Six Disadvantages of Using Mobile Phone Cameras for News

The smartphone camera’s advantages for being used for news were highlighted in my previous post.

There are disadvantages too. In the years to come, technology may ensure that some of these are mitigated, but as of now, it remains and I am highlighting them here.

Disadvantage #6: Phone cum Camera rather than the other way round

The sixth disadvantage is, the mobile phone is a phone first. So while recording video, if you get a phone call, the entire process is disturbed. If you switch the phone to flight mode, you end up being incommunicado until you resume the normal mode.

Disadvantage #5: Portability boon and bane

Keeping such a small camera stable is always a worry. The stabilisation feature available in these cameras makes the output look artificial and the trained eyes do not like that feeling.

Disadvantage #4: Zoom control

The zoom control on a mobile phone is difficult to operate and therefore, it does not give the required output. Moving closer to the subject for close shots is the only option.

Disadvantage #3: Camera Movements

People avoid using a tripod while using the smartphone as a camera. Obviously, none of the camera movements can be smooth. For any trained camera person, the smartphone limits his expressions of creativity.

Disadvantage #2: Audio

This is one of the biggest limiting factor currently. Not all external mics can work with smartphone cameras. So, one has to be very careful in choosing the right one. Again, in many cameras, the settings do not allow the use of external mic while shooting video. Unless, one can be on top of these limitations, the audio recorded on a mobile phone will be poor.

Disadvantage #1: Storage Space and Battery Charge

Ensuring enough storage space and using the available space judiciously on a mobile phone requires some effort and knowledge about managing media. Changing a new card when the old one is full or transferring data immediately may not be that easy when you are shooting a news story on a mobile phone.

The smartphone is akin to an OB van in your pocket. However, but take note of the disadvantages and find your workaround.