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Is anyone seriously using their smartphone for video?

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We seem to frequently complain that the camera manufacturers can't do this or that, but they should be able to because the latest smartphone can.

So, is anyone using their smartphone for 'real' film-making?

I guess by 'real' I'm talking about trying to get the most out of it by using manual controls, 180-degree shutter, maybe higher bitrates via custom apps, external audio, and then editing and grading etc.  If so, I'm curious to know what equipment you're using (hardware and software), what kind of projects you're shooting, and what kind of results you're getting.

If you think about a smartphone as a camera with a fixed focal-length and small aperture then there's no reason that it couldn't produce stunning results in the right situations..

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Once you try to use your smartphone for real filmmaking, it's a pain in the butt, because manual shooting parameters (including constant framerate), storage for big files, body stabilization, longer battery life and ND filtering for 180 degree shutter often require workarounds and clutches that, in the end, make a smartphone more difficult to use than a classical camera.

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Maybe not for narrative film making but I see a lot of smartphones being used professionally by journalists in my work.

I remember being quite shocked when I first started seeing them being used a few years ago for reporter pieces to camera outside stadiums by "real" broadcast companies but its so commonplace now it doesn't even register.  I'm not talking just self shot pieces here either - though that happens as well - but a regular setup of a cameraman and a reporter, its just that the camera on the tripod is a smartphone instead of an ENG camera.

Typically, they'll be on a rig like this one 

1482324034910.jpg.5a39137b783508700e6950f6538dd8d7.jpg

What has really pushed it forward over recent years is the availability of good audio options and its even becoming more commonplace at press conferences I've been doing to see smartphones being connected directly to the audio split box to take the feed from the console. So standards don't have to drop just because the form factor and price of the gear you're using have.

Everything about them is becoming more sophisticated in terms of hardware and software (apps like LumaFusion are serious editing tools now and the Teradek Live:AIR products let you do multi cam broadcasts) and of course where they really win out is not just in the form factor but also in how fast they can get to air from anywhere.

So I can definitely say they have reached a point where you can do professional video work with them but the transition to "proper" film making (whatever that even means today) is always going to be hampered by the lens on the front of it.

If RED actually get it together in terms of a viable bolt on camera for the HYDROGEN then we might over time see it gain the same traction. I'm of a generation that sees a smartphone as a device whereas the people who will be making the films I watch in my retirement home see it as an extension of themselves. It is that ubiquity that will drive the change because to them, they do everything else on it so why wouldn't you make "real" films on it?

And to be honest, I have to say that dealing with a fixed device that limits your choices also limits the rabbit holes you can fall down so it can actually improve creativity and productivity. 

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19 minutes ago, Snowfun said:

(do you cover cricket in your work?)

Reluctantly, yes.

I should probably qualify that a bit and say the 20/20 stuff was OK but shooting the Test matches is not exactly a thrill a minute. For five days.

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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

a regular setup of a cameraman and a reporter, its just that the camera on the tripod is a smartphone instead of an ENG camera.

For  "Man on the Street" stuff, it makes perfect sense.  IQ isn't terribly important.  Even with "pro" cameras and cameramen, if you watch local news broadcast you'll soon discover IQ is the least of their worries.

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3 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

 Even with "pro" cameras and cameramen, if you watch local news broadcast you'll soon discover IQ is the least of their worries.

And the large depth of field from the small sensor is an absolute boon when you need to keep the background magic trick in focus.

 

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Well I just got my Apple iPhone 10, 256 GB back from my son for good. I have not taken anything yet, but the spec on it are pretty amazing to be honest. Now that they have dual camera, and hell 4K 60p, stabilization, DoF defocus, I don't see why with a good 3rd party App, why you can't make something worth happening. Maybe not a Blockbuster movie, but a pretty damn good output surely is possible with the skill a lot of people on here have.

It has to be more fun than dragging out a Arri Alexa setup LoL. That new DJI phone Gimbal for 199 bucks looks damn good. I am going to look into it in a few days. Like they say you always have it with you. Would make at least a hell of a good B Roll camera.

This was shot in Jerome, Arizona with my iPhone 6s Plus.

 

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He is a comparison of the iPhone X and the GH5. Other than low light and lenses, at the super wide and telephoto length I doubt like he said, on YT, I doubt the average person will notice which camera did what, but I am sure if you push the editing Banding will happen pretty big time. I am not saying it replaces a GH5. But phones have come a Long ways lately.

 

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Here in the States I notice more reporters using phones to shoot video, though cameras are still more common for ENG work, at least from my experience and from talking to friends that work for local stations here in Vermont. 

They really have come a long way but I don't know that the day will ever come when they are good enough for real narrative work. At least good enough to use over a real camera. The censor size will always hold it back, I think. 

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2 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

This is a pretty awesome video on a iPhone X. Edited with Adobe Premiere CC and a MacBook Pro. No color correction whatsoever. Only for the macro shots they used one macro lens.

 

 

Skintones keep me away from smartphones....but for B-roll, this iPhone X looks useful....

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3 hours ago, IronFilm said:

What are those two block boxes to the right of the RodeLink receiver?

At first I thought the one on the bottom was a Gnarbox (which would make sense for mobile journalism) but on closer zooming I think it's a light in a rugged housing (possibly even repurposed from diving?) as it looks to have a pushbutton on the left and a rotary fader on the right.

The thing on the top is possibly an action camera or a battery for the light. 

Or the whole thing could well be one of those bird feeder cameras ;)

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