The 7 deadly sins of amateur video

A look at how to create better, more professional looking video by eliminating the seven most common amateur mistakes. Regardless of the camera you use, amateur video is easy to spot. In this video, we are going to share with you the deadly sins of amateur video so that you don’t get caught in their trap and end up with a bunch of crap.


  1. Finally, a production group doing a video with proper lighting, focus, framing, lens selection and (most important) audio during the talking head portion of the video. Drives me crazy how many self professed AV companies have YouTube videos with garbage sound, bad lighting, out of focus/way distorted image in their; review, instructional, etc videos.

    Great job. I would actually listen to this group, based on what they’ve produced not just what they say.

  2. Not much of this pertains when your doing sports video or like me I video R/C Model Planes and You either get the shot or you don’t when some poor soul crashes his $20,000 Trubin Powered Jet in to a million Pieces. There’s no do overs or re-positioning on this one.

  3. At first I was thinking, “Nah. . . this only applies if you’re shooting a staged production.” Versus just capturing random footage, like when you’re traveling or just capturing a family get-together. And, frankly, unless you are shooting a scripted production, you probably won’t be able to deliberately avoid all of these “sins.” BUT – recognizing these sins will definitely help weed out the crap footage from the hours of random clips, and you’ll at least have some basis for picking some clips over others. Just because you shoot it doesn’t mean it has to go in the final production. . . AND, for the clips you shoot you’ll be able to shoot better and more purposefully. Great tips!

  4. Mmmm… Sensible advice, but I’m afraid I don’t like the actual presenter-to-camera shooting in this instructive video, which I think shows too little headroom on the looser shot, and is simply too close on the close-ups – and therefore looks curiously “amateurish,’ if I may dare to comment!
    I would prefer a little more headroom on the wide, and a slightly looser close-up – not quite such a disturbingly big face when you’re addressing us! But that’s my opinion. The advice here is generally OK, though it’s odd that, with all this poor hand-held stuff on show, you don’t ever advise use of a tripod. A steady camera looks way more professional than all this shaky hand-held stuff. The point is (also not really emphasised), is that hand-held can be great in context – related to the nature of what you’re shooting.. whether it’s on-the-fly verite, or to raise the dramatic tension. But I guess that does sum up the advice: know what you’re going to shoot, and shoot appropriately…!

  5. Great job, guys. I really like the quick, helpful hints you’ve provide here. I’m also a fan of your podcast. Speaking of which, I wonder if you might incorporate some of the speed and brevity you have in this video into the podcast as well. I love the podcast, but found it takes a lot of chit-chat between the hosts before you get to the actionable information. This video, on the other hand, provides a ton of great tips very quickly which is perfect. Videomaker is definitely one of my favorite resources. Keep up the great work! Thanks.

  6. I have been doing video for the past few years not professionally. It is just for fun. Most of the things I kinda figured out already but the one with eye level. It is kinda hard for me to go lower with the camera and Higher with the camera unless there is some kind of setting fr higher and lower angles. ALso I have been doing still photography for a long time just for fun.

  7. As far as a tripod and steady surface (like concrete or an indoor shot) a tripod on sand like on a beach it is not really too good because the sand can easily shift the tripod for hat ever reason. Also in my opinion a tripod on sand would not really be level.

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