I have LGv30+ which is capable of recording video at 2k & 4k resolution and most smart phones available in market have capable of recording video in 2k resolution.

Is video shot with these mobiles good enough to display on theatre screens without pixel out and can you make cinema with smart phone? if it possible, why do most movie maker still using dslr cameras which can do same as phones?

Movies shot with smart phone are Unsane(2018) and Tangerine

3 Answers 3


Most movie-makers use the best tools for the job. For some people that tool is an inexpensive camera they can afford to blow up (crash cam). For some it's light enough they can fly it on a drone. For some, it has a large sensor so they can get shallow depth of field. For some, it means being able to synchronize with other cameras so that edits are aligned to whole frames. For some it means being able to use a specific lens that provides a specific look, or flare, or angle of view, or zoom ratio.

Merely capturing 2K or 4K resolution doesn't begin to describe the requirements for making a film. The script, the actors, the wardrobe and makeup, the set design, the props, the lighting, the color scheme, the use of contrast, color, transitions, music, sound design, etc., are all as important, if not more important, than the camera. When the time comes to bring all these elements together and make an actual movie, it becomes readily apparent what sort of camera, camera operator, and camera department will do the movie justice.


The answer to your question is that it is possible to shoot a movie using a smart phone. In fact, the feature film Unsane, which recently left the theatres, was shot entirely on an iPhone. And the model of smart phone you have mentioned in your post has higher quality camera specifications than the iPhone they used in that movie (as you've already mentioned).

The reason why the far more expensive camera's are used more commonly by film makers is due to their ability to achieve remarkable results when used by the most skilled camera men. A huge subject on it's own if one goes into the technical content of it.

Also, the professional camera's offer a great deal more in the post production environment (if you compared colour grading Raw Alexa footage to smart phone footage you would be sold on that fact alone).


The resolution of the sensor is only a small part of what makes a camera suitable for movie making.

If you look at any cinema camera in use on a feature today you'll probably find that the lens on the front of it costs at least as much as the body. For example, this little baby will set you back over $100k (2018 prices):

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The quality of the lens will make a big difference to the look of the final picture. It affects the sharpness, the saturation depth-of-field, bokeh and speed, to name a few. Lenses are part of the creative process: choosing the length (zoom) of the lens has an impact on the dramatic feel of the shot, focus can be used to isolate or include elements in different parts of the picture, and things like flare can add atmosphere. You get none of this creative control with the lens on a phone.

Then there's the sensor. Today's phones may be able to match entry-level cinema cameras in terms of the number of pixels they have, but I don't know any that come close in terms of dynamic range. Dynamic range put simply, is the range between the brightest part of the picture and the darkest. These days it's not unusual for cinema quality sensors to have 16 stops of range, meaning that the brightest point can be 2^16 times as bright, compared to the 8 stops you get on a phone (if that).

How the sensor handles both the extremes, and the way the camera processes colour are big factors that differentiate high-end cameras from consumer ones (and from each other. The look of the film can be affected by the choice of camera, so it becomes part of the creative process).

As for the pictures, so for audio. While many cinema shoots will record audio separately, most high-end and even prosumer cameras have a couple of balanced audio inputs, so that proper microphones can be attached.

There are other things like timecode, sync, storage media, frame rates, output capabilities for monitoring, built in ND filters, the ability to show technical information to the operator like histograms and waveforms, and finally general useability that separate higher end cameras from cheaper ones.

All that said, there is no reason why you couldn't make a movie on a smart phone. If the script calls for the kind of look you get from a phone, go for it.

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