It isn’t really mobile vs. camera, the latest generation of mobile phones has really closed the gap, and I happily mix the two, but there are a few differences to be aware of.
I use my mobile phone, a mirrorless camera and the big DSLR camera. They are all brilliant for various reasons and I will mix footage from these in both branding and family films.
The 3 big wows
Macro, slow motion and super low depth of field and three formats that can spark really strong emotions. In real life, our human eyes can’t see in slowmotion, we can only see normal speed. We also can’t see really close up macro, which is why we are fascinated with seeing the super close up view of things like lips and eyelashes on babies. Low dept of field, with that lovely soft blurred background and the ability to bring elements in and out of focus, is beautiful and engaging and just not a view our normal eye can create. These three factors effectively provide an over sensory experience for the viewer, and makes video very engaging and attractive to watch. Of course these effects are far more available on a big camera, rather than the phone, and to me these make the biggest difference.
Big camera pro & cons.
- More lens options, like macro.
- More creative control of light and exposure. Make it look brighter/darker for effect.
- Bring object in and out of focus. Low dept of field.
- Big and heavy
- More settings to worry about
Mobile phone pro & cons
- Always got it with you.
- Light weight
- Limited settings to worry about
- New generation mobile cameras are excellent quality
- Less creative control.
- Might struggle in low light conditions.
- Older phones produce lower quality footage.
I honestly couldn’t say that one is better then the other. I am always using all three cameras and it’s simply horses for causes. If you are working on a project where you would like some of those wow elements, you can no doubt borrow a big camera and lens from someone. I definitely wouldn’t recommend purchasing expensive equipment unless this is something you will be doing a lot! A new phone will likely give you better quality than an old DSLR with a poor quality lens. Never let equipment stop you, start somewhere and remember it is about getting going, not about creating something perfect :o)