side view photo of black dslr camera 1595241 1 scaled

Do you really need a DSLR camera in 2020?

For most of you, the answer to that question will be “Not really."

So you’re sitting at home in the lockdown and as bored as ever, you have finally decided to explore your inner talents or awaken your inner kid who once used to be very good at painting, cooking, singing, dancing, or something really out of the box.

You do it for fun at first until you realize you are actually good at what you do and you can’t keep it away from the internet so now, you want to start your own YouTube channel.

But here comes the question, how do I record professional-quality videos to do justice to my talent? Is it time to invest in a camera?

No, it’s not.

close up phography of a grey iphone xi 3571093 scaled

The only camera you need is on your smartphone. Any somewhat recent smartphone (I don’t even need to mention any specific smartphone) is more than capable to record you doing your thing on the internet and help you make professional like videos for your Channel and your Social Media accounts.

The phones nowadays, if used properly, can not only help you make great videos but also take above average pictures. As the usual tech industry trends go, the features or performance which was earlier only seen in the cameras dedicated to hardcore usages like the DSLR’s or Video cameras have trickled their way down to smaller form factors thanks to the advancements in technology.

The small camera systems that you see in your smartphones thus carry a bigger punch than you could have ever imagined and it is only getting better.

Even budget smartphones have features like image stabilization, Portrait mode, Night mode which to be honest looks better to the untrained eye than most of the DSLR’s and the Mirrorless cameras that cost way more than the smartphone.

The Video and image processing that the phones can do makes the job that much easier which is a luxury you won’t be seeing in Point and shoot a mirrorless camera, or even a DSLR.  

But you’ve tried using your phone as a recording device, and you are still very disappointed with the outcome. The video looks torn and grainy, the shadows and highlights are all over the places, and most importantly, the Audio is garbage.

Trust me I had the same experience, and I stand by what I said earlier, it’s not phone it is the light and some other things. Here’s how you make your phones videos and photos look better.

What you need

person taking photo of food 3296541 scaled

It’s Obvious that the camera is not going to do your job for you. Even after spending money to get a camera, you will still need accessories like the various expensive lenses for the camera for it to work how it is meant to be working.

The accessories, that said, are costlier for a camera compared to the same accessories you can get for a phone. So here is what you need.

Lighting

In a Darker not so well lit environment, even the entry-level DSLR or a mirrorless camera cannot do a good job. So I recommend Sitting or standing at a place where there is abundant light.

Here’s a pro tip- use natural light as much as you can, just record facing a window at the day time and the video quality will just jump multiple times and if you record any time after the sunset I highly recommend you buy a light source like a ring light which come as small as an attachable ring light to a good big 18inch with a stand all available under Rs2000 on Amazon.

Audio

A good video is only 50% about the content because the audio is equally important. If you record on your phone but you use a good enough mic that can come very cheap, your production quality just gets very high.

The only downfall with phone audio is that they are meant to record the whole surrounding, which doesn’t work most of the time as a directional mic will. So what you need is an external mic.

One I’d recommend is this Boya Lavalier Mic. The good thing about this mic is it works with phones as well cameras so it is very versatile, but if you don’t want the hassle of cables and can spend a bit more then get a shotgun mic like the Rode VideoMic for iPhone and iPad. I’ll say it again Better the Audio, Better will be your smartphone video.

Tripod

Adding to the list of essential accessories for your phone, you can’t really miss out on a tripod which can be a small tabletop tripod or a big regular sized one like which gives more flexibility; all can be purchased for a very reasonable price.

Editing Software

Having a good editing software can help you polish off the rough edges of your photos and videos. If you know or are willing to learn how to use professional editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro for video and Photoshop for photos, then there is nothing like them.

The good thing is you can do editing on your phones as well for free for the most part. For video, you can use apps like – FilmoraGo, KineMaster, PowerDirector, and many more, but the free versions suffer from the disease of the watermark.

For Photos you have – Snapseed (a personal favorite), Photoshop Express, Pixlr, and many more. Check out a more detailed video here.

Who needs a camera?

In my opinion, a camera should be an upgrade, rather than the first choice. Given similar circumstances overall, a camera will still perform noticeably better than your smartphone.

Getting even a Point and shoot camera is a minimum investment of Rs20000-25000 for the good ones.

It only gets costlier from there on so if you know what you are doing; getting a DSLR or a mirrorless camera is a step forward towards producing better-looking videos and photos. To keep it simple, get a camera to upgrade your smartphone but only after you have actually used it.

Final Thoughts

Since you won’t be traveling any time soon and the most wildlife you will see is from your window, you don’t have to be under the pressure of shooting with a big professional-looking camera.

That’s the prime reason why the need for a camera reduces day by day in 2020 and that same need is easily fulfilled by pocket computers – The phones that you already have with you.

So, making better videos and clicking better pictures does not require a separate camera but it is possible to do so with your more than capable Phones just with the help of some accessories mentioned above.


Note: This story contains affiliate links that may earn The OctaByte commissions on successful purchases to help keep the site running.