In the last few years, I've found myself using my smartphone more and more as my video camera to capture life's moments. On an actual shoot, it's also not uncommon for me to use one as a b-camera. If that's you as well, here are nine great tools to help improve your smartphone videography (and a bonus tip).
Coming at you from Anthony Gallo of Content Creators is a list of useful gear to help level up your smartphone video game.
Some of the tools, such as lights and diffusion, are a given for any video shoot, but one of the most useful tools he recommends is a gimbal. While he's using the DJI OM 5 Smartphone Gimbal in his video, there's also now a version 6 that adds a handy info display to the handle and some extra tracking options. I've had a couple of DJI gimbals in the past, and for a filmmaker on a budget, using a smartphone on a gimbal for smooth motion is a much more cost-effective option than expensive DSL and mirrorless gimbals, such as the DJI RS series. I frequently mix DSLR footage on a tripod with gimbal footage from a cell phone, as the quality differences are getting narrower with each new smartphone release.
Which brings me to one of the other points that Gallo made: while most DSLRs or mirrorless cameras made in the last five years or so are going to give you about the same image quality, phones have made huge leaps and bounds in that time. While I loved my iPhone 6s, there's no denying how upgrading to an iPhone 12 Mini and then an iPhone 14 Pro have improved my videography just by way of the tool. While I've also loved my Pixels, iPhones just simply have better quality when it comes to video all around (and you can check out a comparison for that here). Getting an up-to-date smartphone is something that actually helps.
Audio is incredibly important too. Audiences can tolerate a little shaky footage here and there, but most don't abide bad audio. While shotgun mics are a decent solution, a lavalier is where it's at for voice work, and Gallo points out the highly rated Rode Wireless GO II and DJI Mic systems.
There are a lot of other tools that Gallo talks about to help phone filmmakers, including some recommendations for lenses and tripods. Check out the video above for more tools and tricks, and if you have any of your own, leave them in the comments below.