6 Advanced Camera Movements to Elevate your Videos

Ready to take your cinematography to the next level? We’ve got you covered with 6 advanced camera movements that go beyond the basic movements like pan, tilt, and dolly. For most advanced movements, gear becomes a necessity—by using stabilizers, drones, and more, your shots will rival the look and feel of even the best professional cinematographers.   

First of all, what is a gimbal?


One of the best tools you can use to capture video with an elevated style is a gimbal. A gimbal, like a tripod, is a stabilization device you attach your camera to. A 3-axis gimbal functions by supporting a suspended camera, allowing it camera to rotate with intentional movement while eliminating unintentional shake. It gives the operator the freedom to move naturally and not have to worry about creating that Blair Witch effect. Gimbals can be incorporated into small handheld devices, body rigs, drones and more. Many advanced camera movements are made possible by using a gimbal.

1. Follow Shot

A follow shot is a type of tracking shot in which the camera follows the moving subject. This differs from a standard dolly shot because it would follow the twists and turns of your subject rather than move on a static path. To achieve a smooth, stable shot, you’ll want to use a gimbal or a drone to follow your subject.

Download this video of a follow shot.

2. Arc Shot

Another type of tracking shot is the arc shot. It’s been used to create some of the most iconic cinema moments in history. The camera will circle the subject to create a dramatic effect that captures the entirety of a scene while focusing on your subject. This can be done using a gimbal for a close up shot or a drone for larger subjects.

Download this video of an arc shot.

3. Handheld 

Handheld shots can be used in many different ways. The style we’re talking about here is that up-close and personal handheld camera movement. The trick to achieving a good handheld shot, is to put down the gear and hold the camera in your hands. A little bit of instability is what you’re looking for to give your shot an authentic and personal feel. You want to avoid a sloppy look, so practice your controlled movements before hitting record. 

Download this video of a handheld shot.

4. Hyper Lapse 

Unlike a standard time lapse, in which motion sped up over time is captured from a static position, the camera position is changed in a hyper lapse. This can best be accomplished by moving a tripod on a planned path in gradual increments, but it can also be achieved by speeding up a tracking shot captured using a gimbal, a drone or a moving train

Download this video of a hyper lapse.

5. Flyover

The era of the drone is in full swing and it has opened up a world of opportunity for creative shots. The classic drone camera movement is the flyover. This can be done by flying the drone forward or backwards over an expansive landscape to create an establishing shot. You’ll need a drone, or a ride on a helicopter, to accomplish this shot. 

Download this video of a flyover shot.

6. Bird’s Eye View

This is another shot you can accomplish with a drone that can have a stunning impact. A bird’s eye shot is done by flying a drone and pointing the camera directly down on a subject. The camera angle is important here. You want to achieve a straight-on shot. You can then add visual interest like raising the drone or flying it forward to reveal more of the scene.

Download this video of a bird’s eye shot.

These advanced camera movements will require practice, and in most cases, an assist from gear. But once you start to master those operations, the creative possibilities are endless. If you need more inspiration or want to elevate the look of your videos today while you practice, check out our stock footage library for a wide variety of shot styles. Want to get started? Sign up for a subscription to start downloading content today!

Get a Subscription