Filmmaking Cameras Accepted by Major Film Distribution Companies

The Best Cameras for Independent Filmmakers - FilterGrade

The filmmaking world is a highly competitive industry. With so many individuals of varying levels of skills and experience it’s a struggle to get noticed and break into the scene. Having the best equipment and gear gives an advantage over a few, but these high-tech gadgets can only get you so far. Just about anyone can pick up a camera and put pieces of footage together and call it a film, very few can creatively put together something that will captivate audiences.So, do you really need to spend a fortune on the best camera out there?

No, in fact, there are incredibly affordable filmmaking cameras that have been used to shoot some blockbuster hits that anyone with a small budget can get their hands on. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of those cameras so you don’t have to do all the guesswork in finding them!


9 of The Best Cameras for Independent Filmmakers

Black Magic URSA Mini Pro

This is a highly versatile camera that offers a wide range of professional features. It is designed with a Super 35mm CMOS sensor with 4.6k resolution. It has an interchangeable lens mount so you can switch from an EF lens to PL, B4, or F mount lens. 


Canon EOS C200B

The Canon EOS C200B is a lightweight customizable camera. It features a Super 35mm sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range, so you can capture great depth and details with this camera. It is also designed with an EF-mount so you can use any Canon lens to capture any shot.  


Canon EOS C100 Mark II

This lightweight camera features built-in ND-filters, internal microphones, and 4K capabilities. It also has amazing dual pixel autofocus so you can rest assured that everything you are capturing is in clear and crisp focus. 


Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

This camera may be tiny but it doesn’t fall short of professional quality and power. It features a 4/3 sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, built-in microphone, mini XLR input, and an MFT lens mount, to mention a few. It captures stunning 4K footage which gets recorded onto CFast 2.0, UHS-II, or a standard SD card. 


Panasonic HC-X1

If you are looking for an all-in-one camera for your video needs, this might be the best fit for you. The Panasonic HC-X1 is designed with advanced OOIS, 4K 1,0-inch MOS sensor, and dual codec recording. Unlike many of the other cameras on this list, this is one of the few that doesn’t offer an interchangeable lens mount. But, it is equipped with the Leica Dicomar 4K lens with a 24mm wide-angle and 20X optical zoom, so you won’t need or miss any of the other lenses in your shooting kit. 


Sony PXW-FS5

Weighing just under 2 pounds this camera is easy to grab and go. With its  4K Super 35 mm CMOS sensor which captures 10-bit video up to 50Mbps, it is ideal for documentary-style shooting. It also offers a versatile mounting system, wi-fi capabilities, multi SD card slots. 


Panasonic Lumix GH5s

The Panasonic Lumix GH5s is one of the best mirrorless cameras you’ll find. Technically it’s not a video camera but wIth its image stabilization and its large 4k sensor that offers a wider viewpoint than its competitors you can capture spectacular video footage, and stills, in any setting. The dual UHS-II SD slots into the mic and you can capture continuous video footage for any film project big or small.   


Sony FS5 II

This Sony camera is flexible and offers a number of versatile shooting options. It features a large format sensor and high frame rate recording which supports up to four seconds of 120fps in 4K, eight seconds of HD 10-bit recording up to 120 fps, or can be used continuously to record in full HD at 120 fps. It can streamline your HDR footage and incorporates the VENICE color science to video footage. The more compact design means you can also use this camera for high altitude drone shots to capture stunning transition footage and more.


Go Pro Hero

If low-budget high-quality filmmaking is your focus then the GoPro is ideal for you. This tiny camera cuts out all the complexities that come with organizing a feature-length film but doesn’t cut corners on professional quality. The GoPro Hero 7 features 4k video capabilities at 60fps, 1080 up to 240 fps and 2.7K up to 120fps. It features a hyper smooth stabilization system, Time Warp and time-lapse options, is waterproof, has a touchscreen for ease of use, and can be used to direct live streaming. This compact action camera gives you more freedom and allows for more creativity. If you have any doubts about using these smaller compact cameras for independent filmmaking, Netflix’s award-winning film Face 2 Face was shot exclusively using the GoPro Hero 4. Using a GoPro allows you to highlight the story and not the flashy special effects.


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