The Best Camera Is the One That’s with You | Smart Phone Camera Review

We have a saying in the world of photography: “The best camera is the one that’s with you.”  There’s even an entire book by photographer Chase Jarvis based on just that philosophy.  Nine times out of ten when you’re out and about with your kids, you’ll have forgotten to bring your snazzy prosumer camera with its fancy zoom lens or even your point and shoot.  But if you’re anything like us, there’s no way you’re forgetting your smart phone.

So here are our favorite smart phones to shoot on, especially for video:

iPhone 5S

We know.  Kind of an obvious choice, but now that it’s got the ability to shoot slow motion, we can’t help but love this phone even more.  You can even choose what portion of the clip you want to play back in slow mo.  As a filmmaker, even this is a little mindblowing.

The 5s also opens up to a 2.2 Fstop with an ISO of up to 3200.  What does that mean exactly? Even in some of the darkest of conditions, this camera is able to collect what little light there is to create a decent image that isn’t too grainy or underexposed. 

One of the other features we love, though it’s technically not a video feature is photo burst mode.  The camera can capture almost a 1000 images sequentially at 10 images/second, just by holding down the trigger. This makes for great content to create fun action shots you can definitely use in your edited video. 

Samsung's Galaxy Note 3

We had to throw this one in based on our very own inner geek.  This smart phone is one of the very few that shoots 4k video.  If you don’t know what that means, there’s no way I’m going to explain it in this article.  Just check out this wikipedia post. This is especially cool because it seems like 4k is where televisions are heading next, so it will be great to watch your videos on the big screen, without them looking like a pixelated mess.

My favorite part of the camera app is that you can lock focus and exposure independently.  That way I can set, for instance, my subject’s face at correct exposure, even if the background is blown out. You can get super creative with that kind of control.

The other great thing about the Note 3 is the size of your screen.  Falling under the category of “phablet”, its 1080p 5.7-inch Super-AMOLED screen will ensure that you won’t miss a thing while capturing your kid’s first birthday.

Nokia Lumia 1020

The image quality of the Lumia’s camera is by far the best in the biz.  This is the smart phone you want if photography/videos are your main use, secondary to calling and texting.  

With a 41-megapixel sensor, this thing is a champ when it comes to image quality and detail.  Unlike other smartphone cameras, zooming in holds up impressively well, thus prompting their very aggressive marketing campaign. You also have manual shutter speed, focus, and ISO control.

The one major setback is its operating system and lack of App support for both the camera and the phone itself.  

Posted on January 28, 2014 and filed under Cameras.