Mobile phone versus a real camera

I know lots of folk make adequate videos with their phones for social media.  But every now and then I have an inquiry about making a quality video and the person will have a go themselves and then come back to get it done properly.  It happened last week which prompted me to put this video together, comparing what you get from a phone versus the sorts of camera I’ll use.

I will confess, when planning this clip I did wonder “what if the phone footage looks as good as my other cameras”, luckily it didn’t.

More-over, it shows it’s not just what gear you’ve got, but what you do with it that matters. A videographer has the experience to know what works and what will make you look good.  After all, you put effort into creating a brand image and surely you want that to carry through to the videos you make.

That aside, for the uninitiated here’s a more detailed list of the differences between your phone versus a more professional camera:

  • Bigger sensor = greater dynamic range (see video), accurate colours
  • Bigger sensor and fast lenses = you can choose where to focus, better in low light
  • Better lenses = clearer, less warped image (eg curving or blur at the edge). Able to zoom
  • Bigger bit depth and bit rate = more information to colour-correct and grade later
  • Not over-sharpened.  The mobile phone uses software to ‘sharpen’ the image.  It is too much.
  • Able to control everything like focus, exposure, white balance, picture profiles, versus the phone which is all automatic.
  • Better sound with better pre-amps and microphone connectors in a real camera
  • Stabilization, all sorts of input / output connectors and mounting points.

I’m sure there’s a bunch more.  The holy-grail is a more “cinematic” look and of course the better the camera, the closer it gets to this nebulous ideal.

If this has been useful, please send me a reply email and say hello.  (It’s lonely in lockdown 🙂

Keith Rhodes


Video Production for Melbourne Businesses