Recommendations for smartphones with good cameras for filming technique?


not exactly a dummy but I have never owned (nor wanted) a smart phone. My old school birth control flip phone is all I have needed so far

That being said, im ready to do some technique filming. So I have a few REALLY dumb dumb questions

  1. Im assuming I could just buy an unlocked smart phone and use it as a camera WITHOUT even using it as a smart phone per se? IOW im not too interested at this point in trying to add it to my phone plan or make it my default phone

  2. How to get the vid off of the phone onto my laptop so I can then put it online. Im assuming that you guys do some sort of straight to youtube thing? But lets say I dont want to actually have phone service on that phone. We talking bluetooth to the laptop then?

  3. any decent phones to recommend? is 240fps about the best thing on decent phone?

  4. any gopro’s cams a better option?

When answering, pretend you are answering your grandpa lol

Ok, one more time. Cellphones with decent cameras
Hi everyone!,see you on the forum
  1. Yes, that definitely is possible.

  2. You don’t need a phone service to get internet connection - you can use Wi-Fi. Connect your phone to your router just like you have done with your laptop. The phone service is only needed if you want to use it on the go (without Wi-Fi available). You don’t even really need to transfer the video to your laptop, you can most likely just upload it directly to your Youtube account (I know I can at least). If you want to transfer it to your laptop anyway, the phone comes with a USB cable that you just plug in your PC and phone, and then you can access it like a USB pen on your PC.

  3. I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 which is able to do 240fps (8x slow-mo). I’m happy with it and I can recommend it, but on the other hand I don’t have much to compare it to, since I haven’t got experience with any other phones for shooting these types of videos.

  4. Can’t answer this as I don’t own a GoPro.


An unlocked smartphone without any phone actual phone service can still do all the fancy internet shit using your WIFI network, so I’d look at picking up a used iPhone 6 or something and go from there. You can upload video clips straight to YouTube or you can email them to yourself.


haha, cool, i am slightly less dumb than I was a few minutes ago


120fps is really plenty, and usually what we use for slow-mo. See our notes here for why.

iPhone 6 or 6s would probably be great. Or even the iPhone SE — it’s a now-discontinued smaller model, basically same size as iPhone 5 but with the internals of the 6s, and may be able to get for even a bit cheaper. I see lots available in the ~$200 range on Craigslist.

Not sure about Android alternatives but there may be similar. Also haven’t used a GoPro recently but since the price is probably in the same ballpark I’d suggest an iPhone since you’d also have the option to use other apps (e.g. browse the internet, listen to music, etc.) on wifi as well!


the reviews on refurbed stuff are SCARY lol. geez


Just thought of one other option — looks like Apple’s still selling the iPod touch…they haven’t updated it in quite a while and unclear if they’ll even continue the product line, but for now you can basically get a device similar to the iPhone 6 (but minus the phone) straight from Apple for just a couple hundred bucks:

May not have quite as good a camera but looks like it shoots 120 fps in 720p which should be totally adequate for filming your technique.


one more dumb question.

I remember hearing about Apple putting the dumb down chips in the Iphone6. How did all that shake out? I dont wanna buy something that will die on me or slow down after a month

was there a fix or workaround or whats the deal?


Ah you’re probably referring to this:

From what I understand iOS would slow down phones with severely degraded batteries to try to prevent things like random shutdowns. More detail on that here:

Anecdotally all three of us in the Cracking the Code office use iPhones and I think all our phones have generally lasted several years before needing to be replaced. I just upgraded but my last phone went 3-ish years before the battery started going bad.

I think battery degradation is inevitable eventually, so you may want to avoid getting a very old phone used off Craigslist. But getting one direct from Apple is a good bet, I think they guarantee it at least a year and it’ll likely be fine for quite a bit longer. (New devices, or even refurb ones should come w/ a fresh battery I believe.)


so pretend I know nothing…it isnt a simple thing of just changing the battery?

seems I heard somewhere that the batteries cant be removed or replaced on newer phones…where does the Iphone6 fall into that?


Not sure how this has changed over time but afaik with all iPhones the batteries are technically replaceable but really only by Apple…you can’t easily do yourself so it can be a headache as you have to take the device back and will cost quite a bit if it’s out of warranty. I’m thinking best bet for least $ and risk is probably the iPod touch if you have zero interest in using as a phone.


So im not too keen to buy a used/refurbed phone. Way too many horror stories in reviews. Are there some new, non-Apple phones that have good cameras?

in the, say $350 and below range?? Im glancing at walmart phones:

Samsung Galaxy S8+ G955U 64GB Unlocked $380

LG V30+ 128GB Unlocked GSM 4G LTE Android $370

Motorola Moto G6 32GB Unlocked $250

BLU Vivo XI+ V0311WW 128GB Unlocked GSM Dual-SIM Android Phone w/ Dual: 16MP5MP Camera $315

will any of these do for CTC filming purposes??

if I go to the store to shop, what cam specs do I need to look at??


Merged this w/ existing topic as it seems like basically a continuation! I’ll edit the topic title as well to make it a bit more clear.

None of us at Cracking the Code have much experience with Android so any recommendations for good value phones with high quality cameras would be great.

I’d say most important specs are ability to film 720p resolution or better (ideally 1080p) at 120 frames per second. Ability to lock focus / exposure is important too (on iPhone you can tap and hold on the screen to do this; not sure how it works with others but assuming most camera phones have this feature?)


yeah, essentially I despise Apple products. So im pretty sure they arent the only ones that put decent cameras on phones lol

I have 0 experience with ANY smartphone OS…so ill be starting from scratch no matter what


I had a GoPro from a friend for a while and made a couple of videos for the forum with it. It worked great and it also fits into the magnet. The one I had was the Hero3, the most recent model is the Hero7. You can probably get older models relatively cheap now. So that is definitely an option, especially if you don’t want to buy an iPhone (which I can totally understand).

If you go searching for android phones, there are a lot that can record at 120fps. If your’re not sure, than look them up on this website:
Pretty much every device is listed there with all the specs. Just see if the camera can record at 120fps. Hope that’ a bit of a help…


what resolution are we looking at for great quality at 120fps?

im looking at one plus 6 phone and seeing these stats:

2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps, Auto HDR

Im assuming 1080@240 is going to be pretty awesome quality for our purposes??


Well, I’m not an expert, but just from looking at specs for different cameras I would say that 1080p would be great. With older models you might only get 780p, which is probably fine, too. But I’m sure @Brendan can say more about that.

The guys from CtC have said in some discussions here that 120fps is preferred over 240fps. The reason is that to get a good video with 240fps you need much better lighting, which is not so easy without professional equipment. But at 120fps you can get away with just turning all the lights in your room on.

Because of that you need to be careful. The specs don’t say that the camera records 1080@120 fps. Actually it says nothing about filming with 120fps at all. I know that theoretically, if the camera can do 240fps it should also be able to do 120fps. But from personal experience I can say that you’re not guaranteed to get that, at least not “out of the box”. For instance, you might not be able to film with 120fps using the camera app the phone comes with, but you might using some other app like OpenCamera. Unfortunately the only way to really find out is to check. Maybe you find a store that lets you try?

So, unfortunately, this whole filming with 120fps is not so easy when you don’t want to use an iPhone, and I’m in the same camp here. I bought a new phone some time ago, and I also looked for a good camera. I have a Samsung Galaxy S9 now, relatively new and powerful, and even though the camera supports 240fps and even 960fps, I haven’t managed to film with 120fps, for whatever reason. Damn…


yeah, I dont see many phones listing specs for 120


maybe some helpful info here