Movie Making Manual/Cinematography/Camera

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This Module is part of the Cinematography section of the Movie Making Manual

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What specifications would make your perfect camera? This incomplete list serves two purposes:

  1. To give you an idea for what specifications and possible camera choices you can make, considering you budget.
  2. It's fun to fantasize

Low Budget Cameras[edit]

<$500 USD

Possible Specifications[edit]

  • 720x1280p - 1080x1920p
  • 4:4:2 Colour Representation
  • Records onto inbuilt HDD or external SD cards
  • Ability to record 24, 25 and/or 30fps
  • Video Component Out
  • Autofocus
  • Battery Operated

Examples[edit]

  • Canon: Legria HF R26
  • Panasonic Lumix: G5, G3

Mid Budget Cameras[edit]

$500-$2500

Possible Specifications[edit]

  • <= 1920x1080p resolution.
  • Variable frame rate; 23.976, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 60.
  • Select-able Aspect ratio from 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1.
  • 4:4:2 colour representation.
  • Custom and Auto Exposure.
  • User settable white balance.
  • Records to Internal/External HDDs, SD Cards or CF Cards.
  • Possible interchangeable lens.
  • Reasonable Low-light abilities.
  • Liveview fuctions.
  • Records video metadata (date, time)
  • Video Component/HDMI out.
  • Manual and/or Autofocus
    • User has direct, mechanical control over the focus and zoom.
    • Eye tracking to control where to focus and exposure
  • Audio inputs (3.5mm jack)
  • Manual Audio Levels
  • User-upgradable firmware

Examples[edit]

  • DSLRs
    • Canon EOS: 550D, 600D, 650D, 60D, 7D, 5DMII(I)
    • Panasonic Lumix: GH1, GH2 (Technically mirror-less)
  • Camcorders
    • Canon: XA10

Higher Budget Cameras[edit]

$2500-$100,000

Possible Specifications[edit]

  • 1080p-5k resolution
  • 4:4:4 Colour Representation (Uncompressed RAW)
  • Interchangeable Lens
  • Manual Focus
  • Custom Exposure and White balance settings
  • Records to internal/external SSD
  • HD/SDI
  • XLR Inputs
  • Audio Monitoring
  • Manual Frame rates: 1-300fps+
  • Manual Aspect Ratios: 4:3, 16:9, 2.35:1.
  • Records video metadata (Date, Time, Scene number, Take number, Timecode)
  • Timecode in.
  • PL or other mount.

Examples[edit]

  • RED: Scarlet, One, Epic.
  • ARRI: Alexa
  • SONY: FS700
  • CANON: C300, 1D-C

Hollywood Budget Cameras[edit]

$100,000+

Examples[edit]

EXPENSIVE

  • 45mm Film
  • IMAX film