making a film”. So your pet peave wasn’t very well thought out. So, you are incorrect, everyone “films” with a camera phone when taking video.

      • Gary Cole says:

        I don’t have a problem with using “Film”. But it really irks me when people say they’re videotaping with their phone!

  6. Michael j. Yanko says:

    Loved the video, I had no clue (until now) why my video’s were sideways. Thanks, my brain just got an”update”. I’m 66 and a musician with no other skills, ( other than music )

  7. Anil says:

    I am certainly looking for ideas on correcting such wrongly recorded videos. Any ideas ?

  8. Pam says:

    Do you realize that in your picture you show the phone with the volume bottoms on the top and not the bottom. This creates an upside down video when transfered to your PC. Maybe you should think twice about throwing around the word “moron”.

  9. konstantinos says:

    so funny!
    thank you for the tip!
    any idea (pc program or app) how to switch our wrong recorded videos?

    #nobodyisperfect! :p

    • Anil says:

      I have a couple of wrongly recorded videos. On my PC, I can play with iTunes and watch them as if I would watch them on my iPhone. Other than that, they look funny on any other app.. say Windows Media Player, for eg..

  10. Lena says:


    Insane. :)

  11. Hans says:

    I absolutely cringe when I see people taking video or pictures in portrait view due to the problems listed in this very article. The only thing that sucks is when I try to tell somebody about it, they won’t switch to landscape unless I spend 5 minutes explaining the consequences of NOT video recorded in landscape. Time to forward this article to everybody….

  12. Dan says:

    So, you think that the readers (us) are morons, and we don’t know how to hold an iPhone for recording…

    • Paul says:

      Nope. It’s mostly a joke, relax.

    • RJM says:

      Dan, do you realize how many youtube videos are suffering from VVD? Sure maybe some OSXdaily readers aren’t the culprits but it’s certainly an issue. And some OSXdaily readers have actually been amazed at tips like how to show the path bar in finder or how to use the iTunes Equalizer. Really? So I’m sure some vertical video creators are on this site.

    • Xander Crews says:

      Yes, yes we do. People in general are morons when it comes to stuff like this. The millions of videos on YouTube prove this. You also see it on the local news when they show a phone video of some event…happens all of the time and it’s annoying. You lose real estate and you can’t see near as much. Rotate your damn phone…morons.

  13. Scott says:

    LOL, the worst are when they are uploaded to YouTube this as vertical it’s like why!!!! what are you doing!!

    Though if your friend sends you vertical video from iPhone and you watch it on iPhone it does look ok.

    • Xander Crews says:

      It has nothing to do with it being an iPhone you knob.
      It was recorded vertically, so if you hold your phone vertically you can watch it vertically full screen, but it’s still vertical and it’s annoying as hell.

      And what’s with all of the iPhone comments? This is the case for all phones…Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, etc.

      That is annoying to me. When someone should just say “smart phone” but they say “iPhone”. It kind of shows their level of tech intelligence.

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