The camera is the first thing that a director would look for as soon as he completes the written form of his script. Directors across the world use different models and brands of cameras to shoot their short and feature films. Budding directors use right of the compact cameras, DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras to high-end professional cameras such as Arri, Red and Sony CineAlta, etc.
Let's have a look into the 2017 international short film festivals... such as Sundance, Cannes and other popular platforms, see what cameras filmmakers used to shoot their shots with their reviews...
Best Film Cameras In 2017 For Independent Filmmakers
1. Arri Alexa
Short Films Shot: Landline, Crown Heights, Berlin Syndrome, To The Bone, Roxanne Roxanne, Lemon, The Nile Hilton Incident, The Yellow Birds, LA Times, Rememory, etc.
Reasons: This is the first camera to digitize the motion picture and the camera is at Hollywood's heart throb for high budget films. So, budding filmmakers at festivals felt better to expose to it first. It records footage in various formats such as ProRes and RAW with wide range of resolutions. It is pretty easy to colour correct on this footage. It is also easy to control light in uncontrollable circumstances of the shooting.
We can shoot in anamorphic mode (fit more into the image frame). The camera is compatible for other similar range lenses. It provides the warmth in the skin tones that looks more realistic.
2. Arri Alexa Mini
Short Films Shot: Thoroughbred, Patti Cake, Burning Sands, Ingrid Goes West, The Yellow Birds, I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, etc.
Reasons: This is a cost-effective camera for all kinds of shoots and shots. Since film school students use latest technology to shoot films and as it's not too hard to learn and work on this camera, this was their favourite. The footage of it goes well with intercuts of other competitive camera footages and the free Arri software of it saves much time in post-production.
3. Arri Alexa Amira
Short Films Shot: Band Aid, The Hero, Give Me Future
Reasons: This is a lighter camera in terms of its weight and also good for handheld shooting. It gives more of film feel and handles the natural light well. It also gives maximum control over the image at the time of editing.
4. Arri Alexa XT
Short Films Shot: Pop Aye, My Happy Family
Reasons: Easy to shoot anamorphic shots, it catches nature, landscapes and other wide shots well without losing the quality of the image. Though the image is distorted, it gives good filmy texture and other world-class effects to give the film a surrealistic mood.
5. Arri Alexa Plus
Short Films Shot: Free and Easy
Reasons: This camera focuses on picturing best visual effects shots, due to its higher degree of tolerance to the natural light and colour rendering at post production. It gives the sense of realism with the sense of absurdity.
6. Red Camera (Red Family)
Short Films Shot: Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl, Dayveon, Gook
Reasons: This is the best camera that fits any locale, lighting and is cost-effective high-end camera that the world cinema is using today. It goes well on intercut shots of other cameras, It is also good for hand held shots at various resolutions (up to 8K).
7. Canon 5D Mark III
Short Films Shot: Last Men In Aleppo, Strong Island, QUEST, Step, Tokyo Idols, Winnie
Reasons: This is a cheap camera that gives good cinematic quality. It is also easy to shift the camera to different locales and pictures with good accuracy for longer duration. It is good in low light conditions. This is also a better camera for beginners. It is convenient to shoot in public places, as the camera looks pretty small, but fails to shoot in locations like film sets and other decorative locales.
8. Canon C300
Short Films shot: Menashe, Motherland
Reasons: This camera is best known for performance in low light. It gives a great image in minimal available light, that enhances a realistic genre. Also a right tool for sync sound technology.
9. Sony FS7
Short Films Shot: Family Life, Winnie
Reasons: Like Canon 5D this is also a cheap camera that gives good cinematic output at various lighting conditions. It is also fast focussing camera that captures fast movements and is good for Interior shots with a variety of affordable lenses.
10. Panasonic AG-AF103A
Short Films Shot: Plastic China
Reasons: This is reasonably a sophisticated camera to the film profession beginners as it is adaptable with lots of lens mounts on the market. This is a hybrid cam between video cameras and movie cameras, that records a wide variety of acceptable footage.
Keep visiting this space for more interesting updates on short filmmaking, until then keep watching and making good short films.
(Image Courtesy: FB)