How to Record Great Video Footage on a Vacation

Recording videos that look impressive can be challenging, especially when you’re traveling. You might not be able to fit all the optimal gear in your limited space. Or maybe you don't feel the need to own a super expensive camera. Even with these limiting factors, you can still capture some awesome footage of your next trip!

Here are our top tips for learning how to record great video footage on your next big adventure!

·   Make sure the camera doesn’t shake
One of the main problems with photos and footage shot on vacation is very often the camera is shaky. While some camera shake can be corrected in post-production, that isn’t ideal and the video won’t have the same quality regardless.

Be mindful of that fact and try to keep your camera as still and steady as possible while you record videos. It may be a good idea to invest in a portable travel tripod that you can quickly set up and use to keep the camera steady.

·   Find the right lighting
In many cases, you may not have the time or opportunity to find the right lighting – but if you do, make it count. The video footage that you record will look far more impressive in soft lighting that has fewer harsh shadows or bright spots.

If possible, try to make it a point to record outdoor footage during the golden hour – i.e. the hour right after dawn or right before sunset. The lighting conditions during that timeframe are especially good, and the footage that you capture will reflect that.

·       Decide about the audio – in advance
Before you go on vacation, you have a decision to make: Is it important to you that you record audio along with the video that you shoot? If it isn’t important or you intend to replace the audio track with background music anyway, you have nothing to worry about.

However, if the audio is important – you need to take steps to ensure that you’re able to record good audio. That starts with using a decent external microphone, such as a portable shotgun microphone for general audio, or a lavalier microphone to record commentary.

·       Increase the frame rate on your camera
The one setting on your camera that you should try to adjust to capture footage that really looks great is the frame rate. Setting the frame rate at 60 will let you record videos that look smooth and fluid, and you could even consider using slow-motion effects later on.

It should be noted that recording at high frame rates will increase the file size of the videos that you capture, so be sure that you bring spare storage cards, just in case.

·       Keep your camera clean
Honestly, you’d be surprised how often video footage of a vacation is ruined just because the camera lens was slightly dirty. To make sure that never happens to you, bring your cleaning kit with you on vacation and make it a point to check and clean your camera regularly.

·       Diversify the types of shots that you record
Try to make it a point to capture a wide range of shots. Mix things up by recording some tight shots, medium shots, and long shots – and of different subjects including people, landscape, transportation, sights, and so on.

The diversity of your shots is especially important when you edit and cut together your video. Having more diverse material will let you put together a far more compelling video and tell the story of your vacation much more effectively.

·       Do not use the digital zoom on your camera
The digital zoom on your camera should be avoided at all costs. While it will enlarge the subject you’re recording, it will do so at the expense of the video quality. Instead of trying to ‘zoom in’, if you want a close-up shot you should get physically closer.

Or you could just as easily apply a zoom effect in post-production, and for example, could use Movavi Video Editor and follow the steps at

If you follow all the steps listed above, you should notice a marked improvement in the quality of the video footage that you record – and how good they look. It may take a bit of experimentation before you’re able to gauge the lighting perfectly, but that will come in time too. 

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