Can you use your phone for some broadcast projects? Sure! Many devices also have great cameras! But your phone also has some important limitations. So before you decide to use your phone, be aware of the pros and cons of smartphone video.
Mobile video advantages
- It's in your pocket right now. Ben Franklin used to say, "The best camera is the one you have."* It's a useful way to think about it; the best way to get the perfect shot is to be ready to capture it when the opportunity presents itself.
- It's probably a good camera! Most phone cameras are actually quite good, image-wise. That said, experiment with a manual camera app that will let you control the focus, exposure and ISO.
- Multiple frame rates. Most cameras can alternate between 30, 60, and even 120 fps or higher. This is good for slow motion shooting.
Mobile video limitations
- Vertical video danger. Don't forget to turn your camera sideways! Only you can stop vertical video.
- Less control over camera settings. Your phone defaults to automatic mode, which gives you much less control over the image. As a result, unless you're careful, you could end up with weird automatic exposure and/or white balance shifts.
- Sorta crappy mic. The microphone is made for talking on the phone, not shooting video. It's useful tool for a lot of things, but a video microphone isn't among them. If you need the sound from your phone, you need to think carefully about the quality of sound your video requires.
*Ben Franklin did not actually say this.