The best smartphone cameras for filming your movie, TV, web series or showreel

We now live in an age where if you have a TV, film or sketch idea – or desperately need to shoot a self-tape or showreel – you really can do it with little resource. Smartphones have gone from shooting horribly compressed, pixelated footage to 30-frames-per-second, 4K pocket wonders. Runaway Sundance favourite Tangerine was shot on an iPhone 5s, for example, and Oscar-winning director Michel Gondry just shot a 10 minute short with an iPhone 7. But which smartphone cameras truly turn your mobile into a story telling machine?

19th February 2018
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

Best camera for video filming on smartphone PIXABAY

Let Mandy News take a look at the best phones on the market for video, so you don't have to.

iPhone
Price range: £100 - £1,200
Camera resolution: 8MP - 12 MP
Video resolution: 1080p - 4K
Storage: 16gb -256GB

The iPhone currently dominates the market and with every iteration Apple's smartphone cameras get better and better. While the iPhone X certainly has the most capable camera in their line-up, holding its own against many stand-alone cameras, it is also prohibitively expensive at over a thousand pounds. The iPhone 8 and 8 plus share the bulk of the X's specs and camera trickery but are significantly more affordable, starting at £699. Although, a quick search shows the iPhone 6s available at a very reasonable £300, for those of you wanting something even more reasonable. It's still a very capable camera and, when used in tandem with a tripod or gimbal, you can get very smooth, good looking footage.

Google Pixel 2
Price range: £629
Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K
Storage: 64GB+

Much has been made of Google Pixel 2's leading camera technology. The original Pixel was one of the best on the market – and the story is no different with its successor. The Google Pixel 2 is an especially good low-light performer, and in daylight it has a muted, less saturated image – great for adding colour correction in post. While Apple and Samsung's devices have great cameras, they do have a “look” to them, which can make them look slightly artificial. The Pixel 2 has excellent onboard software and the results are really natural, sharp images.

Samsung Galaxy S series
Price range: £350 - £549
Camera Resolution: 12MP
Video Resolution: 4K
Storage: 64GB+

Samsung are industry leaders – along with Apple – in terms of build and image quality. They are known for punchy, high contrast images. The big draws with Samsung are the price point and expandable memory, a huge bonus when shooting 4K footage. This means you can save money by buying a lower spec model and upgrading the memory with a cheaper micro SD card. And the quality of footage is perfectly comparable to the other devices. In fact, the Galaxy S7 was considered the best in class, for a time, and it is a currently available for around £350 second hand. The S8 is more expensive and offers the same sensor, so unless you want a better phone to go with the camera, the S7 is a better choice.

Now you know what smartphone to shoot with, you'll want something excellent to cut it on.

Check out our article focusing onthe best smartphone editing apps out there.