Should You Use an iPhone for Corporate Video?

  • Harry Hayes

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Is Using an iPhone for Corporate Video Production a Good Idea? Here Are the Pros and Cons.

In the past year, I’ve had a few marketing clients ask about using an iPhone for corporate video production. Would shooting with an iPhone be simpler? Cheaper? Better?

I understand why you might think so. For years, Apple ran iPhone commercials with gorgeous cinematic footage and beautifully composed shots. Then at the end, it would fade to a white title card that said “Shot on iPhone.”

Is it really that easy? If you can shoot footage like that with an iPhone, or any smartphone, why wouldn’t you?

If you remember those TV commercials about using iPhones to shoot movies, you should check out the fine print.

Read the Fine Print

What Apple didn’t tell you is that yes, those commercials were shot with an iPhone, but they also had a crew of grips, gaffers, audio techs, and a director of photography.

If you look really closely, there was some legal mouse type at the bottom of that title card: “Additional equipment and software used.”

So while they gave you the impression that getting footage like that is easy, in reality it’s anything but.

The truth is, there are all kinds of third-party products available for shooting video with an iPhone.

Attachable camera lenses, lighting, tripods, stabilization gear, drones, follow-focus systems—and that’s just the hardware. There are also dozens of apps in the App Store that simulate the controls you’ll find on high-end cameras.

Seems like a lot of work, but is it worth it? Could you really use an iPhone for corporate video?

Let’s look at the Pros and Cons.

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The Pros

First of all, shooting with a phone costs a lot less than hiring a crew or renting expensive camera gear.

And it’s convenient. There’s an old saying that the best camera is the one you have with you. And an iPhone is small enough to fit in your pocket, so you can ALWAYS have it with you.

And yes, iPhones can definitely capture nice footage, under the right conditions. They even shoot 4K.

The Cons

However, there are quite a few limitations to shooting with an iPhone. Some tradeoffs that you should be aware of before deciding to use it for a corporate production.

First of all, there’s image quality. An iPhone can capture beautiful footage in certain situations—namely bright, well-lit environments such as landscapes and sunsets. But in low-light situations, you’re going to have problems.

Even more so if you’re shooting slow motion.

The iPhone also compresses footage much more than the average mirrorless camera. The data rate on my Panasonic GH5 is 100-150 MB per second. On an iPhone, it’s 300-400 MB PER MINUTE.

Then there’s data storage. Since the iPhone doesn’t use a memory card, you’ll have to use your phone’s internal memory to store your footage. And aren’t you already using that to store photos, music files, etc.?

Camera movement is also a problem. Those iPhone commercials were shot using tripods, sliders, gimbals, and other stabilization devices. If you’re shooting handheld, it’s going to look shaky and distracting.

Another limitation is audio. The iPhone’s built-in mic sounds terrible. Sound recorded from a few feet away will have room noise and echo. And bad audio is one of the quickest ways to make viewers stop watching.

iPhone for Corporate Video

Of course, the most important difference is your iPhone doesn’t come with an experienced storyteller to help craft your story, or a cinematographer to light each scene and ensure professional looking footage.

That’s what you get when you work with Content Puppy, along with top-of-the-line audio gear, LED lighting, and quality cameras and lenses.

But hey, if you want to use an iPhone go right ahead. Hope it works out for you!


About the Author: 

Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.

Blog by Content Puppy Productions