Smartphones like their makers have become the masters of multitasking—over the years, they have replaced multiple gadgets like video players, mp3 players, television, calculators, torches and made them obsolete in our daily lives. This, however, has not happened overnight. Mobile technology has been crafted, improved, and improvised over the course of decades, to a point where it is now revolutionizing the simple things in life, in ways we couldn’t have imagined before.

Photography for example has become one of the basic functions of a smartphone. But when it comes to videography, people still turn to the professional cameras. This was until 2020, the year that changed it all. The pandemic slowed everyday life down, it gave people time to rethink and explore things differently. Video creation saw it’s rise in India last year, given the boom in short video creation apps which bore social media stars overnight. One such App is Roposo, which reported seeing 5,00,000 new users an hour. The boom in video creation and consumption was humongous and unprecedented.

A recent report by CMR also states that video will rule the future as 5G has enabled explosive growth in video content creation, especially short-form videos, amongst consumers. The 5G technology will have a positive impact on the way we create, communicate, collaborate, consume content, and share our experiences with our loved ones and the world through primarily, a video-led medium. Not only this, the consumption of data has also increased in the last year. According to Hubspot, there has been a 71% increase in video consumption in 2020 as compared to 2019 and 6 out of 10 people would rather watch a video about something than read about it. This trend of creating and consuming videos has been supported by the launch of video-sharing social networking app platforms such as Instagram reels, YouTube shorts, Facebook, Vine, and much more. This along with this, there has also been a significant increase in short films with more and more OTT platforms opening their doors for them.

The stepping stones for the revolution of mobile videography have been the presence of great cameras and features in modern smartphones which have allowed capturing video in 4k and 8k resolution. There is a sense of freedom in smartphone videography, because today smartphones allow users to shoot in any condition or lighting—be it low light, strong light, moving or standing still. Today, a feature packed smartphone even allows you to capture the environment around you in its true essence and further enables users to edit, make boomerangs or even add filters while recording. The cherry on the cake is the presence of AI in the video—giving users the freedom of videography by integrating a suite of algorithms to achieve adaptive optimization of brightness, color, and clarity in response to a wide range of scenarios.

While hardware of a device is important, iterations in software can go a long way. It is the integration and better optimization of both hardware and algorithm that end up making all the difference. Strong hardware-based entirely on user experience, when integrated with software and algorithms can ensure that this hardware performs to the best of its ability and delivers the best user experience.

As compared to any professional camera, smartphones are lightweight and compact and can be used for capturing narrow alleys, small rooms, hilly terrain, or windy areas. They are excellent for perspective shooting and can record edit, and share videos in real-time. There are apps like Soloop which provide added features like smart templates, trim, filter, subtitles, and music. Smartphones have paved their way in this arena with videography which is now beyond social videos to actually shooting commercial films. Films like Adadae, Amidst My Own, and The Commuter have been completely shot on smartphones.

Videography role in our lives has evolved drastically, from capturing blurred memories to actual career roles, the art has chartered an amazing path for itself. However, the concept of one size fits all does not work in this craft as each user has his own perspective and understanding of beauty. Hence, experiment with different algorithms becomes necessary. The future of smartphone videography is set to further amaze and bring down all limitations with technologies like 5G, AI, AR, and VR. Smartphone videography has just begun to see iterations and innovations, with a lot more still left to see in this space.

Views are personal. The author is VP & R&D Head, OPPO India.

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