DSLR or Phone?

We live in the age where a smartphone can wholesomely compete with a top tier DSLR. Both can shoot 4k (average of 30FPS on most smartphones and cameras) and of course the crispy 1080p-1440p at 60FPS. Both have their strengths and flaws; the phone being the most accessible of the two items. So which one is right for you? Well for starters we need to look at a few points that any potential YouTuber or V-Logger must know.

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Smartphones are readily accessible and can all pretty much shoot 1080p from their back camera. Face it, smartphones are almost a dime a dozen these days and most of them shoot 1080p footage. This is the most cost effective way for anyone to get into making video content, heck we even still use our phone for run and gun footage. A DSLR can be great, but not everyone has readily available access to a DSLR. Those who do are able to wield a great tool of power but must understand that it comes with some lessons learned.

Accessories can be applied not just to DSLR’s but phones as well! It may sound crazy but you can totally get crispy audio with phone made shotgun microphones. You can even get lapel microphones for your own phone and still get that audio just right. Just splice into the video in editing and bam, next big thing. Now yes the DSLR will undoubtedly get much better accessories, but phone accessory makers are slowly closing that gap with some clever hardware and software. Even renowned shotgun mic manufacturer Rode has made microphone accessories just for phones! Crazy, right?

DSLR’s are adaptable, yet complex beasts that need to be dialed in and honed. Sure anyone can use a camera, but it takes time and patience to truly understand how a DSLR functions. Shooting video is as easy as setting your camera of choice into video mode, you might even set it all to auto and just run with it. For those looking to better their craft, take into account exposure, lighting and ISO. Tweaking with settings like these are sure to give you more freedom and creativity in bringing to life your videos. If that sounds like too much then just stick with a smartphone; they are at least awesome point and shoot cameras.

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DSLR’s are expensive and can cost more depending on make and model while smartphones have a general lower price point. Sure an Apple iPhone can cost upwards of 1000USD depending on storage and size. If we are looking at a smartphone for an out of contract price, you can grab a pretty awesome phone for a pretty awesome price; most of which end up still being cheaper than a DSLR. IF you want or need a DSLR then you can get an older model (like our Nikon D5500) for a generous price point and you get much better quality; most of the time.

With that all noted you just need to walk into this thinking what is best for you. Try using your smartphone hell, a ton of YouTubers got their start on worse devices. You need persistence and the reassurance in knowing that no matter what you are using, as long as you are giving it 110%. We are still very much enjoying our experience in figuring out how to work with our DSLR and our iPhone. Each have awesome strengths and at times they make for an awesome dynamic duo for video work. We used a combination of our phones time-lapse mode and our DSLR run and gun shooting while at this years Naka-Kon…. Still gotta edit that footage…

So go on, go make that YouTube video that will hit a million likes, views or shares. Don’t ever let someone tell you that shooting with your phone or nine inch tablet makes you look weird; they just might be dissing the next big person on the internet!


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7 thoughts on “DSLR or Phone?

  1. Valentino Senpai May 16, 2017 — 8:32 pm

    For the majority of people a phones camera could work pretty damn well the S8 is a perfect example but if you’re really into things like amateur filmmaking and want better features like better auto focusing and the like then a DSLR Camera is a good option if you have the cash but honestly phones nowadays do a great job.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The S8’s pro mode is pretty swanky. We’ve played with it while at work and it is very nice to have that level of control.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Valentino Senpai May 16, 2017 — 9:10 pm

        I bet it is. It’d be better if it had better exposure and if it handled colors better

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Unfortunately a lacking point in LED displays. That color saturation.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Valentino Senpai May 16, 2017 — 9:38 pm

        Yea, it can get to be a real pain at times.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Its worthwhile mentioning the famous point and shoot cameras such as the canon s120 powershot and the canon g7x with tilting screen. These provide a nice middle ground between dslr and smartphone. While the point and shoots don’t include ports for a shot gun mic the easy workaround is either a mic such as the blue yeti or like you mentioned a lapel microphone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very good! I’ll probably end up revising a future post like this with some variation of point and shoot.


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