2 Replies
Bob S

I am on the other side of this...   Instead of a smarthphone, we always use a dedicated video camera and outboard microphones to capture video. The only exception is when we specifically WANT the video to look as if it is homemade (social media training for example).

If your budget can take it, the key feature you want to look for in a camera is XLR inputs for mics. This feature only appears on the pro-sumer level cameras and in addition to better audio and mic flexibility, it also means higher quality and more manual features throughout.

Speaking of manual features.... this is counterintuitive for some folks so let me explain. Things like auto focus, auto iris, auto white balance, etc are fine for facebook videos. But every see a video that suddenly gets brighter in the middle, or a youtube where the person has to move the object to get as it goes in and out of focus?  That's why pros never use them.  Again, as you move up in cameras you actually get FEWERT auto features and more ability to adjust various parameters manually.

Last tip.... Don't fool yourself into thinking you the onboard mics will work well enough. They won't. At the very least you are going to want lapel mics for your talent to improve clarity, minimize room acoustics and eliminate the sounds of the camera and operator.

Panasonic's line of pro-sumer stuff is awesome. But last I checked that started at around 2k. But for a third of that, you can find consumer grade cameras that at least have mini-jack stereo mic inputs and some ability to turn off certain auto features.

Good luck!

PS: The more video we do, the more we rely on chroma key shoots (ie green screens). So flexible and easy to set once and get right. Then you can change out backgrounds as needed later to freshen up the video!  Real cameras are MUCH easier to pull a good key off of than a smartphone.