In the latest update, Instagram for iOS fixed some bugs, added Cinema (stabilization) support for front-facing camera recording, yada, yada, yada. What really has me geeked about this update is the ability to shoot photos and record video in landcape mode.
Portrait Mode vs. Landscape Mode
It’s highly common to see video recorded on smartphones uploaded and shared everywhere on the web. Most of those videos I’ve seen are squeezed between black bars that seem to take up all the extra space to the left and right of the video. This is the case because people recorded those videos holding their phones vertically (portrait) versus rotating their phones horizontally (landscape mode) before recording.
When videos recoded in portrait mode are played back on slick widescreen TV’s, computers and other video devices, the dreaded black bars appear due to the difference between the format used to record the video and the device/platform used to playback the video. The simple solution is to rotate your smartphone so it’s horizontal to the ground before recording.
Pro Tip: Your smartphone’s camera/recording buttons will rotate as well to confirm you’re recording in landscape mode.
Check out my video to visually compare the difference between portrait vs. landscape mode
Why you should care?
If you (along with the rest of the world) have decided to use your smartphone as your primary video camera and have jumped on the Instagram video bandwagon, the ability to record Instagram videos in landscape (widescreen) mode should be a feature you should adopt if you want to remove those black bars when you playback your videos on anything other than Instagram.
Now that Instagram has added video recording to the mix, people will want to show off their videos in more places other than Instagram. So look forward to the videos popping up everywhere.
(Peep fellow Babble blogger Molly Thornberg’s post on how to embed Instagram video into your blog posts)
It seems as if the folks at Instagram knew people would figure out a way to share their videos on other platforms, so they recently added the ability to natively shoot pictures and record videos in landscape mode. Now I can’t promise that the black bars will dissappear completely, because there are different landscape formats as well. What I can promise is you will no longer have to squint at skinny smartphone videos uploaded and shared on the web.
My eyes thank you in advance.