From How to Take Good Mobile Video

Many mobile phones can capture video footage. This has enabled both trained journalists and citizen reporters to more easily capture footage including images that were rarely seen before. The Polk Journalism Award in 2009, for example, was awarded to a video from Iran captured on a mobile phone. Today, more and more journalists are using mobile phones to record video and quickly transfer content to their newsrooms via mobile data connections. Using mobiles to capture video isn't new news. But there is good news: You don't need a high-quality video camera to do high-quality reporting, be you in the U.S. or elsewhere. Many journalists and citizen reporters today use smartphones to capture video footage. Examples abound. Vancouver journalism students use an iPhone with some additional hardware and software to do all their video editing on the phone. Voices of Africa uses a Nokia N-series smartphone. In his bookMobile Journalism in the Asian Region, Stephen Quinn uses both iPhones and Nokia smartphones. This post will provide some tips and tools on how you can record quality video and audio from your mobile phone.Phone hardware is constantly improving and getting cheaper. With an older phone, you may consider video enhancement software, which can offer a cheaper way to get better quality video content. For high quality video recording on a mobile, the best phones available today feature 640 x 480 pixels at 30 !important; background-position: 100% -1349px; background-repeat: no-repeat no-repeat !important; border-bottom-width: 0px !important; border-color: initial !important; border-left-width: 0px !important; border-right-width: 0px !important; border-style: initial !important; border-top-width: 0px !important; display: inline !important; float: none !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; margin-left: 0px !important; margin-right: 0px !important; margin-top: 0px !important; padding-bottom: 0px !important; padding-left: 11px !important; padding-right: 0px !important; padding-top: 0px !important;"> frames per second. 320 x 240 pixels at 15 frames per second produces acceptable web-quality video.
Lower resolutions will look grainy and pixelated without software enhancement, and video below 15 frames per second will look choppy. On the high quality end, these are some good mobile phones with excellent video cameras:
  • PC Magazine featured these five video-phone models with varying price ranges. The article includes lengthy reviews and a matrix comparison of the phones.
  • For high end phones, take a look at these articles: CNet's top 5 video phones of 2009,Wirefly's top 10 2009 video phones, MSNBC's video phone review with 5 recommendations, the iPhone 3GS, and the Motorola Droid.
  • The database features 1800 phones with video capabilities, 70 of which are listed on this page. The site allows you to search for cameras based on various criteria and links directly to carriers around the world who are selling these phones.
  • The Nokia N series phones are generally highly recommended for video recording. The N82,N93, and N95 are mentioned often by independent reviewers.When it comes to shooting video, the major difference between mobiles and mainstream camcorders is that mobile phones have simpler (and smaller) cameras. It is important to understand what makes for good quality video given these limitations. Some suggested tools and tips are listed here.