The development, growth, and technological leaps taken when you consider the evolution of our mobile phones is quite something to behold when you take into account the relatively short amount of time that they’ve been in regular public use.
When cell phones first came into common use in the 90s, they were very much a luxury and weren’t all that sophisticated or indeed effective, but they’ve gone from being in the hands of around 11 million users in 1990 to 2.5 billion in 2020, and that surge is quite like no other in the field of electronics.
The use of smartphones has not only expanded the market but it’s also meant that we never spent much time without our heads buried in them throughout the day. They also offer us a chance to use them for more creative means than simply scrolling endlessly through social media feeds.
Some use smartphones for their filming capabilities. Indeed the quality of most smartphone cameras means that many use them to film videos or even films (be they short student projects or even feature-length productions). Indeed the quality of the content you can film with the best smartphones might mean you don’t need to consider the use of stock video, though that is still a reliable way to add production value to your presentations.
So what should you take into account when looking at potential smartphones for their video recording capabilities? Here are some pointers.
Some Tips for Selecting Your Smartphone
The quality of the video you are filming with your smartphone depends greatly on just how capable your mobile device is of handling the job. Here are some key aspects and tips you need to take into consideration.
You’ll want your camera of choice to have a high megapixel sensor, 5 megapixels or above, and you’ll need a quality lens that uses autofocus; this will help keep the quality of your video strong even when you are shooting on the run.
Ideally, the video will offer HDR and panoramic modes, and you’ll need our camera phone to shoot video at a full HD resolution of 1080p. Some might be okay with 720p, but if you are trying to shoot something semi-professionally, then you need to aim higher.
A Smartphone Can’t Do It All
Remember, just because you have a top-of-the-range smartphone that is capable of capturing great video, it will only be as good as the person operating it. Poor technique will basically render the quality of your smartphone as irrelevant. Here are some key ways to make sure your video will be as good as you wish it to be.
How to Make the Most Of Your Smartphone Video Experience
One key element you need to take into account is how steady you can hold your smartphone, and with this in mind, we recommend you invest in a tripod and stabilizers. Clearly, there may be occasions when you want that guerrilla style feel, but not all the time.
Failing that, you might want to use objects around you, chairs and tables, to keep things steady, and they will help immensely.
Lighting Is Key
A well-presented video depends a great deal on how the lighting is for the shoot you are filming with your smartphone. If possible, you should shoot in well-lit areas, be that natural light or indoors. Most smartphones have light sensors, but they don’t necessarily adjust all that well to big changes in light, especially at speed.
Use your auto-focus and touch-focusing to help gear the light source in the right place, as the automatic exposure on your smartphone should adjust accordingly.
Don’t Forget the Audio
A great visual will be ruined by poor audio. You can, of course, look to capture sound with your smartphone, but ideally, you’d need additional sources to help get the audio as you need it; anything else would feel amateurish.
An external recording device or a mini-boom mic is required to really make this work as professionally as possible. To avoid catching sound on the shoot that you didn’t want, you can always cover the mic on your phone as you shoot, and that way, the audio you do collect will only be that which you actually want.
Never Go Vertical
Always shoot landscape style; avoid vertical at all costs. This is a big mistake as it doesn’t capture the video and filmmaking experience as it’s intended. Always hold your phone sideways; this also helps make any panning moves you make (especially with a tripod) far smoother.
The Best Smartphone for Filming Video Is…
Sony Xperia 1 III
Sony has always been in the box seat when it comes to smartphones with maximum film making and video recording capabilities, and with the Xperia 1 III, they once again lead the way.
It has loads of color settings and the smoothest color grading we’ve ever seen from a smartphone. It uses four different lenses, offering a myriad of shooting options, so that means it’s very adaptable.
It also features additional treats like showing you the remaining recording time and memory, so in many ways, your smartphone almost becomes more like a film recording device than one you’d use to take and receive calls. In this way, it’s very much purpose-built with video recording in mind.