How to Record a Video on a Mac, with Photos

Screen Record on a Mac

How to Record a Video on a Mac, with Photos

Video recording is handy for study, work, or fun. Video is also great for creating content, as many online browsers like to watch videos to gather information. Luckily for Mac users, there are a few simple ways to record a video. You can use your Mac’s built-in software to record a webcam video of yourself or an external camera and third-party software. Keep reading to learn exactly how to record a video on a Mac.

How to record a video on a Mac using QuickTime Player

One of the easiest ways to record a video on a Mac is to use QuickTime, which comes pre-installed. Follow the steps below to record your video.

Step 1: Open QuickTime

Depending on your setup, this program may be in your Dock. If not, it can be found in your ‘Applications’ folder. First, open a Finder window, then navigate to your ‘Applications’ folder and open QuickTime.

Step 2: Select a Video

You’ll be prompted upon opening QuickTime to select a video recording. Open one of your choices.

Step 3: Record Your Video

With QuickTime open, you’ll see a menu at the top of your screen. Open the ‘File’ submenu, and click either ‘New Movie Recording’ or ‘New Screen Recording’. These will allow you to record a video using your webcam or screen. You can record your entire screen or a section by clicking the appropriate function under the window. A box will pop up to record a portion, which you can then resize as you desire. Then, hit the ‘Record’ button. 

Once you’re finished, press Command (cmd) + Control (ctrl) + Esc to stop recording. Alternatively, if you press cmd + shift + 5, you’ll bring up the recording menu where you can hit ‘Stop recording.’ Your video will now be saved as a ‘Video recording’ on your Desktop by default, but this can be changed by clicking the ‘Options’ menu.

Check out the video below to learn more about recording a video using QuickTime.

How to Record a Video on a Mac Using Photo Booth

Another way to record a video on a Mac is by using the Photo Booth application. This is also pre-installed. Follow these steps to accomplish this.

Step 1: Open the Photo Booth App

Find the Photo Booth app in your ‘Applications’ folder, and open it.

Step 2: Hit the Record Button

The camera icon in the bottom left corner is used for recording video. Hit this to begin recording. A 3-second timer will begin to count down before the recording is started.

Step 3: Finish Your Recording

After recording your video, hit the red square button at the bottom to complete the recording. You can now export this file by right-clicking on it in the gallery below the recording screen and clicking ‘Export.’ You can now rename this video and choose where to save it.

How to Record a Video on a Mac Using Built-in Function

An even simpler way to record a video on your Mac is by using its built-in function. This is only available with macOS Mojave or newer. It’s a very similar interface to QuickTime, but it does speed things up a bit.

Step 1: Open the Recording Interface

Recording screen has a sizing feature.

Begin by pressing cmd + shift + 5. This will bring up a similar recording interface to QuickTime.

Step 2: Adjust Your Settings

You can set recording time to five or 10 seconds.

Before you record, you can adjust the settings. Click the ‘Options’ tab to change the timer’s duration and select the microphone to use. This will record external sounds while you capture your screen.

Step 3: Record Your Video

You can use the key combination or click the stop button to end your recording.

As before, you have the option of recording a portion of your entire screen, as well as changing the save destination. When you’re finished, press cmd + shift + 5 again to bring up the menu and click ‘Stop recording.’

How to Record a Video on a Mac Using Third-party Software

Even though Apple’s software is the quickest to use, any third-party software can still record a video. The bonus is that most of these incorporate editing functions to edit your video within the application.

Some of the top apps to try include:

  • Filmora
  • Camtasia
  • ScreenFlow

Play around with these apps to determine which suits your needs best.

How to Record a Video Call on a Mac

Recording a video call can be very useful, particularly for business or academic purposes. This can be accomplished using Apple’s built-in FaceTime software or a third-party application such as Skype. We’ve detailed this below.

Step 1: Open FaceTime

Go to your folder’s app to locate the FaceTime App.

Locate FaceTime within your ‘Applications’ folder, and open it.

Step 2: Record Your Screen

You can now record your entire screen or crop out the FaceTime video.

Start a new FaceTime call and hit cmd + shift + 5, just like before. Once finished, hit ‘Stop recording’ and save your video. The recipient won’t be notified the screen is being recorded, but it’s best to always inform and ask for permission before recording a FaceTime video.

How to Record a Video Call Using Skype

This process is similar but requires you to have a Skype account. Read on to find out how this works.

Step 1: Open Skype

Skype is accessible from your Mac’s app folder.

Find Skype in your ‘Applications’ folder, and open it.

Step 2: Log in to Skype

You can sign into Skype with your username and password or from Live account.

Now, log in to your Skype account and see this homepage.

Step 3: Start a Video Call

Scroll till you find the person you want to video call.

Select the ‘Calls’ option on the left, and click the camera icon next to the person you want to call. This will begin a video call.

Step 4: Click the Record Button

It’s a good idea to let everybody know that you’re recording.

You’ll see the ‘Record’ button at the bottom left of the screen. Click this to start recording.

Step 5: Finish Your Recording

You can either end the call or click stop recording.

Once you’re happy with your recording, either click ‘Stop recording’ in the same place or end the call.

Step 6: Save Your Video

Recorded Skype calls will be accessible via chat for 30 days.

The video recording will be posted into the chat of everybody on the call. It will remain here for 30 days, so you can download the recording locally within this timeframe if you wish.

How to Edit Your Video

There are many ways to edit your video. You’ll likely want to use some third-party software, as previously mentioned, as these often come with the functionality to edit your recording. You can do some basic editing using Apple’s built-in software, though. We’ll show you how to do this next.

Step 1: Record Your Video

Record a video using QuickTime, Photo Booth or the record shortcut as before.

Step 2: Open the Video with QuickTime

Once you find the video, click, and it will open in QuickTime. Now you can click the ‘Edit’ menu along the top to bring up some functions. These include trimming the video, rotating or flipping the video, and adding another clip to the end of the video.

How to Edit a Video Using iMovie

iMovie is another pre-installed application on a Mac, and it’s helpful for video editing.

Step 1: Open iMovie

The iMovie app is accessible from your apps folder.

Find iMovie in your ‘Applications’ folder and open it.

Step 2: Import Media

The import media icon has an arrow pointing downwards.

Click the ‘Media’ tab to open the ‘Import Media’ function. Use this to import your desired video recording.

Step 3: Edit Your Video

The edit menu sits right at the top of your computer’s screen.

Now you can edit your video using the edit menu at the top right of the screen.

Step 4: Create a Movie for Further Editing Options

You can combine existing images and videos to make a new movie

Alternatively, you can go back to the ‘Projects’ tab and click ‘Create New.’ Then, select ‘Movie’ from the drop-down menu. This will open a new screen with your video recording.

Step 5: Edit Your Project

Under project settings, you can adjust clip size and trim background music.

Now that you’ve added this media to a new project, you can drag it down to the bottom half of the screen. Here, you can edit using the functions along the top as before. Additionally, you can trim and shorten the clip and the music using the bottom of the screen.

Step 6: Finish and Save

After editing,

you can rename your movie with any title.

Once you’re done, click the back button next to ‘Projects’ in the top left corner, and you’ll be prompted to save your new movie.

How to Make the Most of Your Video

While it’s vital to know how to record a video on a Mac, it’s equally important te ensure you produce a high-quality video. Here are some tips to achieve this.

Have proper lighting

The light should be in front of you during a recording, not behind you. Otherwise, you’ll appear dark and won’t be easily visible. You don’t need fancy technology; a simple lamp will do. An extra tip is to have the lamp’s light deflecting off a wall in front of you, giving you an even and natural glow.

Frame your video correctly.

It’s best to have the camera at eye level to ensure your face is well-positioned and natural. Eye level is vital, so ensure you’re not looking down or up at the video. Ideally, you’re centered in the video, with your face visible and the top of your chest. It’s a good idea not to have your image cluttered, so have a minimalist background and space around your face.

Get your acoustics right

Just as having a snazzy ring light is not necessary, it’s not required to splash your cash on an external microphone. The built-in microphone of a Mac does a pretty good job of recording sound. Even speaking audibly and is sensible, focusing on your enunciation. If you decide to invest in an external microphone, you’ll want to consider the acoustics of your environment. Experiment with different angles, as well as with using materials to help prevent echoes. This could be something as simple as a cushion or pillow. Generally, something that’s soft and absorbs sounds will do well here.

Check your technology

You can have the perfect video environment, but if your tech isn’t up to scratch, your recording will suffer. One of the hallmarks of an excellent recording is smooth operation, so having a sufficiently speedy device is essential here. As well as this, you’ll want to practice your process, especially if you’re recording an informative method. A smooth transition between windows and folders is recommended for a great watching experience.

Wrapping Up

We’ve covered a few options for recording a video on your Mac, either on the screen or using a webcam or external camera. The simplest way to do this is using the native function, but QuickTime and Photo Booth are quick methods. A third-party app is probably ideal for more complex editing and recording a video call to share with others.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I record a video of my Mac's screen?

Yes. You can do this by using the built-in function by pressing cmd + shift + 5, or by using the QuickTime Player.

How do I record a video using my Mac's webcam?

To record using a webcam, the easiest way is by using the built-in app, Photo Booth. You can also use third-party software to accomplish this.

How do I record a video using an external camera?

You can do this by using Photo Booth or QuickTime Player. With QuickTime, simply select ‘New Movie Recording’ instead of ‘New Screen Recording’.

Why can't I find my video recording?

Videos,  by default, are saved on the Desktop. You can change this within the ‘Options’ tab in the native recording function. If using QuickTime, the option to save is found within the ‘File’ menu. In Photo Booth, you can right-click the recording and click ‘Export’ to choose a destination of your choice.

How do I edit a video I've recorded on my Mac?

You can perform some basic editing functions within QuickTime and iMovie, but for advanced options, you’ll likely want to use a third-party application.

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