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Aren’t Smartphone cameras great?

When it comes to capturing those unpredictable, unplanned moments then you can’t beat them for convenience.

And – with the camera you get on the Smartphone of 2012 – you can’t beat it for quality either.

Well, at least you can’t beat it for amateur level quality. The kind of thing you may screen, well, on your phone.

The problem is, as good as they are, they’re still far from being the everyday tool of the professional filmmaker.

The limitations of the camera phone

In a recent Popular Mechanics article, it was reported that the director and cinematographer Marty Martin had used an Apple IPhone to produce a professional music video.

It states that:

“The resulting video was impressive, but to Martin the camera’s limitations were immediately clear.”

It goes on to list many of the problems that can occur when using a Smartphone to make a film, including:

> The Rolling Shutter Effect

This is when a moving image expands and contracts – causing individual items within the shot to looked warped.

The problem is almost unique to Smartphone cameras, as – unlike a conventional film, tape or DSLR camera – they shoot by scanning each frame from side to side instead of capturing it as a whole image.

This can cause the frame to contract, which can lead to the Rolling Shutter Effect.

> Overexposure

Due to it not really having a lens, a Smartphone has trouble with finding any depth that exists within the image it’s capturing.

Because of this, too much light can be recorded, causing the picture to be overexposed.

> Poor Framing

Unless you have a tripod or a special stand for your Smartphone – and they do exist, though they’re a bit expensive – then framing a steady image is pretty difficult.

Have you ever tried to hold a phone still when recording a film? It’s more difficult than you think, especially if you’re doing it for more than 10 seconds.

Shooting video on your Smartphone – good or bad?

It depends on the quality that you’re trying to deliver.

If you want something that’s of a professional standard, then you need professional equipment and – let’s be honest – a professional filmmaker.

If – on the other hand – you just want some home movies, then a Smartphone is something that can be pulled out at the last minute.

And you can even use to make phone calls!

So, for the amateur, the Smartphone is great.

But for those of you that want something more professional, then click here to see how a professional video should look.

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