Ask what most people look for in terms of camera phones, and the answer you'll most likely hear is "megapixels." While the number of megapixels is a factor, other attributes such as the type of lens and quality of sensor are just as important, particularly when using your phone to record video footage. So we've put together a few pointers to help you choose a mobile phone with decent video recording attributes.
Click here to view our pick of the best video camera phones available.
What to look for?
1.) Good recording time
There's little worse than capturing an impromptu incident on your phone, only for your phone's recording time to run out just before the crucial climax. In terms of mobile phones, recording times can vary to a great extent, so it's worth checking this out before purchasing one.
2.) Good lens
The lens is the focal point of the camera, so it's important to have a good one - and to then keep it that way. Both Nokia and LG have long running arrangements with Carl Zeiss and Schneider Kreuznach, respectively, with both putting you in good stead. Failing that, a phone that keeps the lens covered when not in use will help prevent wear and tear, and it's also a good idea to give it a bit of a clean once in a while.
3.) Frames per second
Frames per second (fps) refer to the number of frames or images that are projected or displayed onto a screen per second. A decent fps is crucial because it is the frame rates that are used to synchronize the images with any recorded audio. DVD quality is generally said to be 30 fps, and we would not recommend buying anything with less than that. A camera with 120 fps will allow you to record and watch back videos in slow motion.
Internal memory will be used up with every video you record and store. It is therefore vital to choose a phone with a decent amount of onboard memory, or at the very least one with an additional memory card slot. You can get 16GB memory cards that will provide plenty of storage space, though not all handsets will be capable of housing such a card. Another option is to regularly upload your videos onto a PC or website such as YouTube of Flickr, thus clearing your memory and maintaining a smooth running device.
5.) Video editing suite
So you've shot your video, you sit back to admire your handiwork, and find a person in the background ruining your near perfect recording. Thankfully, some better-equipped video camera phones come with an onboard video-editing suite. These often give you the ability to cut and trim, merge a collection of videos, and even add soundtracks or subtitles, all directly from your handset.
6.) MPEG 4
While YouTube can handle most video file formats, the best is generally thought to be MPEG 4 (or MP4). Therefore, if you're keen to publish those little gems captured on your mobile phone, we would recommend finding a phone that is able to both record and play videos in MPEG 4 format.