We live in an age where nearly everyone owns a device that can produce, edit and publish beautiful video for the world to see.

That’s a pretty exciting prospect – particularly if video production is a hobby or side project.

But how realistic is it to create serious business video on a smartphone?

The good news? You can use that tiny device in your pocket or bag to record videos for your company. From staff interviews to behind-the-scenes tours, they’re great, simple, cost-effective tools for producing content that can be shared on social and draw in an audience.

When it comes to serious business video production, however, you need to opt for something a little more professional.

Here’s why.

Sensor size

Take a look at your smartphone’s lens. It’s tiny. And guess what – the sensor behind it is probably even smaller.

Now, think about the size of a professional camera lens and the sensor in front of which it sits. Whether it’s a camera dedicated to video or a modern DSLR, both the lens and sensor will be considerably bigger than those on a smartphone.

The sensor is what captures the image; the bigger it is, the more light it can let in and the greater (or more shallow) the depth of field. Smartphone sensors are indeed capable of capturing 4K video, but their performance in professional situations will always pale in comparison to professional cameras, simply because of physics.

Lens options

We’re starting to see more varied add-on lens options for smartphones, but they still can’t compete with the lens options available for professional cameras.

When shooting a business video, you’ll probably need a mixture of wide angle, close-up and interview-style footage. And, while you can, of course, do all of that with a single smartphone lens, nothing beats the image quality and creative freedom you have with a few additional lenses in your bag.

Magdalena Velkova assisting on shoot for Aston business school.

Built for purpose

Smartphones are built to do many things, and if you’re using one to shoot a professional video, you’ll be wrestling against its many other responsibilities.

What if it rings or a notification obscures a vital control on the screen mid-shoot?

Your smartphone’s battery is also in high demand from the myriad of stuff it’s doing behind the scenes, and there’s no telling how long you’ll have to play with during a shoot. Professional cameras usually rely on batteries, too, but they only have one job – to keep you shooting (plus, they can be easily swapped out, unlike today’s phones).

And what about storage? Most phones have a limited amount internally with no option to add more. With a professional camera, you can simply pop in a new memory card whenever the current one runs out of space.

Cameras do one thing very well. Smartphones? They’re a Jack of all trades; would you trust them with your vitally important business video?

Control

While it’s true that modern smartphones will often provide access to camera controls, they can be fiddly to operate and, depending on the device, you might be lacking something essential.

On a proper camera, you can control the ISO, aperture, frame rate, shutter speed, focus and so much more with dedicated hardware buttons, switches and dials. These tools have proven invaluable during film and documentary making for many years – and that’s for good reason.

Conclusion

So, what do we mean by ‘serious business video’? Basically, anything that extends beyond a single piece of footage, such as a customer case study, product demonstration or coverage of an event.

In those instances, while you can get away with smartphone video production, it really won’t do the best job possible. That’s why it always pays to invest in professional video production and the kit that comes with it if you want to make the biggest impact.