Things you will need to film a video using your smartphone
Filming videos using a smartphone is getting better and better, and we have witnessed great results over time. There have been some great video making gear in the market that helps to improve your videomaking to a greater level. It is not difficult to produce a high-quality video these days, not with the right tools. However, you need to keep in your mind that tools do not make a great video, you do. With your ideas, creativity, and inspiration you can make a great film with or without a kit. These tools just make things look better, but it is always you who makes your film great.
Filmmaking tools are not cheap, but you need to know what to buy to get the most value without harming your bank account. Especially if you are not a professional videomaker and you don’t get an income out of it you’ll want to start easy and steady and get yourself affordable filmmaking gear.
Essential Smartphone Filmmaking Accessories
Smartphones are getting better with their built-in camera, you can now find phones that shoot in 4K and has image stabilization. It has been a good substitute for the professional camera if you don’t have the budget for that as DSLR can be pretty expensive. So, if you are considering making your films using your smartphone only, you might find these smartphone filmmaking kit interesting to have.
Tripod, Monopod, and Stands
One thing we can all agree on, handheld footages does not always look good. To achieve better and more stable footage you will need a tripod or stand. If you want to get stable footages, or you might want to make a stop motion or a time-lapse video, you can’t get the desired results without having a tripod. Lucky for you we have done our research on that and compiled a list of best tripods and stands for a smartphone.
The JOBY GorillaPod is a handy smartphone accessory that every filmmaker need to consider and add it to their gear especially those who are filming with their smartphones. The Gorillapod is a movable stand that you get to attach your phone to it, and it will provide you with more stable footages. The tripod itself is very light but it is strong and can take all the smartphones and some of the mirrorless cameras as well. It has adjustable arms and a ballhead that allows for more control of the direction and the angel. The GorillaPod Hybrid can fiercely secure equipment up to 2.2 lbs. on virtually any surface.
Manfrotto is a well-known name in the world of photographers, they are known to produce high-quality products. The Manfrotto Mini tripod is nothing but a proof of their high-quality tripods. This steady tripod is a good option for smartphone photography/videography. It has a compact size, At 18.5cm (closed) this tripod can easily fit anywhere ( literally). This tripod can be used as a handheld grip as well, you just need to close all three arms to have handheld footages but with less shaky. This tripod can be used for a camera as long as the camera weight is no more than 650g. If you want to get this tripod for your smartphone, you will need to get a phone adapter like Glif – Adjustable Tripod Mount & Stand For Smartphones that allows you to attach your smartphone to a tripod. Also, you can get the Manfrotto mount for universal smartphone, this mount is made of plastic which explains its cheap price compared to the Square Jellyfish MLSPGMNT34, which I would recommend as it is a Metal Tripod Mount.
If you are looking for a taller tripod for your smartphone, then a Foto Pro Tripod would make a good tool to add to your kit. This tripod weighs around0.363 KG and it can extend from 10.2 Inches to 39.5 Inches. What great about it is that this tripod is compatible with your smartphone, mirrorless camera, and DSLR as long as it is within the max. load weight 1KG. This tripod comes with a Bluetooth remote control, a smartphone clip mount, and a tripod bag. A lot of photographers and video makers have found this tripod to be great, as it has a lightweight and very easy to use. Plus it is considered to be in a very reasonable price, and you won’t need to buy an extra phone mount as it is included.
Stabilizers and Handheld Grip
If you don’t want to get a tripod, yet still looking for something that helps to stabilize your footage then you will find this next category interesting. Adding a stabilizer to your collection will improve the quality and the depth of your footages. You have probably seen a lot of video makers using it. Next, we will list the best ones for filming a video using a smartphone.
You have probably heard this name, as this is the best stabilizer in the market that you should get your hands on. The Osmo mobile turns your phone into a smart camera while making every footage filmed looks smooth and professional. With this gimbal, you can capture stunning motion time-lapses and 4K videos that look effortlessly smooth. With 3-axis stabilization, the Osmo Mobile will keep your phone steady to capture 1-second long exposures without the need of a tripod. If you plan on filming a lot of vlogging, then you might want to invest in this and add it to your filmmaking collection.
The Zhiyun Smooth-Q smartphone stabilizer is a great gimbal that you can get as an alternative to the fancy DJI Osmo. This gimbal can be used with your smartphone, and as announced on their website with your GoPro. The Zhiyun Smooth-Q comes with a massive 26650mAh battery that powers the gimbal for about 12 hours. is the cheapest 3-axis smartphone gimbal on the market, however, it still delivers a good quality and steady footages.
Our third option in this category is the Lanparte HHG-01 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal. This gimbal can be used with smartphones and GoPro camera, as the package includes a smartphone clamp and a GoPro one. It is a 3 Axis Active Stabilizer, with a Tilt, Roll, and Pan motions. It has a very comfortable handle grip and removable lithium-ion battery. Although it says that this gimbal is compatible with all smartphones, but it is better to check with your phone brand and version here and see if it is listed.
Two words; Lenses are AMAZING. Oh, these were three but who cares. However, seriously if you film using your smartphone you need to consider investing in some lenses. There are different option to think of, depending on your budget and the type of footage you’re aiming to have. There are plenty of lenses in the market, ranging from a Macro to wide angle ones. Here is a list of our favorite lenses when it comes to filming videos using your smartphone.
I’m pretty sure that you have heard this name before, Olloclip lenses are very famous among smartphone photographer or video maker and there is a reason for that. It’s the world’s most awarded mobile lens with over than 100 patents worldwide. The lens is easily attached to your iPhone over its front and rear camera, you won’t be needing a case for that. Olloclip has different lens kit collection, and this one is our favorite. This set includes; fisheye, Macro 15X, and Superwide, it is a good option to start with. However, if you are more into the landscape, you should go with either The Active lens set or Vista lens set which both offer wide angle lens that allows capturing a wider view.
Moment Case and Lens for iPhone
Just like Olloclip, Moment lenses are produced to be used with iPhones only. Moment lenses have definitely improved the quality of still images and videos taken by an iPhone. Moment has two different cases; the photo case which is a rubberized plastic cover that protects your phone. The other case is the Battery Photo Case, which from its name will be providing you with the power to keep filming all day. The lenses can be easily attached to these two cases, all you need to do is to match the line on the side of the case and pair it to the line on the side of the lens. Moment has different lenses, there is the 2X Telephoto Lens, Wide Lens, Macro Lens, and a Superfish Lens. The prices can be from $60 and above. They are not cheap, but they are of a high quality made of metal and glass just like a lens for a DSLR or a Mirrorless camera.
This 3 in 1 lens is compatible with almost all smartphones, but you will still need to check its compatibility with your phone here. The VicTsing is a budget-friendly lens, however, it delivers great results. The Macro lens in this kit is just amazing, we have seen great footages and still images taken with these lenses. It is a solid, good quality clip on phone lens for most of the smartphones in the market. The VicTsing 3 in 1 lens kit include the following; 24X Super Macro Lens, 12X Macro Lens, and 80° Fisheye Lens. When you use the 24X Super Macro Lens, you should connect it to the 12X Macro Lens, and you will be amazed at the super macro world.
Our last option is the Techo universal lens, which is a universal lens and can be used with all smartphones. It is a compact lens that easily clips onto your smartphone to give you wider, professional shot when needed. It has a low cost, yet deliver great value which is why a lot of phone photographer/ videographer uses it. It is a 2 in 1 tiny clip-on detachable HD lens for mobile phones, it includes a 0.45x Super Wide Angle and 12.5x Super Macro Lens. It has a Universal detachable clamp, that works on most types of smartphones.
When it comes to recording videos, interviews, and vlogs it’s all about the quality of your audio. Your audience will not continue watching if the audio is terrible. It is one of the important investment to make if you are filming video whether you are using a phone, a mirrorless camera or a DSLR. Below we collected some audio gear that will improve the quality of your audio.
Rode videomic is a very famous name in the market for microphones, and if you read our blog you’d notice that Rode’s microphones are our favorite ( and for other videographers as well). Rode videomic Me is a compact and lightweight mic, that connects directly to the phone TRRS microphone/headphone socket. It is a cardioid mic, which means that it picks up sounds from front and side, and rejects from the rear. The videomic Me includes a furry windshield which you can use when shooting outdoors. If you don’t want to get a microphone to be used only for a smartphone, you should consider Rode’s vidomicro mic, which we have written a detailed review about here.
The Shure MV88 iOS mic provides very high-quality audio, with 5 DSP preset modes (Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, Loud). It is a great mic especially for those who are looking for clean, and professional voices. It is one of the good microphones that you can rely on to deliver a great and professional outcome. You can read more reviews about it here . The Shure MV88 iOS is a digital stereo condenser microphone. This Microphone has the ability to automatically adjust its equalization, limiting and compression based on the environments and the sound it detects. It is compatible with devices running iOS 8.0 or higher. The package includes the microphone, a windscreen, and a case.
There is a reason for Rode’s Microphones to be mentioned twice in this post because they are reliable. Rode smartLav+ is an omnidirectional lapel mic designed to be used for smartphones. This is a good option if you are going on a budget. This mic may not be as good as the first two options, however, it delivers a great value compared to its affordable price. This microphone doesn’t require any special apps or adaptors, you just plug it into your phone and start recording. To have better results with this mic, you need to clip it onto your cloth, ideally the collar. This way you will get a better quality audio, with a clear and strong signal.