Cameras in smartphones are better than ever, and that applies just as much to videography as it does to still photos. Luckily, just about any high-end phone captures sharp-looking footage these days. Some have great specialized video features, while others are better for point-and-shoot videography. So what are the best Android phones for shooting video? We've gathered a list of our favorite Android video cameras for everyone from the on-the-go videographer to the robust filmmaker.
The best Android video cameras
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The Xperia 1 III combines three great cameras — wide, telephoto, and ultra-wide — with robust manual controls and a color-accurate 4K display capable of utilizing the Rec. 2020 color gamut. What's more, Sony's Cinema Pro app is based on its CineAlta Venice cinema camera, which allows you to set ISO, focus, and shutter speed manually and apply LUTs to achieve different film looks.
The Galaxy S22 Ultra does have a Pro Video mode that's worth trying if you want to capture footage with manual video controls. It can shoot video at up to 8K resolution and 4K is available at 60FPS. Upload straight to YouTube at either size, or use the built-in gallery to trim or even downscale that footage to something more shareable. There's also ultra-steady video stabilization in lower resolutions, and you can shoot in HDR10+ for supporting displays.
Get the best Pixel
With the Pixel 7 Pro, Google has added several meaningful features to make video recording that much better. All three cameras are able to shoot 4K video at 60fps, and Google offers smooth video stabilization that makes taking footage relatively effortless. With features like Cinematic Blur, you can get professional-looking video straight out of your phone.
The Pixel 6a redefines the value category, offering stellar cameras on a budget. The phone has the same great hardware as the Pixel 6 Pro, and manages to take truly fantastic photos and videos. Combine that with all the extras and you get the best value for under $400.
The Xperia Pro has the same cameras as the Xperia 1 III, but packs more pro-grade features that cater to filmmakers and broadcasters. Thanks to its HDMI port, you can connect your dedicated camera, use the Xperia Pro as a 4K HDR reference monitor, and even upload your captured footage in real-time over 5G. But, of course, that just scratches the surface of what this phone can do. This is an incredibly powerful creative tool for the right user.
Samsung for less
The Galaxy S21 FE offers many of the same video features as the far pricier S22 Ultra but with similarly great cameras and a much more compelling price. Its flat display won't distort your videos as you watch them back, and you can add to its storage when you run low with microSD expandability. Best of all, it has solid battery life to confidently shoot all day without worry.
Shoot for the best
Smartphones have become pretty incredible videography tools in recent years, and these options will serve you well, whether you're vlogging or shooting your next indie film. However, for the most versatile shooter around with the most manual controls, go for the Xperia 1 III, which offers three great cameras, robust manual video controls through its Cinema Pro app, and shoots in a cinematic 21:9 aspect ratio with the efficient h.265 codec.
With Cinema Pro, you can apply different looks to your shots based on the CineAlta Venice, Sony's incredible 6K full-frame cinema camera. You can also adjust settings like your project's frame rate, with the option to shoot at 24FPS, and change settings like ISO, white balance, and shutter speed on the fly. It's by far one of the most comprehensive video capture experiences we've seen on an Android phone, and it's well worth the money for on-the-go cinematographers.
On the furthest extreme of the price spectrum, professional shooters may consider the Xperia Pro, which features the same cameras and Cinema Pro software, but doubles down by connecting your dedicated camera via micro-HDMI. It doesn't have to be a Sony camera, either. The Xperia Pro instantly becomes one of the highest resolution external monitors you can buy and allows you to broadcast your footage in real-time or upload it to a backup server over 5G.
If you're not ready to spend quite that much (and who could blame you?), there are other great options like the Pixel 6a, which offers different stabilization modes for different situations. Unfortunately, you can't expand its storage or have a dedicated telephoto camera, but it's still an extremely capable shooter.
The good news is that a lot of the best Android phones these days are great at video. Every phone we listed does a great job with various specialized features such as remote operation, EIS, and background blur. So no matter which phone you pick, you'll be getting a capable video camera (or three) that fits in your pocket.
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Ted Kritsonis loves taking photos when the opportunity arises, be it on a camera or smartphone. Beyond sports and world history, you can find him tinkering with gadgets or enjoying a cigar. Often times, that will be with a pair of headphones or earbuds playing tunes. When he's not testing something, he's working on the next episode of his podcast, Tednologic.