The Best Camera

1st March 2019

There is a temptation when an organisation decides to do video to spend money on kit. Students on my courses often say that before the training they were considering spending sometimes thousands of pounds on cameras.

The trouble is most of us who start shooting at work already have a full-time job that doesn’t include filming. The question you have to ask is just how often you’re going to want to lug a heavy bag of kit with you while you attempt to complete your other duties. Your filming should enhance your work, not undermine it. A smartphone can do that because you never break a sweat carrying it.

‘The best camera you have is the one you have with you’.

This much-quoted photographic cliché really sums this up. The point being that you might technically have the best camera in the world – but if it stays on your desk most of the time, it is also the worst camera in the world.

So for most of us – the best camera we have is our smartphone, because it never leaves our side.

I think ultimately you will want to buy some accessories, but start small and consider each purchase carefully. Balance how new gear will improve your shooting vs. how likely it is to put you off the idea altogether.

Practice makes perfect (well almost).

Just one more cliché before we move on, but this is key. To get better at filming you have to practice. You have a camera with you – don’t forget to use it.

Get into the filming habit. Waiting at a bus stop, boiling the kettle, eating your lunch in the park are all perfect places to knock off a couple of shots. Practicing getting your shots in focus and properly exposed when it doesn’t matter will mean that when it does matter you’ll be ready.

  • “Toby is absolutely at the top of his game and our go-to person for smartphone video training. We trust him to train ambassadors, military personnel, and most importantly our own staff. I cannot recommend him highly enough”

    Adam Waters – SSVC

  • Really valuable. I am very happy, it covered everything I needed to know. Toby was great.

    Nicole Carey – Schroders

  • Very valuable. I came in with only a very basic knowledge of filming and no editing experience. I now feel confident in putting a video together. Thank you!

    Jessica Shaffner – Tesco

  • This is a well delivered course, useful tips and feedback throughout. Good selection of equipment available to allow for experimentation.

    Alex Chrysandreas – Tesco

  • I feel totally empowered to go and make great films. Absolutely great, fun, learning, inspiration – what’s not to like?

    Richard Crabb – Tesco

  • Thanks to the team at Smartphone Shooter for two really excellent and stimulating sessions. The training was exactly what we were after. Everyone who took part found it extremely helpful.

    Alistair Smith – The Stage

  • Extremely valuable. I feel much more confident to go and film. Thank you Toby! You’re a great teacher.

    Bryan Carter – Euronews NBC

  • Fantastic training session. Loved being hands on filming and editing. Toby was great! Very helpful

    Lucy Hay – AECOM

  • This was the most valuable two days of hands-on training I’ve done. If we even produce one film in-house that would have been done externally, we will have saved money.

    Dan Barley – Schroders

  • Very valuable, learned a lot about filming, lighting and editing…Toby was very helpful and patient. He made the two day experience very enjoyable.

    Sofia Mumtaz – Cazenove Capital

  • BJTC

    The Broadcast Journalism Council accredits the leading higher eduction courses in the field. Smartphone Shooter founder Toby Sadler was invited as a guest speaker to talk to the heads of these courses at the BJTC’s annual conference. This was an expert view on which broadcasters are embracing mobile journalism and how that is shaping the industry.

  • City University

    Smartphone Shooter founder Toby Sadler was invited to be a guest lecturer to the post graduate Broadcast Journalism Students at City University in London. This is one of the best courses of its type in the country. The lectures focused on emerging trends in mobile journalism as well as practical training in smartphone filmmaking.

  • NIG

    NIG is the commercial insurance arm of the Direct Line Group. Smartphone Shooter taught a two day Android based shoot / edit course so the team there could make engaging video for both internal and external audiences.

  • Euronews NBC

    Smartphone Shooter trained Euronews NBC journalists to shoot and edit broadcast quality video on their smartphones. Sessions were carried out both in London and Brussels. The station was relaunching and made a commitment to using iPhones as their primary newsgathering camera where possible. This meant shooting for both recorded and live reports.

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