PSA: Please Turn Your Damn Mobile Phone Sideways When Recording Video

With more and more mobile phone videos showing up online, such as the one above showing what happens if you drive up a steep hill that's covered in ice, I think it's time for a PSA in video. Turn. Your. Phone. Sideways.

Here are two videos I shot to demonstrate. First, the tall video. See how much of the screen is wasted on black bars? See what you subject the world to when you don't bother to flip your phone a mere ninety degrees to either side? What would it be like if every time someone gave you a dollar to spend, you spent 33 cents and threw the other 67 cents in the trash? This is like that.

In contrast, here's the widescreen, horizontal video. See how much better it is when every pixel is doing things?

So in conclusion, turn your damn phone sideways! And if you have a friend who insists on shooting videos of anything in vertical mode, show them this post. Then slap their hands until their phone turns over.

Oh, and here's a convenient guide that you can print out and keep in your wallet to help you remember.

[Video via Twitter]



    OMG! Thank you Gizmodo! I'm so sick of people posting vertical videos on their Facbook profiles, it annoys me to no end cause I know it could potentially be seeing a whole heap more of what was happening!
    I'll be giving this link to every 'offender' I know :P

    I'm rather sick of hearing this. I call BS on much of this campaign.

    If you want to shoot vertical, do so. You should not be slapped around for it.

    You are NOT changing the resolution of the image, nor the field of view, other than the angle of the field of view. The same amount of the world is seen in either vertical or horizontal mode. Its just what PART of the world you see more of is altered.

    There are indeed times when this is useful. The wide angle lenses on camera phones etc only show so much, and if you are trying to capture a quick video of a vertically aligned event, it actually makes a lot of sense to use your camera in the vertical position.

    Now, when it comes to distribution through the net, things get trickier, and there are things to be considered. But again, no need for the slaps!

    Most large video repositories like youtube / vimeo present videos ONLY in horizontal aspect ratios. However, if you are putting the video on your own web site, you CAN play back the video in a vertically orientated manner, with no black bars, if that is what you like.

    This is a choice. If you are going to have a story about this kind of thing, at least tell it like it is, rather than pushing an agenda.

    /rant off

      Unless these videos are meant for the one eyed monster, then it's just an aweful waste to be recording vertically!

      vertical videos should be banned from upload!

      As brendan points out you're not getting less of an image at all. The example picture+caption above showing the same image in portrait and landscape is inaccurate.
      I agree that most video would look batter in landscape but please don't post inaccurate information just to get your opinion across.

      You're dead wrong dude. It may not mean anything if it's only on Facebook or equivalent, but it won't fill up a TV screen, hence the annoying sidebar altering that has to be done just to view it. While everyone braggs about the "high resolution camera" on their phone, using only half of it is downright lazy and stupid, not to mention annoying.

    I agree with Brendan. I also agree with Mitchell.

    I was dissapointed the other day when I had to crop the following video I made (trippy as): BECAUSE of my inability for forethought when making the video!!

    SOLUTION: APPLE should put a feature into the camera App for IOS to have a "switch" where you can turn on a visual reminder ("Please rotate your camera 90 degrees right") to rotate your camera - for those who wish to be reminded of such. Or it could simply be that the switch doesent start recording until you turn the camera the right way around.

    IMHO its better to record in widescreen and crop to 'portrait' as opposed to the other way around.

    This isn't a problem with the video recorders.

    This is a problem with the video viewers. Some things make more sense to be recorded vertically, it astounds me that youtube doesn't accomodate for this. They already did the thing for widescreen videos, why not portrait too?

    Well, this is obviously all Apple's fault. No notices and no camera button...

    I think many other phones do have a camera button, and that makes it pretty obvious you're meant to take pictures/videos sideways.

    For those arguing that there is sometimes a need to shooot vertically, allow me to remind you that 1) this isn't photography, and 2) when was the last time you saw a movie in the theatre shot vertically?

    Sure, directors have better equipment than we have on our phones, but no excuses. Either zoom out, back up, or get a bit more creative. The resolution doesn't change, you're right, but the actual size of the video as seen on the screen in a standard Youtube/Vimeo embedding does indeed change.

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