Digital Video Articles, Tutorials, Guides & Q & A Since 2007

Buying Guide, Devices, Smartphone Video, Video Production

Best Budget Smartphones for Filmmaking: Video Creation without Burning a Hole in Your Pocket

Best budget smartphones for filmmaking

Last updated on January 23rd, 2024 at 02:18 am

Smartphone technology has advanced so much on the camera front, posing a challenge to dedicated video cameras.

With video quality enhanced almost every time a new model is released, many are considering using smartphones for filmmaking.

Whether it is shooting a short film, a documentary, or an educational video, modern smartphones have proven that they can deliver the goods.

Why not? Shooting a video in 4K resolution is no longer a big deal with smartphones. Even affordable, lower-end models can shoot Full HD videos.

As more and more folks (even pros) are using their smartphones to create quality videos, a niche market has been created for smartphone filmmaking.

You would have noticed the amount of smartphone camera accessories that are available these days – from tripods, lenses, and microphones, among others.

Here are some of the advantages of smartphone filmmaking.

Advantages of Smartphone Filmmaking

Smartphone filmmaking is all about convenience. You don’t have to carry bulky equipment around.

You also don’t need a computer for editing. Mobile video editing apps are becoming more sophisticated. Most offer the necessary editing bells and whistles desktop versions boast of.

Also, smartphones do a good job when you need to shoot videos without drawing attention.

Everyone is shooting videos these days. So, you won’t raise eyebrows when whipping out your smartphone and start shooting. You can say the same if you’re using a camcorder.

Editing and sharing your videos instantly is a breeze with smartphones.

Smartphones come with Internet connections and you can easily share your videos over platforms like YouTube.

Examples of Smartphone Filmmaking

Many YouTubers use smartphones to shoot their videos and make money out of them.

Even pros are shooting movies with smartphones, good enough to be showcased at film festivals.

Hollywood directors, too, have successfully experimented with smartphone filmmaking. Among them are Sean Baker, Steven Soderbergh, and Zack Snyder.

So, if you’re considering buying a camcorder or a DSLR to shoot videos, you may want to consider getting a smartphone instead to enjoy the advantages mentioned above.

Picking a Smartphone for Filmmaking

That said, let’s check out the best smartphone for filmmaking. Of course, there are top-end models from Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Google, among others. Some shoot in 8K, which you don’t need.

Also, they may not suit your budget. But other affordable alternatives can deliver the goods for you as you shall see below.

Here then are the best budget smartphones for filmmaking.

Samsung Galaxy A51

This smartphone comes with a screen size of 6.5 inches.

Storage capacity is 16GB. However, you can expand it up to 512GB with a MicroSD memory card.

The display type is AMOLED.

It boasts a quad-camera with a 48MP lens.

On the video front, you can shoot 4K video at 30fps or Full HD 1080p from 30fps to 120 fps.

Check out the Samsung Galaxy A51.

Sony Xperia 1 II

This phone was released in 2020. It comes with a quad-camera with HDR.

It comes with a 6.5-inch screen size.

It works on Android 10 and is upgradeable to Android 11.

This Xperia model has a 12MP camera.

Video resolution supported is 4K at 24/25/30/60 fps.

For Full HD 1080p video, you can shoot at 30/60/120fps.

5-axis gyro-EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) and OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) image stabilization functions are supported.

Take a look at this video to see its shooting capability.

Check out the Sony Xperia 1 II.

Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5 was released in October 2020.

It comes with 128GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM. Sadly there isn’t a memory card slot to expand its storage capacity.

It runs on Android 11. However, you can upgrade it to Android 12.

Among the features to take note of are LED flash, Pixel Shift, Auto-HDR, and panorama mode shooting.

You can shoot 4K videos at 30 and 60fps.

1080p videos can go from 30fps right up to 240fps.

To learn more about the video capabilities of this smartphone, watch the video below.

Check out Google Pixel 5.

Apple iPhone SE

If you want to steer clear of Android and go for an iPhone but don’t have a huge budget, you may consider the iPhone SE.

Released in April 2020, it comes with a 12MP camera.

The screen size is 4.7 inches. Storage space ranges from 64GB to 256GB, depending on the model you choose.

You can shoot 4K at 24/30/60 fps. With 1080p video, support is available for 30/60/120/240fps with the HDR and OIS features.

Learn more about the iPhone SE video capabilities from the video test below.

Check out the Apple iPhone SE.

Explore the best budget smartphones for filmmaking as suggested above. Pick the one that suits your needs and most importantly, your budget.

Free Video Workshop