Best Smartphone Filmmaking Equipment For Making Videos – 2021

Smartphone Filmmaking Equipment – To make a great film, all you need is a great story, and the rest falls into place. 

The journey of a filmmaking career is full of ups and downs that require patience and time. So why not hit the ground running with smartphone filmmaking equipment on a budget?

If you are just starting on this journey, you don’t need the expensive Red HELIUM 8K , or the Arri ALEXA LF to get things going. 

All it takes to jumpstart your filmmaking career is a camera, equipment, crew, and food. 

Since you will spend all your money on keeping the crew happy with the food, think about shooting your initial features with a smartphone.

As a budget-friendly filmmaking tool, your Smartphone is a great piece of equipment for making movies. 

If you are looking at building a smartphone filmmaking kit, this post will provide the answers on the right smartphone gear to get the job done right!

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What Smartphone Filmmaking Accessories Do You Need For Filming

If you have ever shot video on a smartphone, chances are you ended up with poorly lit scenes, horrible sound, and shaky camera footage that you probably deleted from the phone once you watched it.

And if you can’t stomach your footage, what makes you think your viewers will.

Shooting films on a smartphone can produce amazing results.

For you to produce these results on a smartphone, you need the proper tools in your camera kit to get the job done.

What does a set of smartphone filmmaking equipment look like? 

A filmmaker’s “survival gear” of Android smartphone and iPhone camera accessories regularly contain the following:

  • Smartphone Attachment Lenses To Footage Cinematic
  • Microphone kit for a better sound
  • Gimbal Stabilizer To Avoid Motion Sickness For Your Viewers
  • Vlogging Tripod For Shooting In A Studio Or On The Go
  • Lighting Gear For Vlogging Or Filming Indoors 
  • Portable Batteries For Times When You Need A Quick Recharge

Want to build the right smartphone filmmaking kit with the right accessories to take your video for filmmaking and vlogging better?

This list covers everything that a new filmmaking/vlogger needs. 

Plus, for those more experienced smartphone video bloggers/filmmaker tips and tricks to improve your smartphone rigging system.

Smartphones For Filmmaking

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Filmmaking on a smartphone in recent years was unheard of in Hollywood. 

But some Hollywood directors want to test the power of what a smartphone can do in making a feature film, and now there is no turning back.

Hollywood directors like Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11), Zack Snyder (300), and Sean Baker (Tangerine) have shot features using the iPhone with great success.

New smartphones being released now are being updated with the latest camera technology that filmmakers can shoot incredible videos with.

AppleGoogle, and Samsung are constantly creating a new bar in the quality of smartphone video footage that is competing with the latest mirrorless filmmaking cameras.

Samsung’s latest Galaxy line of smartphones offer rear-facing cameras that can film in 8K UHD at 24fps, 4K at 30/60fps, 1080p at 30/60/240fps, and 720p at 960fps. That’s impressive for a smartphone!

Related Article: Best Smartphone For Filmmaking In 2021 – Video Recording

Attachment Lenses For Cinematic Footage

Every smartphone filmmaking equipment kit should have at least one interchangeable lens to expand a smartphone’s footage capabilities.

Just like filming with a Mirrorless camera or DSLR camera, having an arsenal of different types of lenses and focal lengths at your disposal offers different looks to your smartphone footage.

Everything from close up macro shots to expansive wide shots can be achieved with an add on lens kit.

Many different types of universal lenses can be added to any smartphone, but the main one to have is an anamorphic smartphone lens.

An Anamorphic Lens is the holy grail of filmmaking.

It is an important piece of any smartphone movie-making equipment kit, or other popular smartphone kits as well.

What an anamorphic lens attachment adds to your smartphone footage is it makes your videos pop!

The video footage from an anamorphic lens attachment offers cinematic flares, that widescreen look, and true black bars on top and bottom. 

It makes video on your phone not look like cell phone footage…it looks like a movie.

Designed with premium glass, you get edge-to-edge clarity and true Anamorphic flare.

Companies like MomentSuri, and Ulanzi have been making quality smartphone anamorphic lenses that many smartphone filmmakers can’t live without.

Microphone kit for a better sound

To achieve film quality sound for your smartphone footage, you desperately need to add external microphones to your smartphone filmmaking equipment kit.

The built-in microphone that many smartphones include is great for recording memos, but they let in too much outside noise that takes away from the key subject you are trying to record.

For audio recording, while using a smartphone to film, I would suggest using a Wireless Lav Microphone. 

The reason for this is if you use wired microphones it can limit your mobility for performers in front of the camera.

A wireless microphone, which uses a transmitter and a receiver can record crystal-clear, distortion-free audio for your smartphone.

If you are vlogging or filming scenes in which the performers are close to the camera, a little shotgun mic from RODE is a great option. 

To create a great atmosphere without losing your audience, these sound kit add-ons to your smartphone filmmaking accessories kit can make all the difference to your film projects.

Stabilizing Your Footage

The biggest issues you will encounter when it comes to filming with a smartphone is the shaky video if you are shooting handheld and poor sound quality.

While most of the smartphones available today offer built-in camera stabilization that helps with smooth camera movements, but for times you want to go handheld you need a gimbal stabilizer.

I know when I shoot with my iPhone 10, it’s very hard keeping the smartphone steady while holding it horizontal while filming.

Or my damn thumb always makes an appearance on the lens and that you can’t fix it in post.

A gimbal/stabilizer is a great smartphone filmmaking equipment accessory that can eliminate your shaky footage for good.

If you are looking for a smartphone filmmaking accessory that will help you deliver smooth video footage, then you need to add a gimbal to your smartphone filmmaking equipment kit.

Two of the best gimbal/stabilizer manufacturers out there are ZHIYUN and DJI.

Both companies offer easy gimbals to set up quickly and don’t take up too much space in your filmmaking kit.

A gimbal/stabilizer turns your mobile phone into a professional filmmaking camera, helping you create stable and smooth footage with just your phone.

Both of the high-end models of the ZHIYUN and DJI gimbals are the Focus Pull & Zoom Capability to be able to zoom in or out as you want to take close-up shots. 

Plus, buttons allow focus pulling to help you achieve high-precision focus changes in real-time.

Vlogging Tripod For Shooting In A Studio Or On The Go

If you are shooting sequences that don’t have a lot of action in it, but you still want a stable professional look, then a tripod is an essential add-on to your smartphone filmmaking equipment gear. 

When you are filming a scene that is a static or with a slow tilt or pan, placing a smartphone on a tripod instead of a gimbal allows more time to focus on the performances of a scene.

Sure hand-held shots without any stabilizing equipment do have its’ cinematic uses, but your videos will look better if you mount your Smartphone on a tripod or portable monopod.

Tripods make mobile filmmaking so much easier, and they’re oftentimes cheaper than gimbals.

If you are looking for a cheap, light, and durable tripod to capture footage quickly, I would go with the GripTight ONE GorillaPod Pro2

Why? Add additional devices like lights and mics via removable Cold Shoe PRO Mount.

If you want a lightweight and sturdy tripod, the Manfrotto Compact Action Black Tripod is budget-friendly.

Manfrotto has a good reputation for various tripod smartphone gear that includes monopods to fill out your smartphone filmmaking equipment. 

The video above shows the model built for DSLRs but it will work well with any Smartphone.

It weighs in at a respectable 1.201g which makes it is light and portable. Its toppled height is 453mm so itʼs petite when packed down.

A great tripod for smartphone filming can make all the difference to a filmmaker’s smartphone filmmaking equipment kit.

Plus, it a necessary piece of equipment to film video interviews on a budget with.

Lighting Gear For Vlogging Or Filming Indoors

Lighting sometimes in independent low-budget features is often forgotten. 

Mainly because lights can be big and bulky, and require power that sometimes is hard to find.

But, if you don’t put the effort into lighting a scene correctly whether you are a filmmaker or vlogger, you can end up with images on the screen that are barely visible.

The first thing you need in your smartphone filmmaking equipment kit is a light bounce reflector. 

A bounce reflector should be in your kit at all times because if you don’t have lighting equipment you can take advantage of the available light around you.

But if you can afford a set of lights, just adding a filter to the lights can create a different feel and look to your scene.

Lighting is a very important part of any smartphone filmmaking equipment.

Three lighting options I would suggest for the mobile filmmaker or vlogger are compact on-camera lightring light, or a full lighting kit.

Whatever lighting kit you decide to purchase, make sure it has a cold shoe mount or adaptor so you can slide light onto a rig for smartphone filming.

Brands like Neewer and Manfrotto make outstanding lighting solutions that will make your smartphone footage better.

For all your lighting needs, check out the great selection of filmmaking lights at B&H Photo/Video.

Portable Batteries For Times When You Need A Quick Recharge

There is nothing like being in the middle of a shot, and the battery on your smartphone dies. This has happened to me so many times that I have lost count.

Shooting video on a smartphone takes up a lot of power from the phone. With multiple applications running at the same time during filming you don’t want to lose power when you need it the most.

The first thing you need is a Headphone Charger Adapter 2in1 to plug into your phone. 

This adapter allows you to charge your smartphone’s battery and listen or record the audio of your vlog video or feature at the same time.

The next thing you will need is a portable power bank, like the RAVPower Power Bank seen above.

The Colossal 20000mAh Capacity! Portable charger packed with enough power to keep you going for days, charges iPhone 12 Pro 4.3 times, Galaxy S10 4 times, iPad Pro 1.5 times, and gives one full charge to a 13” MacBook.

This power bank is perfect for when you are on location and have limited access to power.

Filmmaking apps

Most smartphone apps have built-in camera apps that do the job well in terms of shooting smartphone video.

But, if you really want to improve the quality of the footage and take advantage of the external lenses like the Moment anamorphic, then you need to add one of the best filming apps out there, FiLMiC Pro.

FiLMiC Pro lets you set manual focus and exposure separately, choose different aspect ratios (screen shapes), frame rates and video quality, adjust color balance, display overlays to help with exposure and focus, and even ‘pull focus.’

It was used to shoot the full-length features Tangerine and Unsane.

The Short Feature Below, Directed By Zack Snyder, Was Shot On An Iphone.

Smartphone Filmmaking Equipment FAQ

Now that you have an idea of what smartphone filmmaking equipment you need to get you started blogging or shooting films, here are some questions that have been asked to me by other beginning filmmakers I have gathered over time in shooting videos on a smartphone.

Can you create an amazing feature on your smartphone?

The answer to this question is yes. With all the new smartphones hitting the market these days, the cameras built-in are producing top notch video for filmmakers and bloggers.

Just make sure that if you want to make a film or post a video on youtube, make sure you have the right gear in your smartphone filmmaking equipment kit to get the job done right!

Can I use my smartphone to make great looking for vlogging?

If you are just looking into vlogging, you will need a few attachment lenses besides the anamorphic lens, like a Macro 10X lensTele 58mm lens, and possibly a Wide 18mm lens

The Moment Brand makes amazing attachment lenses to meet your vlogging needs.

The next thing to add to your vlogging kit is a tripod, microphone with a wind muffler, a camera remote, lights, and a camera bag to put all of your gear into when you vlog on the go.

Conclusion

This article is a general guide to help you choose the best iPhone and Android smartphone filmmakingattachments and extras.

All you need is:

  • The right smartphone for recording 
  • The best gimbal stabilizer for smartphone filmmaking & vlogging
  • A good filmmaking & vlogging light
  • An external smartphone mic
  • And other stuff along the way for your perfect smartphone filmmaking & vlogging kit.

These smartphone filmmaking accessories can keep you within budget, and most of them can be found on Amazon, so there is no excuse to get filming!

#filmmaking #filmmakinglife #filmmakinggear#filmmakingtools

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