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CheckMag | Top 4 smartphones that transform videography

Top 4 smartphones that transform videography (Source: Unsplash)
Top 4 smartphones that transform videography (Source: Unsplash)
Choosing the best smartphone for videography requires considering factors beyond still photo capabilities. Look for devices with high-resolution cameras, advanced lenses, quality audio recording, and image stabilization to mitigate camera shake. Below are 4 top recommendations and what makes them so good for videography.

1. Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max

The iPhone 15 Pro Max has received a significant update, with a focus on its 6.7-inch OLED display, now boasting slimmer bezels and an improved display-to-surface ratio for an enhanced viewing experience. It not only offers high brightness but also maintains Apple's reputation for color accuracy.

The camera system has also seen advancements, particularly with the new 5x zoom that delivers impressive performance and robust image stabilization. In compliance with EU regulations, Apple has seamlessly integrated USB-C into the Pro models, enhancing data transfer and charging capabilities. Video capabilities remain a strong point, retaining 4K at 60fps while introducing new features like 3x digital zoom in Cinematic mode and the ability to export ProRes footage. The quality of video capture is exceptional, catering to both close-up and distant subjects.

2. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Notebookcheck rating: 91%, price as tested: €934 or ~$1,029
• Find this model on BestBuy.

Since the introduction of the Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung has significantly enhanced the video recording capabilities of its Galaxy S-series phones, positioning them as a top choice for content creators due to continual improvements in both photography and videography. The latest Galaxy S23 Ultra boasts impressive specifications, including 8K video recording at 30fps, advanced 10x zoom, and 480fps Full HD slow-motion capabilities. The device also supports Ultra HD videos at 60fps, featuring HDR10+, autofocus, and a variety of aspect ratios such as 1:1, Full, and 16:9.

A unique feature, Director’s View, adds a creative twist, though it's exclusive to the Samsung Galaxy camera app. The main camera, equipped with the new 200 MP HP2 sensor, contributes to the vivid, sharp, and stable video quality, further enhanced by robust image stabilization. With its large battery, the S23 Ultra is well-suited for extensive filming sessions. 

3. Google Pixel 8 Pro

Notebookcheck rating: 89%, price as tested: €1,099 or ~$1,211
• Find this model on BestBuy.

The Google Pixel 8 Pro has established itself as a leading choice for Android video enthusiasts. Its 10.5 MP front camera, equipped with autofocus, allows for Ultra HD video recording in a 16:9 format at up to 60 FPS and supports HDR recording at 30 or 24 FPS. Special features like the Softening mode, creating a blurred background effect at a maximum of Full HD and 24 FPS, and the Panning mode for stable, automatic time-lapse shots at up to Ultra HD and 30 FPS, elevate its video capabilities. An innovative Audio Eraser tool excels at minimizing background noise, offering options to isolate voice or allow a hint of ambient sound for a more natural feel.

The device maintains the powerful 50-MP Samsung sensor from its predecessor for the main camera and introduces a new 48 MP ultrawide angle sensor along with a more light-sensitive 5x optical zoom telephoto lens. Both the main and telephoto lenses benefit from optical image stabilization (OIS), ensuring sharp, stable images.

4. OnePlus 11

Notebookcheck rating: 89%, price as tested: €899 or ~$991
• Find this model on BestBuy.

For those seeking higher video resolution, the OnePlus 11 stands out as one of the select smartphones offering 8K video recording. While 8K might seem excessive and storage-consuming, many videographers prefer shooting in this ultra-high resolution to produce superior downscaled 4K footage, leveraging the extra detail for enhanced quality. The OnePlus 11 boasts an impressive camera array, featuring a 50MP main, a 48MP ultrawide, and a 32MP "portrait" camera, offering a versatile set of tools for achieving various image qualities and compositions. Additionally, a 16-megapixel fixed-focus front-facing camera is available for those aiming for professional-grade selfies or videos.

Beyond resolution, the OnePlus 11 caters to videographers with its robust suite of features. Both the 50MP main and 32MP short telephoto cameras are equipped with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), minimizing camera shake and ensuring smoother footage. The device also offers a variety of video modes, including Video Nightscape, Video HDR, Video Portrait, Timelapse, and Dual-View video, simplifying the process of capturing diverse subjects and scenarios. This combination of high-resolution recording and advanced features makes the OnePlus 11 an appealing option for video enthusiasts looking for versatility and quality in their smartphone videography.


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Triet Le, 2023-12-23 (Update: 2023-12-23)