The video from a smartphone camera can be almost identical in quality to a professional TV camera or DSLR – but there are some challenges to keep in mind.
Steady shots: Shaky handheld footage makes video look unprofessional. Many smartphones have built-in optical image stabilization to reduce shaky footage, but you should also use a tripod.
Audio: Smartphone microphones can record high quality audio, but if you are doing an interview, your subject should be no more than one meter away. You should also avoid noisy and windy environments. An external microphone will solve both these problems.
Light: One of the greatest challenges with smartphone cameras is the amount of digital noise that is recorded when shooting in low light. Depending on your phone, even a well-lit room will be difficult to film in.
Lens quality: The lens on some cheaper Android phones is not of sufficient quality to take high definition photographs and video. iPhones and leading Android brands usually have lenses that capture HD video and high-resolution images.
Frame-rate: Most smartphones record video at 30 frames per second. This is fine if your video is going on social media or on a website. But if you work in TV, it needs to be taken into consideration. Countries on the NTSC television delivery system use 30fps, but in PAL countries, frame-rates are 25fps, so you need to record and edit video using third-party apps that have 25fps as an option. Click here to find out which system is used in your country.
Learn more about achieving steady shots, grabbing good quality audio and enough light in our equipment chapter here.