Can’t I just make a video with my phone?

My nephew has one of those new iPhones, why can’t he just make my business video?” We’re sure your nephew is a great kid and creates great Instagram stories and TikTok videos, but don’t be fooled into thinking all it takes is a smartphone to make a good video.

Yes, smartphone cameras are getting better and better. The new iPhone has three lenses built-in, films in 4k, and can film in two slow-motion settings (60 fps and 240fps). That’s an extremely impressive tool to have fit in your pocket but video making isn’t just about the camera you use. 

You may be thinking:

Apple shoots its commercials on iPhone. If it’s good enough for Apple, it’s good enough for me.

We’ve all seen them: a cool and dynamic story unfolds on the screen, then we see the Apple logo followed by “Shot on iPhone”. The end slate, in reality, should read “Shot on iPhone with the assistance of professional lighting equipment, sliders, dollies, boom microphones, lavalier microphones and professional mixers.”

Take a look at the video by Apple below. It takes you behind the scenes of their production.


When they say “shot on iPhone” it leads you to believe they just pulled their phone out of their pocket and got going. Clearly, the process took time, plenty of other equipment, coordination, and of course – money.

Technical Limitations

Besides the fallacy of only needing a phone, smartphones do have technical limitations. For starters, the iPhone may film at 4k, but 4k footage from a professional camera is going to look more crisp and professional than the iPhones. This is especially true when zooming in on footage; there is a lot more digital information to the picture on a 4k camera than on a smartphone. Besides picture quality, DSLR’s have the ability to change lenses. When shooting a video, every moment is best suited to a particular lens. How close to the subject do I need to be? How bright or dark should this shot be? Do I want a flat image or something with depth? A real camera opens up the door to so many possibilities.

Right about now you may be wondering:

If I shouldn’t use my phone, how can I save money?

What’s great about using a production company is that they own all the audio and video equipment, AND they know how to use it. In big Hollywood films or even corporate commercials, there is a lot of redundancy and bloat in the production costs. There is someone to fulfill every role no matter how small or unnecessary that expense may be. Having big crews can create a more relaxed shoot but can also be cumbersome for coordination and costly to pay everyone fairly. At Unbuttoned Media we know our clients. We’re in this business to help small businesses tell their story properly and professionally, not to stroke our creative egos or show-off technical prowess at your expense.

In theory, Apple has the right idea when it comes to video productions. They want video production to be as simple as pulling out your phone. When it comes to creating stories and short snippets, a smartphone is an awesome tool! But, the message is the medium. If you’re creating a promotional video shouldn’t the video look more polished? What does it say about your business if you show the world a promotional video that was shot on an iPhone?

Learn more about our video services here

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