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Vlogging Camera vs. Smartphone

Want to create a vlog but don’t know which is better, whether a smartphone or a camera?

Yes, smartphones have not only dramatically changed the way we communicate, but also how we relate to photography and video. However, professional cameras and vlogging cameras step it up a few notches in terms of quality and performance. 

FindTheDecision presents you with a comparison between a vlogging camera and a smartphone so that you can choose for yourself the ones that are right for your needs.

Benefits of a vlog camera

Benefits of a vlog camera

The camera needs to be selected according to your specific requirements. One of these options is the environment in which you shoot the video.

For example, if you just sit in a room and record a video for a vlog on YouTube and you are just getting for feet wet with vlogging, then a smartphone is probably suitable for you. However, if you make videos while traveling to other countries or you have serious content, then most likely you will need a DSLR camera that renders amazing results in a wide range of daylight and low light conditions.

So, below we will look at 6 advantages of a vlogging camera over smartphones.

1. The camera better captures when in motion. 

It’s not so simple when you shoot children, pets, or sports on the phone. Optical stabilization in rare flagship models, but not always. Want to create your channel on YouTube? If you are constantly on the move, the best option for filming is a camera.

Modern stabilization modes of a camera allow you to compensate for camera shake in all possible directions. Now manufacturers place the matrix on a special movable mechanism, which, after the vibrations of the device, moves the sensor itself. Stabilization on the matrix allows damping movements and tilts up and down, turns clockwise and counterclockwise.

With such a camera for YouTube, you can keep recording quality in motion and more effective in image sharpness.

2. The camera has a higher image detail.

Image quality largely depends on the size of the matrix and the technology of its construction. The larger its area, the more light, and detail the camera captures. Professional and semi-professional cameras have several times more matrixes than smartphones. Therefore, even if the number of megapixels is the same for both, the pixels of the cameras are located in a larger area, which means that they collect light more efficiently.

The size of the matrix is ​​a critical limitation of a smartphone compared to cameras. In short, because of this, the image quality on a smartphone not the same as a vlogging camera in most respects.

Manufacturers usually make up for these shortcomings at the software level. And on the small screen of the phone, the flaws are not so noticeable. But if you look at the result at least on a 20-inch full HD screen, you will notice the poor quality of images firsthand.

The second pitfall of the small matrix is ​​the “physics” of the image. Often it is also called the lens pattern. The larger the matrix, the more opportunities to control this pattern. On phones, attempts to mimic this property at the software level may result in fake-looking imagery.

3. The camera has a better color rendering.

A good camera accurately conveys hues and mid-tones in the image. Everything again boils down to the size of the matrix. When it is small, the photosensitive points are located too densely, so mixing of light rays occurs and the quality of the tonal transitions decreases.

The fundamental difference between the two gadgets is the transfer of small details, colors and a sense of space. This is due to the size of the medium and the quality of the optics. Often the background space in the video seems out of place, and on a mirrorless space, it looks a bit more voluminous. If you have a vlog about travel, then a camera will better render all the contrast of both wildlife and large megacities.

There is still a difference in the range of shades. The mirrorless range of colors will be larger than any smartphone, where the image will be more detailed and with a wide range of colors. Also, the camera has additional filters compared to applications for smartphones, but they are more diverse and may time to get used to.

4. The camera shoots better in low light

A smartphone will not be able to compete with the camera if the lighting conditions are imperfect: for example, you go into a room with artificial light, shoot a vlog in the middle of a snowy field or decide to shoot after sunset.

Even if the phone has a modern CMOS sensor, a powerful flash, and two lenses, its performance will most likely not go down well with your YouTube subscribers. Adding to this, a vlogging camera always has more flexible exposure settings.

A smartphone makes good videos when it’s light outside or indoors, but things are worse in the dark and under artificial lighting. And you, for example, need to read the contrast between different textures, so that the light is drawn towards the images. Unfortunately, a smartphone does not support this at all times and in most cases it tries to match the images as best as possible with the nearest color scheme.

5. The camera has more detailed manual settings

With a camera, you always have access to a variety of settings: shutter speed, ISO, white balance, autofocus, exposure – and all these can be adjusted to your requirements, without having to dig into the menu. The phone is mainly designed for shooting in automatic mode, which limits the scope for creativity and self-expression.

6. Filters work better with a camera

Filters are by no means only in photo applications on the phone. Digital cameras also have similar effects. Unlike Instagram algorithms, these modes are more complex and deeper – not just an increase in brightness, but delicate work on color, tonality, and saturation.

Benefits of a smartphone for a vlog

Benefits of a smartphone for a vlog

From image quality to performance, camera quality has come a long way from what they used to be a decade or so ago. First of all, we are talking about the use of dual and even triple sets of cameras at the rear and sometimes in the front.

But still, the technical characteristics of smartphones are no match to vlogging cameras. However, here’s what they are good for! 

1. Autonomy

An important aspect is autonomy. After all, it’s not always possible to charge your devices daily, especially if your camping in the wilderness where you don’t have access to power banks. 

Regardless, when it comes to autonomy, a smartphone leads the pack. To turn on the camera, you just need a couple of clicks, because it is always on. In the case of a camera, you will have to turn it on and off constantly, which is not the most convenient and fast option. 

Of course, you can keep it in “sleep” mode, but this will result in battery usage, resulting in inconvenience when you need to charge the device. 

2. Compact

A smartphone is always with you, so when you need to take a picture – you simply and easily retrieve it from your pocket. Plus, there’s no copying to a computer, no unnecessary actions with RAW files and processing to deal with. 

Smartphones are small and light, therefore, they are convenient to hold even with one hand, and with two – even more easily. The heavier the camera, the more difficult it is to hold and the more it will shake in your hands.

Contrarily, it can be held close to your body or eye but would be better if they were more compact. Otherwise, you also have to take a tripod with you to secure the camera in position. Whereas today almost all smartphones are designed to shoot well in any conditions without a tripod. 

The phone offers more freedom, unlike the camera and even though a vlogging camera with flip screen allows you to take selfies, you can do it more comfortably with a smartphone. 

The compactness of smartphones is another big plus – where it’s harder to break. If you drop your smartphone to the ground – perhaps it will incur a couple of dents. A crack may appear on the screen (or on the additional safety glass). But its camera is more than likely to stay intact. 

3. Cheapness

If you are just starting your vlog on YouTube, it is best to start with a smartphone so you get your feet wet and then are ready to invest in a professional vlogging camera. 

Indeed, cameras with the ability to shoot in 4K are very expensive today. A smartphone with this feature can even be bought for under $300. Moreover, it is still not proven that a camera will shoot video better and this also greatly depends on the model and the manufacturer.

Top smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S10, for example, are already shooting 4K video with stabilization, or 1080p video at 60 frames per second with stabilization. Not to mention 4K HDR video, which also looks pretty darn good.

4. Automation

Cameras in smartphones have become so “smart” that sometimes they even compensate for their own flaws. Of course, cameras are also developing, but they still do not have such computing power and such attention to auto-mode as smartphones.

Today, almost any smartphone has artificial intelligence, which is responsible for improving photography or at least a part of optimal shooting conditions. Smartphone automation today successfully caters to noise, lack of detail, cropping with digital zoom. 


I hope these comparisons of the vlogging camera with a smartphone will help you make the right choice. However, remember that the number of likes and the number of subscribers to your YouTube channel depends primarily on the quality of your content.

In general, people check out at the content of your vlog and then the quality of the video. 

In instances that require instant captures such as food in a restaurant that you want to quickly share on social networks or snapshots, it’s better to shoot from a smartphone. For everything else, a vlogging camera is more suitable and is probably your best bet. 

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